Professional Jeweler Archive: Aurafin Debuts Soft GoldĒ

April 2004

Precious Metals/Metalsmithing


Aurafin Debuts Soft Gold™

Company aims to make gold jewelry a fashionable, aspirational product once again


Michael Gusky, chairman and CEO of Aurafin OroAmerica, believes in the concept of “disruptive innovation,” whereby a groundbreaking new product or idea makes previous incarnations obsolete. With his new Soft Gold™ jewelry made from silky karat gold threads, he hopes to bury the notion of gold jewelry as a commodity and replace it with the image of gold jewelry as an aspirational product. “Runway fashion shows used to regularly ask for gold jewelry, but that stopped about five years ago,” he says. “I want fashion-conscious women to aspire to wear gold again.”

The Soft Gold jewelry he plans to wow the world with was a dream in the making for seven years. It began on a visit to northern Italy, where he was fascinated with how fine fabrics such as silk were made. Thinking like a 21st century couturier, Gusky envisioned turning gold into thread and then creating mind-bending jewelry and other products with it. The result: Soft Gold.

The new product, which debuts this spring, begins with a microsheet of gold wrapped around proprietary microfiber strands thinner than a human hair. The resulting threads of gold are woven into gold jewelry fabric, from which Soft Gold jewelry is created. The technique is already covered by a patent in Italy and has a patent pending in the U.S. Though the core of the threads is a microfiber, the jewelry assays above plumb gold (the jewelry will be available in 14k and 18k), and the company can guarantee the karatage stamped into each piece.

Soft Gold comes in various weaves that result in different patterns and textures. The looks are as different as the Soft Gold knot necklace that appears on Professional Jeweler’s cover this month and the necklace and bracelet shown here. Aurafin has even made pieces as unusual as woven gold purses. The jewelry can be ornamented with gems and beads. While it has great softness and other tactile qualities, the jewelry is strong and needs only the same care as any type of gold jewelry. It won’t stand up to traditional torch flame methods of repair, but Aurafin OroAmerica is equipped to make any needed repairs with laser welders.

Though plans were still being finalized at press time, Aurafin OroAmerica is aiming designer-branded 18k Soft Gold styles at upper-level department stores and fine jewelers. The 14k pieces probably will sell at chain jewelers and midlevel department stores. Soft Gold jewelry is $250-$5,000 suggested retail.

u Aurafin OroAmerica, Tamarac, FL; (800) 327-1808, www.aurafin.com.

– by Peggy Jo Donahue

Scrunch necklace is part of the Soft Gold Collection.
Soft Gold couture-style bracelet features pavé diamonds and blue topaz.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications