Professional Jeweler Archive: The Other White Metals

October 2003

Precious Metals/Metalsmithing


The Other White Metals

Titanium and stainless steel jewelry perfect for the fashion- and price-conscious consumer


Move over gold, platinum and sterling silver.

Two metals on the periphery of the jewelry industry are making inroads because they offer what consumers want: something new.

Titanium is seen as exotic and high-tech. “Retailers love titanium because it’s another white metal with great price points and fast returns,” says Larry DeBerry, executive vice president of the World Titanium Council, Deerfield Beach, FL. “Consumers love it because it lasts forever, is superior in quality, affordable and safe for everyone to wear while being highly fashionable.”

In the past few years, titanium and stainless steel also have moved into higher-end markets, including lines by designer David Yurman, New York City. In this market, the metals often embrace diamonds, 18k gold or platinum.

Key attributes to think of when selling this jewelry category include weight. Thin pieces won’t bend or break, and even large designs are comfortably light. Titanium is good also for tension settings.

Price points and perceived value make for higher profit margins. However, there is an issue with titanium and sizing. “Just like gold there are different grades of titanium. Aircraft-grade titanium is impossible to cut, so stick with pure titanium, which can be cut if necessary,” says DeBerry. For consumers who buy a titanium ring, offer a lifetime guarantee for sizing and send it back to the factory to have the work done.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.

Stretch bracelets of stainless steel and sterling silver feature mother of pearl, silver, amethyst and rutilated quartz slides. Suggested retail, $120 each.

Silber's, Houston, TX; (800) 745-2377, www.Silbers.com.

Pure titanium or stainless steel wedding bands are available in varying sizes, with or without diamonds.

Coge Design Group, Dallas, TX; (800) 289-2643 or (972) 713-9927, fax (972) 713-9928, sales@coge.com, www.coge.com.

Boxer cuff links are stainless steel set with 2mm created moissanite.

Charles & Colvard, Morrisville, NC; (919) 468-0399, fax (919) 468-0486.

Titanium bracelet is $250 suggested retail; the matching ring with 0.10-ct. diamond is $400.

Spectore, Deerfield Beach, FL; (954) 481-8422, fax (954) 421-2391.

Titanium wedding bands are available in sizes 6-12.

Rio Grande, Albuquerque, NM; (800) 545-6566 or (800) 253-9738, fax (800) 965-2329, www.riogrande.com, info@riogrande.com.

Mixing stainless steel and 14k gold together gives a modern and masculine look to this line of men’s jewelry. Suggested retail, $128-$256.

Frederic Duclos, Huntington Beach, CA; (714) 898-3636, fax (714) 897-7963, www.fredericduclos.com.

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications