Platinum Preference

July 1999

For Your Staff:Selling Platinum

Platinum Preference

Most consumers can be divided into one of two groups when it comes to design preferences

Platinum Guild International USA

Most people fall into one of two categories when it comes to style preference: contemporary or traditional. These preferences can encompass anything from lifestyles to how they furnish their homes.

When it comes to platinum, contemporary or traditional refers to how your customers think of the precious metal. By learning their preferences and targeting your sales presentation, you can help close your platinum sale. To find out who fits in each category, just ask your customers what they think of when they "think platinum." The answer should point your sales presentation in the right direction.

Contemporary customers appreciate platinum because it seems "new." They love that platinum has emerged on today's fine jewelry scene and appreciate the color, attitude and statement of style that platinum makes. For them, platinum is new, hip and young. Build on this in your presentation.

Work some of these points into your sales presentation for your contemporary customer:

  • Platinum is fashionable and will complement your gold jewelry.
  • Platinum is a level of achievement (credit cards, records, etc.)
  • Platinum is talked about in movies and on TV.
  • All the most-seen celebrities wear platinum jewelry.
  • Platinum is a top fashion color.
  • Platinum's unique color enhances diamonds.
  • Wearing platinum is special; not everyone can own platinum.

Traditional customers love platinum because of its historical connection. They like to hear how platinum has evolved over the generations. Perhaps they have relatives who owned platinum jewelry, furthering their connection with platinum's rich past. Mention these items in your presentation and acquaint this customer with platinum's history (also check out the Platinum Timeline at the bottom of the page).

Meeting Both Needs
These two types of customers may look and dress alike, perhaps even have the same demographic components. But their platinum attitudes could not be more different. Deciding which category customers are in and then tailoring your sales presentation can create more platinum sales.

For more advanced platinum selling information, fax PGI on your company letterhead at (949) 760-8780 to get the latest training booklet, titled Platinum Selling.Include how many associates work at your store and PGI will send a booklet for each. This booklet follows Platinum Basics,which covers basic product knowledge.

Caroline Stanley is a third-generation jeweler who grew up on the sales floor. She is a past president of the Arkansas Jewelers Association and the Southwest Guild of the American Gem Society. Stanley, a 1998 WJA Award of Excellence winner, travels across the U.S. training retailers for PGI.


 Use these facts to woo and impress your traditional platinum customers.

  • Circa700 B.C.: Ancient Egyptians master the techniques of processing platinum and decorate the casket that holds documents for High Priestess Schepenupet with ornate platinum hieroglyphics.
  • Circa100 B.C.: Indians in Pre-Columbian South America succeed in working platinum and gold together, creating nose rings and other jewelry.
  • 1590: Spanish Conquistadors discover a white metal in the rivers of Equador. Not realizing its superb qualities, they name it contemptuously platina (little silver) and throw it back into the river to ripen into silver.
  • 1790: A French goldsmith makes platinum jewelry for King Louis XVI, who later declares platinum the "only metal fit for kings."
  • 1875: Vast diamond deposits are discovered in Kimberley, South Africa, resulting in a new jewelry style using diamonds set in the "modern" metal, platinum.
  • 1912: White gold is "invented" in Pforzheim, Germany, as a substitute for platinum.
  • 1924: Geologist Dr. Hans Merensky discovers the largest deposits of platinum ever found, west of Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • 1939: World War II causes the restriction of platinum for any use other than the war effort in the U.S. White gold's popularity soars quickly to fill the gap.
  • 1945: After the war, platinum does not regain its popularity. The long reign of yellow gold begins.
  • 1999: After reemerging in the early 1990s, platinum jewelry sales at the consumer level rise 700% in the course of six years.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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