Not just for weddings – how platinum is rebranding itself as a luxury fashion staple

by Amir Bakian

Platinum jewellery is undergoing a critical reappraisal. Once regarded as a choice only for brides, insights from the 2023 Platinum Jewellery Business Review show that branded collections are turbocharging a change in perceptions around the world.

Creating a strong brand that speaks to consumer aspirations is key to this shift, especially among younger cohorts.

Huw Daniel, CEO of PGI, said of the trend: “The value of branding is well understood and developed in other luxury categories such as fashion, but lags behind in jewellery. PGI leverages consumer research and insight to develop a brand application framework to unlock these opportunities. We have been working with our partners to ensure branded platinum collections with strong storytelling, designs, and new technologies meet the aspirations of our consumers.”

Huw Daniel, CEO of Platinum Guild International at Platinum Jewellery Business Review 2023

“While our approach differs from country to country in order to meet the needs of local consumers, it’s clear that branded collections are a major growth engine for the future of the platinum jewellery industry,” Mr. Daniel said.

Consumers around the world are starting to switch onto the values and characteristics of platinum jewellery, albeit in significantly different ways.

For example, Japan has an ageing society. But its substantial demographic of young consumers is primed to embrace platinum as a fashion choice. Women between the ages of 20 and 34 are earning more and they are entirely comfortable buying themselves gifts. They aspire to jewellery that communicates their own values.

Japan’s young, female platinum lovers are inspired by delicate and affordable pieces from the Platinum Woman branded collection that reflect modern values, signifying a move away from the traditional perceptions of platinum being for more mature wearers and brides alone.

Platinum makes up a quarter of all jewellery unit sales in 2022 in Japan. With many pieces of high-end jewellery only available in platinum, the average price per unit is significantly higher than the market average.

In 2022, the Japanese jewellery market enjoyed its highest sales in 14 years, with platinum performing well, and retail ounce sales growing by 6.2% year-on-year.

Platinum Woman, Japan

2022 was a tough year for the Chinese economy and consumers because of multiple COVID outbreaks. Consumer habits are changing in China. Growth has shifted from Tier 1 and 2 cities to lower tier cities and the market, moving towards large jewellery retail chains.

Platinum jewellery fabrication reduced by 32% year-on-year to less than half a million ounces in 2022. With shop footfall being severely reduced, retailers were reluctant to restock products and instead strove to keep stock levels to a minimum.

Despite weaker demand, branded collections such as ‘Pt Moment’ have been contributing to the post-COVID recovery. This collection is aimed at young women who want to embrace tenacity and elegance with their own take on contemporary femininity.

Sales of Pt Moment® grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% during 2020-2022, despite various economical challenges.

In India, young, aspirational men are a big part of the growth in platinum jewellery. India has a mature jewellery market and a strong jewellery culture, with a large base of young and financially independent consumers.

India’s 12.2 million young, well-off, urban men are a key market for branded jewellery. The ‘Men of Platinum’ brand in India was created by PGI to meet their aspirations.

In 2022, Men of Platinum leaned into India’s love for cricket through its brand ambassador campaign with KL Rahul, a cricketer who embodies the values of the brand. Together with co-promotions, retail sales increased fivefold since inception, and distribution has doubled.

Platinum was India’s top-performing jewellery category in 2022, delivering 20% year-on-year growth in fabrication. PGI’s retail partners reported an increase of 26% in 2022 compared to the previous year.

Men of Platinum, India

The United States has traditionally seen platinum as a metal for marriage, not fashion. Platinum Born, the metal-only platinum brand, is a fashion-forward jewellery collection that changes that, empowering a sense of modern femininity for younger women looking for unique designs to express their individuality.

Platinum Born has showcased platinum into distribution channels including Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue; a new frontier for platinum. In 2022, unit sales doubled, and dollar sales increased 60% over 2021. After record sales in 2021, the US platinum jewellery industry saw another year of impressive performance. Retail sales increased a further 9% year-on-year, despite the multiple challenges in 2022, such as inflation, global supply chain disruption, the war in Ukraine, and resulting sanctions. The outlook remains positive for 2023 as consumer spending continues to be robust and high gold prices make platinum a favourite for the price-sensitive trade.

Presented by: Ascend Agency

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