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Friday, October 23, 2020

The Plumb Club and F.I.T. Launch Internship and Mentoring Program

The Plumb Club is pleased to announce a new, first-of-its-kind program designed exclusively for students from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) who are enrolled in the college’s Jewelry Design program.

The program provides students with a variety of opportunities to gain an in-depth understanding of the jewelry industry via The Plumb Club Member companies including mentoring, internships, and significant exposure to potential employers via profiles in The Plumb Club publications and touchpoints. In addition, students will explore employment opportunities via an annual Plumb Club/FIT career day (live or virtual), and participate in an initiative that will reward three top-ranking graduating students with an immersive experience at The Plumb Club Pavilion at JCK Las Vegas, the jewelry industry’s premier trade show, creating exciting opportunities for industry exposure and networking.

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with FIT on this initiative”, said Michael Lerche, President of The Plumb Club. “The students who attend FIT’s Jewelry Design program represent the future of this industry. Working with them is one more step in fulfilling The Plumb Club’s vision of shaping our industry by fueling a student’s passion for a jewelry career, while also exposing our member companies to some of the brightest minds and creative new talent available.”

“As career preparation is central to a FIT education, we are thrilled to now offer students this unique opportunity for experiential learning with The Plumb Club’s member companies,” added Michael Coan, assistant professor, Jewelry Design at FIT. “Exposure to this esteemed group will be of immense value to our students.

The program was conceived and developed by Michael Coan and Michael O’Connor, Marketing Director for The Plumb Club and former FIT alumnus. The program kicked-off with the fall 2020 semester at FIT.

About The Plumb Club
Founded in 1983 by a small group of distinguished manufacturers as a social club, The Plumb Club has evolved into one of the jewelry industry's leading supplier organizations. The Plumb Club is a unique coalition of leading and important suppliers spanning all facets of the jewelry, diamond and watch industries. The Plumb Club is an organization of suppliers whose purpose is to connect its members and their customers and help shape the future of the jewelry industry. The Plumb Club is a responsible supply side organization recognized for leadership, adding value, and positively impacting the jewelry industry. For more information, please visit

Friday, October 23, 2020

PGI-Commissioned Study Insights Into Customers’ Concerns Over COVID-19

In September 2020, Platinum Guild International USA commissioned 360 Market Reach to conduct a jewelry buying study. Within the study, researchers specifically looked at the future intent of consumers for the upcoming holiday shopping season and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus group was comprised of 1,000 U.S. consumers age 18 to 64, who have or would be open to acquiring fine jewelry, defined as jewelry costing at least $1,000 made with precious metal.

One of the key findings from the study was that half of all millennials and Gen Z consumers are likely to shop for fine jewelry this holiday season. This is significantly stronger than among older generations.

When specifically asked about the effects of the pandemic, only a small percentage of respondents cited concern over COVID-19 when planning their holiday shopping. 64% of respondents felt ‘completely’ or ‘mostly comfortable’ to shop in-store.

Across all age groups, 87% of respondents planned to shop in-store for jewelry, with the majority of shoppers looking to support local and independent retailers. In addition to their in-store shopping, 70% of respondents said they would also be shopping online, with a third selecting national chains’ websites as their go-to.

When asked specifically what jewelers can do to make the in-store experience less stressful and shoppers more comfortable, there was a resounding call for both employees and customers to be required to wear masks at all times. Masks were followed by a limitation of the number of customers in-store at one time and the strict enforcing of social distancing measures. Providing hand sanitzer upon entry also scored high marks from consumers.

PGI-Commissioned Study Insights Into Customers’ Concerns Over COVID-19  PGI new survey oct 2020-60

The research also reinforced the importance of retailers’ continued active communication with their consumers. Using e-blasts, social media channels and even direct mail, retailers should share key messaging that they are open, can offer a safe shopping environment or a seamless virtual experience, for those clients who opt to shop from home.

About Platinum Guild International
Founded in 1975, Platinum Guild International (PGI) is the world’s leading authority on the platinum jewelry industry and is dedicated to creating, expanding and strengthening consumer and trade markets for platinum jewelry. PGI has specialist teams dedicated to raising awareness of platinum jewelry, developing demand for platinum jewelry through consumer and trade facing programs in the four key jewelry markets of China, India, Japan and USA. For more information, please visit

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