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European jewellers warm to platinum




  • Platinum jewellery demand has grown in Europe as marketing efforts start to pay off, a leading UK jewellery producer said, in contrast to gold which has suffered high prices and weak consumer sentiment. Platinum jewellery is increasingly popular in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in particular as its appeal to consumers of high-end luxury goods grows, Patrick Fuller, chairman of WB The Creative Jewellery Group, said. 

    “We’re beginning to see a certain amount of strength in platinum, with retailers wanting it and asking for it in France and the Benelux countries, which is quite a change,” Fuller said recently. “(In Europe), platinum was originally used as a marketing tool to show off very expensive haute couture jewellery, and the pieces it was made into were for such a tiny minority market that it never came down to what I call a more popular level. “We’re beginning to find one or two of the middle to top end retailers like the idea that platinum is somewhat more exclusive, it’s different from (other products),” he added. 

    As well as producing and marketing its own jewellery, Fuller’s company manufactures components such as castings, settings, shanks, and mounts for retailers in Britain, Europe, and other global markets such as Japan. He said some European markets were seeing increasing interest in diamond solitaires set in platinum, and platinum wedding rings. Earlier this year metals consultancy GFMS said gold jewellery consumption in Europe, excluding the use of scrap, fell more than 8 percent in 2012 to less than 100 tonnes. While a recent price drop has likely stimulated some demand, refiners suggest the recent spike in offtake of physical bullion is already reaching a plateau. 

    Copyright Reuters, 2013

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