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Platinum Guild: Dispelling the Top 5 Platinum Myths

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Platinum Guild International has found that many retail salespeople, as well as end consumers, are stymied by certain untruths about platinum. The organization has created the following list of common myths to help retailers educate their clients, thus yielding sales. Read about additional platinum educational resources here.

1. Myth: White gold is just as good as platinum. It looks the same.

This is a common myth/incorrect belief on the part of retail jewelry sales professionals and some consumers. While white gold and platinum may appear similar when viewed in a jewelry store showcase, they are very different metals. One of the most important differences is color. Platinum is a naturally white metal that will never fade or change color over time. There is actually no such thing as “white gold” — gold is yellow. Period. When yellow gold is mixed with other white metals and then coated with rhodium (a platinum group metal) it appears white, but the rhodium plating will eventually wear away revealing a yellowish color. White gold jewelry must be re-plated consistently to maintain its white appearance.

There’s also a big difference in purity. 14K white gold is 58.5 percent gold (18K is 75 percent) compared with platinum jewelry, which is 90-95 percent platinum. Additionally, a lot of white gold jewelry is alloyed with nickel, which is known to cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin.

Finally, platinum is 30 times more rare than gold, making a gift of platinum jewelry something truly unique and special.

 

2. Myth: Platinum scratches and gets dull.

This is probably the most frequently recurring misconception about platinum. Yes, platinum scratches — and so does EVERY other precious metal. Let’s look at gold — when gold scratches, microscopic bits of the metal flake away with each scratch (much like chalk on a chalkboard does). Eventually, the prongs that hold diamonds or gemstones may have to be re-tipped and the ring may eventually need to be replaced. When platinum scratches, it’s like running your finger across a bar of clay – the metal just moves to the sides of the scratch, so to speak. And whenever platinum is scratched, the surface of the ring actually “work hardens,” meaning the surface gets harder with each scratch. Those scratches eventually meld together into a warm, satiny finish known as “patina.” That patina is the mark of authenticity for platinum, much like the rich look of fine leather as it’s worn over time. It’s a sought-after quality, not something that should be considered a negative — however, platinum can always be polished to restore a bright, shiny, as-new look with very little metal loss.

 

3. Myth: Platinum is too soft.

Misleading. The “hardness” of precious metals is graded on a scale and the actual hardness of both gold and platinum will vary depending on the alloys and manufacturing process. Because of platinum’s density (it’s 40 percent heavier than 18K gold and 60 percent heavier than 14K) it is the most durable of all precious metals and the reason why it’s the most secure setting for diamonds. Platinum does not have “memory,” meaning that when a jeweler bends the prongs over a diamond they stay put. Gold has metal memory and will resist any movement. Blunt trauma or force could potentially crack a gold prong, whereas platinum will merely bend. And, when a jeweler repairs the prongs and bends them back into shape, that action work hardens the prongs and makes them stronger. It’s the reason why most of the world’s most significant diamond jewelry pieces are set in platinum.

 

4. Myth: Platinum is too difficult to work with.

Absolutely not. However, bench jewelers who work in stores that don’t carry platinum may not feel comfortable working with it. Platinum’s melting point is much higher than gold, thus requiring specific equipment to work with the metal. As a result, if a store does not regularly work with platinum, they may not have this equipment and may avoid offering platinum to their customers. There are great educational resources available to bench jewelers (at www.platinumlearning.com). Once a bench jeweler is comfortable working with platinum, most agree that it is the material they like working with best because of its malleability.

 

5. Myth: Platinum is too expensive.

While a platinum ring might be slightly more expensive, it delivers great value to consumers. Current metal prices are historically low for platinum and it’s a great time for consumers to buy platinum, from a price standpoint. The reason it will still cost a few more dollars than gold is because platinum is much more dense (it’s heavier) and is much more pure than gold (90-95 percent platinum vs. 58.5-75 percent gold). Once you take wear and maintenance into account, platinum is a much better value for the money.

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Video: Texas Jeweler Knew He’d Get Only One Shot at a GOB Sale, So He Wanted to Make It Count

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Wilkerson Testimonials | Shannon Fine Jewelry

One and Done

Most retailers only have one GOB sale in their lifetimes. This was the case for Gary Zoet, owner of Shannon Fine Jewelry in Houston, Texas. “Wilkerson has done thousands of these sales,” says Zoet. “I’ve never done one, so it’s logical to have somebody with experience do it.” The result exceeded Zoet’s expectations. Wilkerson took care of everything from marketing to paperwork. When it’s time for you to consider the same, shouldn’t you trust the experts in liquidation?

