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Women Want Platinum Engagement Rings. Here’s Why They May Not Be Getting Them, According to PGI

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LAFAYETTE, LA — While 77 percent of bridal customers say that platinum is their first choice — or at least a serious consideration — when contemplating the purchase of an engagement ring, only 15 percent of women receive a platinum ring, according to Platinum Guild International research.

Kevin Reilly, vice president of Platinum Guild International USA, urges retailers to view this large gap between desire and reality as a growth opportunity and give their whole company culture  a second look, when it comes to platinum.

Reilly spoke during a seminar called “Working With Platinum” during Stuller’s Bench Jeweler Workshop March 23-25.

Platinum WILL sell if associates are trained to sell it and if the bench jeweler is trained to work with it, Reilly says.

To begin with, customers are looking for expert guides, not order takers, when they come to your jewelry store. If you don’t mention platinum, they may not be confident enough to bring it up.

When they walk into your store “customers see a sea of white, and in their head, they just see silver,” Reilly says. “They can’t discern between silver, white gold, palladium, tungsten. If eight out of 10 of your engagement rings and wedding bands are not platinum, you have the opportunity there for more profitability.”

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A Platinum Guild International research project found that while the average margin percent for platinum and white gold is similar and slightly in white gold’s favor even, platinum profit significantly exceeds white gold when looking at the actual dollar difference.If your sales staff needs talking points, Reilly suggests the following:

  • Nothing holds a diamond more securely than platinum.
  • The diamond is the most valuable component of the consumer’s investment.
  • The best way to protect that investment is by setting it in platinum.
  • Even if the rest of the ring is a different metal, the diamond should always be held in a platinum setting.

The Platinum Guild worked with the GIA to develop the Platinum Quality Assurance Benchmark, a free system for evaluating finished and semi-finished platinum jewelry.“A lot of times what we find is if there are performance issues with a ring people will blame the platinum, when in fact it probably happened because there is something wrong with the engineering of that ring,” Reilly says.

The PGI Platinum micro-topics allow bench jewelers to plot their design against objective benchmarks and prevent structural failure. For more information about the program, see http://us.platinumguild.com/platinum-training/training/technical-education.

For more information about training your staff to sell platinum, contact Kevin Reilly at [email protected].

This story is an INSTORE Online extra.

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