NEW YORK, July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether seen "walking" down the aisle or the runway, the latest jewelry trends can't be missed- and platinum jewelry is currently turning heads. A recent survey of 2013 platinum jewelry sales* revealed an 11% growth in the category, a greater increase than fine jewelry sales as a whole. Why is platinum ahead of the curve? Renowned for its unique qualities and rarity, platinum is seen as different amongst millennials**, a savvy demographic who desire choices that speak to their own sense of style. As much fashionable as timeless, there's a piece of platinum jewelry to suit every taste and most budgets.
Each year Platinum Guild International, the world's leading authority and source of independent information about platinum jewelry, hosts a competition promoting innovation in platinum jewelry design which serves to identify and even create trends. The competition's most popular category, Platinum Engagement Rings, offered a plethora of beautifully crafted platinum rings that prove every bride can be unique. Colored stones, modernized halos and asymmetric settings marked a new level in engagement ring style, a category that can often be misinterpreted as lacking in fresh design.
Platinum has long stood as the bridal setting of choice as couples choose the metal for its everlasting properties, a reflection of the lifelong love their engagement rings and wedding bands are symbolizing; even the most intricately designed settings will endure and keep diamonds and gemstones where they belong. Settings entered into the category started as low as $1575, which highlights another draw for the consumer, the current price of platinum. The difference in price between a platinum engagement ring and the same in white gold has recently dropped to all time lows and consumers are recognizing that platinum, a naturally white metal that will never need to be re-plated, is worth its price, if not more.***
It's not only about the ladies though. Men's platinum wedding bands have also seen a surge in design as the demand for precious metals to match the bride's has grown. From diamond and gemstone accents to texturing and tubing, platinum men's bands are getting a style makeover. Lashbrook Designs, awarded in the Men's Platinum Jewelry category, incorporated Gibeon Meteorite segments and diamonds into their platinum men's band for a truly stunning upgrade to the classic plain band.
Platinum is on trend in the world of fashion jewelry as well. Platinum pendants, earrings, bracelets and cocktail rings are not only standing out on the red carpet but a growing number of consumers are recognizing the advantages of purchasing their special or even every day jewelry in platinum. The competition saw a new crop of design forward platinum fashion pieces too. Vintage and vintage-inspired pieces have been especially popular in the past few years and remain fresh when worn with a contemporary twist. For example, vintage platinum brooches have been seen adorning sleek hairstyles or cinching dresses. More modern looks like updated stackables and hoops are popular platinum choices.
"This is platinum jewelry's third wave in the US," says PGI USA President Huw Daniel. "The first ran up to World War Two, when platinum was removed from the market to assist the war effort. Cartier and Tiffany led with versatile designs that cannot be made in any other precious metal. The second - from the '80's to early 2000's - when the bold yellows of the 60's and 70's were replaced by cooler white fashions from the likes of Tom Ford at Gucci.
Today, the millennial consumer sees platinum as unique and distinctive, and a way to express their own personal style. And with platinum and gold prices trading relatively closer, platinum is no longer the preserve of celebrity weddings and red carpets."
Growth in platinum sales is expected to continue throughout 2014 with the availability of more diverse platinum styles at an increasing range of price points.
* 2013 Retail Barometer Study. The results were based on two proprietary surveys and third party feedback from over 300 retailers representing all distribution channels.
** A recent Millward Brown survey of bridal consumers revealed that Platinum is perceived as the most different of all metals. Platinum indexes at 169 for 'feels different from others or sets the trends for the category', way ahead of other precious metals that are below index — white gold at 98 and yellow gold at 82.
*** The Millward Brown survey revealed that consumers believe platinum is worth it, with 77% of those surveyed saying 'platinum was worth its cost, or more'.
Since its inception in 2010, the Annual JCK Platinum Innovation Awards, a design competition that inspires innovation in platinum jewelry design, have served to identify and create new trends in jewelry and honor those jewelry brands that have such a knack for design. Platinum Guild International (PGI USA) in conjunction with the largest U.S. jewelry trade show JCK Las Vegas, recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of the competition with over 130 new platinum entries, a collection which boasted the versatility of the metal in styles and price ranges to suit every taste.
Platinum Guild International is dedicated to promoting platinum and its, pure, rare and eternal qualities to the consumer and the jewelry trade. PGI has offices in each of the world's major jewelry markets, providing information, assistance and education on all aspects of platinum jewelry. For more information please visit www.platinumguild.com
PGI-USA annually hosts the Platinum Innovation Awards, challenging JCK show exhibitors to enter their most innovative platinum bridal and fashion designs.
SOURCE Platinum Guild International USA