Design Shifts in Platinum

PGI India has been closely working with manufacturers to devise key design themes that cater to the consumer’s demand for unique products. These pieces are trendy, innovative and chic while playing to platinum’s strengths of

being a subtle beauty. Solitaire International spoke to PGI India as well as top platinum manufacturers to find out what’s on offer this festive season. A special report by Aliya Ladhabhoy.

Design differentiation is a key ask of millennials and Gen Z men and women. Every accessory that they own and adorn must make a statement or enhance the image that they wish to portray. When it comes to buying jewellery as well, impressive designs coupled with strong narratives really drive their purchases. Platinum Guild International (PGI) takes this task very seriously as their target audience lies between the age of 20 and 40. They are constantly developing new ways to present the white metal to young consumers backed by consumer research, data and global trends.

At PGI India’s buyer-seller meet held in Kochi, manufacturers showcased new designs across PGI’s three brands – Platinum Love Bands, Platinum Evara and Men of Platinum. The pieces were fresh, modern and aesthetic in every sense.

“The subtlety of platinum impels designers to think differently of applications,” shares Pallavi Sharma, Business Director of PGI India. “We are constantly asking ourselves how we can create a unique look in platinum,” she adds. This look is built not only based on modern, contemporary designs but also on innovating with finer aspects of jewellery such as links, findings and finishes using new machinery and technology that really transform the jewellery and give it a modern edge.”

“One of the big shifts which has come in is a lot of innovation in chain-centric jewellery. Being a white metal, we work on achieving a very chic design. Laser cutting has given us a huge scope especially in creating bracelets and chains for men. Finishes also play a role in design differentiation. It is one our new innovation spaces. Links and differentiated findings are also becoming very popular. Adding colour is another strong angle that we are looking at,” explained Sharma.

“In the men’s segment, casting brings a lot of heft to the pieces. Mesh designs is one of the leading tech innovations that we are building on. We are also working on unique diamond settings for women’s jewellery. Tension setting is a very platinum-oriented design so we are looking at nicer stone settings in the metal,” elaborated Sharma.

Manufacturers have taken the overarching key themes and have interpreted them in their own way. Here are some spaces in which you can expect to see spectacular designs. With men’s jewellery being a strong sales driver for platinum, there are equally stunning designs in the men’s category as there are for women in the white metal.

Colour play and Personalisation

Manufacturers are riding on the global colour trend to bring an element of playfulness and personalisation into the pieces. Until now most of the studded pieces were diamond centric. With vivid colours becoming a popular facet of jewellery, manufacturers are introducing lighter pieces with precious and semi-precious gemstones. Companies like Jewelex and Oro have launched new designs accented with enamel or ceramic.

“We have cufflinks and rings for men with a hint of black ceramic. We have introduced jacket rings with central bands that are enamelled with different hues and that can be interchanged depending on a customer’s mood or outfit. Another introduction is silicon leather bracelets with mesh-like platinum central claps that can be changed in a few seconds,” informs Avinash Pahuja, MD and CEO, Oro Precious Metals Pvt. Ltd.

A touch of gold

One of the most popular themes across categories is a hint of gold in the designs. Younger consumers don’t want generic designs in gold. Their expectation from the retailers is “Give me something different”. That’s where platinum enters the category with sleek, elegant designs that either feature gold elements or sintered gold and platinum. Manufacturers are playing into this trend by creating bar necklaces and pendant sets with linear and circular patterns with a few elements highlighted in rose or yellow gold. Wristwear and chains are also peppered with this style. “We are seeing a new trend of platinum with yellow gold, so we have created a line centred on this,” shares Colin Shah, Founder and Managing Director of Kama Jewelry.

Openwork elements

Mesh work helps create bigger bolder patterns while keeping the weight in check. Emerald Jewel Industry India Ltd.’s latest line of platinum jewellery uses mesh work to create lightweight products. They use some of the best machinery and technology like CNC / MMD for bands, Imprez and stamping dye for light weight chains and bracelets, direct casting, hollow tubing and electroforming to craft their jewellery.

Ultralightweight Designs

To cater to the demand for ultralightweight designs, Tankaria Ventures Pvt. Ltd. has platinum jewellery that starts from 1 gram up to 15-20 grams for women. “I have a wide variety of high-quality platinum rings that start from 1 gram,” shares Karan Parakh, Director of the firm who imports these from Japan. Some of the rings are textured while others have a diamond-cut finish or a hint of gold. “I also have a line of multi-layered necklaces that are extremely light weight as well as gold and platinum products below 6 grams,” adds Parakh who primarily caters to the women’s segment in platinum.

Uni-Design, too, is focusing on daily wear jewellery with a modern touch that is getting lighter by the day. Their aim is to make it as sleek and delicate as they can.

Wrist wear

Wristwear is a category that PGI is really focusing this year. Oro, which is known for its wide range of CNC bangles is hoping to get retailers on board with sintered gold and platinum bangles. “Platinum bangles are a good category, but retailers have not been able to buy into it. In order to push the category, we are offering the retailers a buy back option at the end of the season as well as auto replenish in a short period,” informed Avinash Pahuja.

Priority Jewels brings in an element of fun with their wrap on and twister bracelets in platinum. At the recently concluded PGI BSM 2023, Jewelex displayed an array of flexi bracelets for men that ranged from slim to chunky for the macho man. Some of them were in pure platinum while others featured elements of platinum amalgamated with gold.

Sagar Shah, General Manager, Uni-design noted, “While our daily wear jewellery for women is all about being lightweight, delicate and contemporary, our collection for the aspirational, confidant man is about showcasing his macho side with sturdy kadas and rings.”

Experimental designs and categories

Manufacturers are exploring new categories. Emerald introduced contemporary mangalsutras in 2021 and they are now seeing an up-tick in these pieces. Even Uni-Design has noticed a rise in platinum mangalsutras. Kadas for newborn babies have been getting repeat orders signalling a new opportunity to expand platinum jewellery for children. Within rings, too, manufacturers are getting experimental in the men’s segment. Kama Jewelry has a line of rings featuring panthers, lions and more for the man who wants to stand out of the crowd. All in all, platinum is an exciting space to watch out for.

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