The Legalization of Gay Marriage in California Offers New Opportunity for the Jewelry Industry

Jul 14, 2008, 01:00 ET from Platinum Guild International USA

    NEW YORK, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- There are many reasons for the
 wedding industry to celebrate California state Supreme Court's recent
 decision to overturn a ban on gay marriage.
     (Photo: )
     The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at
 the UCLA School of Law estimates that same-sex weddings could generate up
 to $683.6 million in additional revenue for the industry over the next
 three years.
     With the current state of the economy, the ruling is particularly good
 news for jewelers as same-sex couples look to purchase wedding rings and
 wedding jewelry. Many traditional jewelers have already started to cater to
 same-sex couples, including Erica Courtney, Catherine Angiel, Furrer Jacot
 and Neil Lane, who designed Portia de Rossi's Platinum engagement ring.
 Platinum rings are not only the highest quality, but express the importance
 of a couple's commitment to each other with the metal that will stand the
 test of time beyond all other metals.
     "As with heterosexual couples, gay couples see their wedding bands as a
 tangible symbol of their love and commitment to one another," reports Gay
 Family Support, a gay-rights organization.
     WWD West reports that sales for the gay and lesbian online jewelry
 resource Love and Pride have increased 600 percent since the ruling.
     Though Massachusetts also allows gay marriage, California is the only
 state where same-sex couples can obtain a marriage license even if they are
 not state residents. The Williams Institute estimates that half of the
 state's 102,639 same-sex couples will marry by 2011, in addition to 67,500
 out-of-state couples.
     "Shreve & Co has embraced the decision of the legalization of gay and
 lesbian marriages," says Richard Horne, President of Shreve & Co, the San
 Francisco based luxury jewelry store. "We have had an increase in
 customers, as many gay and lesbian couples are coming in to purchase their
 wedding bands. Platinum bands have been the most popular, in particular the
 Furrer Jacot bands. The ring choice has been a matter of individual style
 but Platinum designer rings have been the most prevalent."
     Jack Kyser, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the Los
 Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, expects the weddings to
 offer a significant boost to the state's tourism industry.
     According to media and entertainment company Planet Out, gay consumers
 earn 20 percent more than straight consumers, and spend approximately 10
 percent more on their weddings.
     "With a projected $641 billion in purchasing power and higher
 discretionary spending patterns than mainstream consumers," states Harris
 Interactive, a market research company, "the gay, lesbian, bisexual and
 transgender (GLBT) market segment has become an important target for some
 of the biggest brands."
     Hotels, wedding planners and vendors in California obviously stand to
 benefit from the ceremonies, but jewelers from around the world have a
 unique opportunity to target this sought-after demographic through direct
 ad campaigns and the Internet.
     About Platinum Guild International USA
     Platinum Guild International, the marketing arm for the worldwide
 Platinum jewelry industry, 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 further information please visit

SOURCE Platinum Guild International USA