Rising Gold Will Affect Jewelry Prices, Marketing

Jewelers are bracing for higher gold jewelry wholesale costs this year following the recent rise in the price of gold—costs they'll have to pass on to customers. Though analysts say rising retail prices have little effect on consumer purchases of upscale 18k jewelry and watches, some jewelers told JCK there may be more buyer resistance at the lower end of the market. And while dollar volumes may increase, overall unit sales of gold jewelry might not. That, in turn, may mean greater reliance on marketing and promotions by jewelers to entice buyers. The price of gold on world markets topped $456, a 16-year high and a 13% gain in value, on Dec. 2, 2004, its sixth consecutive month of gain. Jewelers can expect to see the effects of higher-priced gold, and the weak dollar, on their own jewelry prices as early as the 2005 spring shows in Europe and America, which begin with VicenzaOro

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