Designer-makers at Goldsmiths’ Fair report steady business
LONDON, October 2011 – Designer-makers at Goldsmiths’ Fair reported steady business despite volatility in precious metals markets and gloom over the economic outlook.
David Webdale, whose designs mainly in silver combine elegance and danger, and are inspired by his fascination for the natural defences of flora and fauna, said business was solid and cautious as visitors to the fair would choose an item, go away and think about it, and return later to purchase.
David Marshall at Goldsmiths’ Fair 2011
Top-tier designer David Marshall, who works with gold, platinum, diamonds and gemstones, also reported strong consumer interest in his pieces this week.
“People think carefully about what they are buying at this level,” he said.
Marshall said the latest surge in the premium of gold prices to platinum to around $100 an ounce was unlikely to affect his strategic design decisions.
“Platinum is heavier than gold, and processing costs are higher. Design is all about the weight and feel of the piece. So in the end the premium price may make little difference,” he said.
Goldsmiths’ Fair 2011
In the last week of September, gold prices traded at a $100 premium to platinum after hitting parity with the white metal for the first time in 2-1/2 years in August, as concerns over the economic outlook hurt industrial precious metals while lifting bullion.
The gold:platinum ratio, or the number of platinum ounces needed to buy an ounce of gold, reached 1.06, its highest since 1991.
Marshall said despite the increased premium of gold prices over platinum, many final consumers of jewellery would continue to opt for gold because they would see it as a proven store of value.
Another participant at the Goldsmiths’ Fair, Tommy White, representing designer Bobby White, said a new Bobby White collection called Star Cross’d Lovers, would for the first time feature silver predominantly, in part due to silver’s accessibility to consumers as the gold price surged.
The Star Cross’d Lovers collection, on display at the Goldsmiths’ Fair, is inspired by the romantic story of Romeo and Juliet.