(LAS VEGAS)- Platinum Guild International (PGI-USA) announced Designs by Vatché was among its first group of winners of the Platinum Innovation Challenge. The contest was PGI’s latest initiative to broaden access to platinum jewelry at retail, by promoting creative design in the new entry platinum category.
Participants were judged in five separate categories, and their designs were evaluated according to originality, creativity, quality, wearability and innovation within the specified price category. The winners included the following designers, divided by contest category:
- Entry Platinum Engagement Ring under $2,500 retail (semi-mounts) - Designs by Vatché: “Jennifer” platinum semi-mount engagement ring featuring diamonds around the head and shank (.40 ct. tw), $2,500 (suggested retail price)
- Entry Platinum Wedding Bands under $1,500 retail (men’s or women’s) - True Knots: Platinum men’s 5mm platinum wedding band, $998 (suggested retail price)
- Entry Platinum Fashion under $2,500 (pendants, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, brooches, etc.) - Uneek: Platinum “snowflake” pendant with round diamonds (.30 ct. tw) on a platinum chain, $1,995 (suggested retail price)
- Entry Platinum Color under $2,500 (bridal or fashion featuring colored gemstones) - Benchmark: Platinum men’s 8.5mm wedding band with pave set black diamonds wrapped around a satin-finish concave design, $2,200 (suggested retail price)
- Platinum Fashion over $2,500 (pendants, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, brooches, etc.) - Steven Kretchmer: Platinum “Mini Infinity” bracelet with 23 tension set diamonds, the most tension set stones in a single piece of jewelry, $30,200 (suggested retail price)
“At Designs by Vatché, one of our tried and proven techniques has been to listen to our customers’ needs. They, in the end, are the driving force behind sales, and through face to face conversations, blogs and several forums we achieve a sense of what our clients require in the marketplace,” said John Preziose, COO of Designs by Vatché. “Our customers have been looking for a unique platinum look, somewhat diamond intensive and affordable. The ‘Jennifer’ is the product of this feedback which has been the driving force behind Vatché’s design.”
One of the judges, Heather Levine, Fashion and Beauty Editor of bridal publication, The Knot, was excited to view the contest submissions, and she believes new entry platinum lines will be welcome news to many of her publication’s readers.
Levine stated, “I was so excited by the large selection of affordable platinum pieces! The designs were innovative, refreshing and, of course, totally stunning. I know that Knotties with entry level budgets will be excited to hear that they can shop for platinum!”