Thursday, 28 February 2013

Platinum Value

The famous Platinum tension-set ring is an architectural wonder and a prestigious design.  Toddwaz Report reader responds: Hi Todd, brings back a few memories! I had several titanium tension set rings from a well known supplier in the US. ALL of them failed, the last few pieces I actually removed the stone myself just by forcing the ring down a mandrel! No tools required. One of the few negative experiences I have had with titanium. Dave.

For your typical bridal design, the unique tensile strength of platinum is not advantageous over white gold … or is it?

While many retailers and sales staff I talk to aren’t huge fans of platinum, there’s a lot of money to be made selling Platinum.  It is naturally white, hypoallergenic and its’ long-term wear properties are unmatched.  When you enthusiastically talk about how platinum develops a beautiful matte patina over it’s enormous life-span, you turn a negative into a positive and create realistic expectations. 

Most jewellery sellers are repelled by the cost of platinum.  If you can get over that, you will find that those in technical professions and those who desire “the best” are happy to pay the price.  Think of it this way: a $120,000 Corvette can do everything that a $280,000 Ferrari can do.  Is the extra level of refinement worth an extra $160,000?  For some it absolutely is.  Value is a very personal construct.  Some jewellery buyers will measure value by comparing total diamond weight to price.  Some will give the highest value to the brand they’ve seen in a magazine and obsessed upon by visiting their website over and over again.  Still others will consider the rarity of a one-off personalized custom-design as paramount.

Here’s the most important thing to understand.  Value has almost nothing to do with price.  When you key-in and sell hot-button issues like rarity, sentiment, exclusivity, durability and personalization then you can earn both a fair price and a happy client.  If you are complicit in making a jewellery purchase all about price, you’re a carpenter who boasts a tape measure, and no other tools.

If you want to learn more about selling platinum, visit the Platinum Guild website.  

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Too Much Tension?

Tension headache?  Tension among the staff?  Take a Tylenol and tell your staff to take a chill-pill.  When it comes to tension set rings, not everybody is talking the same language.  A true tension-set ring features a gemstones suspended between two notched shoulders with no metal connecting the two.  When there is a retainer ring or some sort of bridge connecting the shoulders, the ring is effectively channel-set.

Tension-set rings require thousands of pounds per square inch of spring-loaded compression.  Therefore only the hardest gemstones, without compromising inclusions, can be set thus.  Stainless steel and Titanium can achieve this level of tension without much added technology, however it takes very specific alloys of platinum and 18kt yellow gold which are treated in proprietary manors to yield secure settings without excessive bulk.  Neissing of Germany are said to be the original designers of the tension-set ring and Steven Kretchmer built esteem for them in North America.

When I was in retail I sold several platinum tension settings by Platinum Unlimited in Richmond Hill, Ontario.  Some of these were sold to friends with whom I still have contact and I’ve yet to see one fail.  Whatever you do, do not try to sell a tension-set ring that is not from a highly expert source.

These are very costly settings in precious metals, and they cannot easily be sized.  Some manufacturers claim to be able to size these rings up to two sizes before restoring the spring tension and resetting the feature stone.  Ensure you understand the sizability of a ring and clearly communicate this to your clients before allowing them to purchase one.

Monday, 18 February 2013

I’m Baaaack!

Hello my friends.  I have returned from Haiti in one piece, despite the best intentions of the chaotic drivers down there!  It was a productive mission.  With two orphanages having received some upgrades to their facilities including a much needed generator, I can look upon our labors and point to the ever impressive; VISIBLE PROGRESS.  The bigger picture requires that I look upon the smiles we put on the faces of Haitians who have survived a horrific earthquake, three hurricanes, and two Cholera outbreaks in the past three years.  Thank you to Steve, and all of you who put-up with my absence so that we could have a hand in giving encouragement, help and hope to Haiti.

I’m going to get back on track with posts, once again, as inspiration leads me.  If you’ve not been receiving my posts over the past year, you can look-up topics and review previous articles at

I’m now focused on “making the rounds,” so I hope to see many of you soon!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

16 x 9 News Article

Thank you Kathy for letting me know about the Global News 16-by-9 article about security in the jewellery industry.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’d recommend watching the 20 minute segment.  In the news piece they claim that they “couldn’t find a jewellery traveller willing to talk about security on camera.”  Well Duh!  I would have done one of those silhouette interviews with the voice altering thingie, but they didn’t ask me.

One of the assertions of the news piece was that Columbian based gangs have moved North from the US into Canada because US law enforcement has done such a fantastic job of deterring them, and that Canada is softer on criminals.  I’m not so sure about that; I think it might have something to do with our more buoyant economy.

Once again I thank all of you who help reps maintain their anonymity by:

·      Offering back-office viewings where available
·      Not asking about our travel plans (we know you’re just being friendly, but we don’t want you to be the only one who knew where we are staying or where we were headed to if something does happen.)
·      Walking us out to our vehicles or at least watching us enter our vehicles until we pull-out of your parking lot
·      Not responding to strangers who might say, “hey, I used to go to school with that guy, what was his name again?” or otherwise trick you into giving information about us

As many of you well-know, I often am willing to meet with your clients for custom design work.  I’m less anonymous than would be ideal, but by taking every other precaution, I continue to enjoy travelling, and I have a deep faith that I’ll remain safe and healthy on the road.

Have a great couple of weeks while I’m in Haiti.  If you’re interested in reading what we’re up to, we’ll be blogging at or you can visit and click on the “blog” tab.  Congrats to Richardson’s Lloydminster for collecting the highest amount of gold for our Haiti orphanage fund.  They have won a free sales training session for their fabulous staff from yours truly.  With your support plus a top-up from Customgold, we’re taking $5,000 down with us for building and supplying orphanages and free schools that benefit the Haitians who need it the most!