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Articles from STERLING SILVER JEWELLERY (863 Articles), GOLD JEWELLERY (681 Articles), RINGS - ENGAGEMENT (220 Articles)

Peter W Beck
Peter W Beck
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White metal trends from overseas

What's happening in white metals in faraway lands.

Overseas jewellery trade shows and red carpet looks have an influence on what's being worn here. And, there's a myriad of styles filtering through from afar.

Tiffany and Co. remains the overseas brand consumers wish to emulate for engagement rings, according to Brisbane jewellery supplier Marion Schweitzer: "Tiffany and Co seems to be the leader with their designs and have had a real influence with their traditional styles."

Clicking onto its website, the images of engagement rings that flash up are signature Tiffany - think Lucida and Etoile cuts - and, for white metal lovers, white gold and platinum are favourite at the jeweller to the stars.

Celebrity brides are reflecting this trend when tying the knot - US pop singer Ashlee Simpson's antique Asscher-cut diamond ring from Pete Wentz and fellow pop queen Mariah Carey's 15-carat diamond cluster from rapper Nick Cannon were both set in white metal. And, celebrity imitations are quick to spring up on websites, such as hollywoodstyle.com.au and emitations.com, though using cheaper materials.

Another celebrity style filtering through to the consumer is a wristful of silver bracelets. Sydney jewellery supplier Monique Parkinson, who distributes silver brand Muru, is employing the look: "We're doing beaded bracelets in sterling silver, with 10 to 15 being able to be worn together at a time - some with charms."

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Then there's Bling Strings, Muru's rhinestone-studded bra straps - also using a nickel-free base metal.

Recent increases in the price of white gold and platinum have priced some consumers right out of the market, and jewellers scrambling for alternatives are filling the gap with palladium.

"The Palladium Alliance International, the industry proponent of the white metal, estimates that more than 25 jewellery companies have begun using palladium in the fine fashion jewellery category, in addition to bridal," US magazine Modern Jeweler reported in a recent issue.

Still, Barry Sadlier, head metallurgist at Sydney custom casting service Palloys, says more consumer education is needed before the trend is fully felt here: "Palladium certainly got a mention when gold or platinum prices went up and people were looking for an alternative. But, unless there's a marketing exercise done by the retail trade, consumers don't understand.

"Palladium is a lot lighter," Sadlier adds, "and, for consumers, the thinking is 'If it's heavy, it must be good', as is the case for platinum."










ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carla Caruso • Journalist
Carla Caruso has been a jewellery junkie for as long as she can remember, has covered the Vicenza gold fair in Italy and one day hopes to pen a novel about all that glitters. She has been a freelance contributor to Jeweller since 2005.
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