WGC Shines Up Italian Gold

December 9, 2003

WGC Shines Up Italian Gold

The World Gold Council unveiled its newest collection and marketing initiative, "Gold Expressions," aimed at bolstering the global market for Italian-made gold jewelry.

Following its formal launch in January 2004 at the Vicenza Fair, Gold Expressions will be introduced during the year to retail buyers in the U.S., China, India and the Middle East.

Andrea Turcato, managing director of the Vicenza Fair, which cosponsored today's launch in New York City, says the initiative comes at a time when Italian gold exports are under increasing pressure from unfavorable exchange rates, increased competition from low-cost producers and steadily rising gold prices.

The Gold Expressions collections include more than 400 pieces of gold jewelry, many on view today. These collections are the result of eight months of product development by a group of 54 Italian manufacturers. To ensure the designs were relevant to consumers in key markets, manufacturers were provided with extensive research involving more than 5,000 gold jewelry consumers in the U.S., China, India, Europe and the Middle East.

John Calnon, international jewelry director for WGC, says the Italian experience is one that will surely face other Western gold-producing nations, including the U.S, as the effects of a free market, constantly fluctuating exchange rates and the search for cheaper manufactured goods continues.

"Although the Council promotes gold in all forms and all markets and it does not discriminate from country to country, we freely acknowledge Italy as the center for innovation and excellence in gold jewelry design," he says. "A robust Italian gold jewelry business is critical to the growth of global gold consumption. Gold Expressions is a significant event not only for Italy, but for the gold industry as a whole."

by Michael Thompson

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