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Lettter from the Editor

By Amber Michelle
Keeping track of precious metals prices over the past several months has been enough to give one whiplash as prices go up, up and up yet again. Platinum is approaching $1,800 an ounce, gold has passed $1,400 and even silver — always the inexpensive metal — has seen a price hike, so that it now stands above $30 an ounce. These ever-rising metals prices are both a blessing and a curse for the industry. On the one hand, the higher precious metals prices make jewelry seem more valuable and more important. They reinforce the notion that jewelry goes beyond personal adornment and is a store of value as well. The news may not be as happy for bridal goods. It seems that metals prices have increased the mounting cost so much that in order to adhere to a budget, couples are purchasing a smaller center stone. In the fashion arena, some predict that yellow gold will become more important again. Consumers in the U.S. will want to wear yellow gold so that everyone knows it is really gold; it will be a way of showing wealth. Designers are faced with the challenge of creating fabulous new looks at attractive price points, using a medium that is becoming increasingly costly — a factor that may move other lesser known precious metals, such as palladium, more to the forefront. No matter what sector of the industry, it appears that precious metals prices will drive the trade overall to be more creative and resourceful than ever before.

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