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Video: New York Jeweler Picks Wilkerson for Their GOB Sale

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Wilkerson Testimonials | Rose Jewelers

New York Jeweler Picks Wilkerson for Their GOB Sale

Jan Rose of Rose Jewelers, located in Long Island’s famous Hamptons beach district, explains how she chose Wilkerson for her closing sale. Jan’s suggestions: reach out to jewelers who have been in similar situations to find out what worked for them, and look for a company with experience in going-out-of-business sales. Once you’ve done that, the final step is to move ahead and trust the process.

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The Real Story Sells!

The DPA’s new e-learning program isn’t just about diamonds. It’s about what diamonds mean to individuals, to people who support an industry and to the world.

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The Real Story Sells!

The DPA’s new e-learning program isn’t just about diamonds. It’s about what diamonds mean to individuals, to people who support an industry and to the world.
 

BY KATE PETERSON

 

We are living in a most unique and exciting time for the diamond industry. Dramatic shifts in a wide range of elements — from consumer behavior and expectation to the easy availability of information (some less than accurate!), to continually evolving shopping channels to technological advances within our industry — have created the need for a much higher level of knowledge, insight and skill for sales professionals. For the best of the best, selling diamonds today is an art form that is all about communicating true passion — and about appreciating the real, personal value they bring to a buyer.

Diamonds have played an integral role in human history and culture for centuries. As you might expect, there are parts of that history — and of the growth of our industry that have provided valuable lessons which have helped shape the face of diamond mining and trading worldwide today. The diamond industry has evolved tremendously since the first commercial mine opened in 1870. Welfare of workers, respect for the environment, giving back to local communities and building thriving economies and social infrastructures in mine areas have all become top priorities at mine sites around the world.

In today’s market, the introduction of synthetics has created a mix of interest and confusion among industry professionals and consumers alike. Pictured here: An assortment of rough diamonds recovered from Petra Diamonds’ Finsch Mine in South Africa.

Consumers today need to feel good about the luxury they want — and there’s no doubt that current, effective training is more important than ever. In today’s market, understanding diamonds is about much more than just understanding the 4C’s. It’s about understanding the real connection between this magnificent gem, the human emotions it symbolizes, and the people who want to make it their own. It’s also about understanding the history of our industry as well as the remarkable advances that have shaped countries, built economies and established communities and livelihoods for millions of people around the world. As a knowledgeable diamond professional, you have a unique opportunity to share information that can change perspective, offer insight and give a whole new dimension to your customer’s diamond experience.

Murowa Diamonds operates out of Zimbabwe and firmly believes in employing and developing the nation’s talent, supporting the country’s overall growth.

Do you have what you need to tell the REAL story — or are you letting sensationalism and selective memory keep negative elements in the forefront while positive, accurate narratives detailing significant advances and successful outcomes are minimized or even ignored?

Megan Rodel is a business improvement superintendent at Canada’s newest diamond mine, Gahcho Kué in the Northwest Territories. Photograph by Kiana Hayeri.

“As a knowledgeable diamond professional, you have a unique opportunity to share information that can change perspective, offer insight and give a whole new dimension to your customer’s diamond experience.”

To Tell the Story, You Have to Know the Story!

The Diamond Producers Association is proud to announce the launch of a new e-learning program available at no cost to all diamond and fine jewelry professionals. The program is not just about diamonds. it’s about what diamonds are about — what they mean to individuals, what they mean to people who support an industry and what they mean to the world. It’s also about you as a diamond professional — about your passion for this amazing gift of nature and about your ability to tell the diamond story, the story of what diamonds DO — as symbols of emotion, carriers of message, and stores of real value.

The 1,109-carat “Lesedi La Rona” was discovered in Lucara’s Karowe Mine in Botswana in 2015. It is the third largest diamond ever found.

Whether you are a new sales associate or an experienced professional, our goal is to inspire you and to ignite your passion for diamonds while we offer you new perspective, new ideas and new talking points to help you present diamonds to today’s consumers with pride and confidence — and to help you close more diamond sales.

 

 
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DIAMOND PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

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diamondproducers.com/trade-portal

 

 

 

 

 

 

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