Is white gold really hot?


or company but I wish I did! The platinum/sterling alloys work like
14K yellow gold and are strong enough to hold up over time. 

Problem is, most weddings don’t hold up over time !

Actually, I have found several places that do sell silver wedding
bands, and they are great just as shanks of different widths to use
for building whatever strikes your fancy on top. I’ll bet more
jewelers buy them for that purpose than for wedding rings - at the
moment anyway.

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers


Let me explain - at the moment I’m an Internet seller. I don’t have
a bricks and mortar store and I don’t think I ever want one. I am
interested in creating “art jewelry” - one-offs totally off the top
of my head, whatever I want to do, the sky’s the limit - but no
commissions (not yet at least), and no wedding stuff. It’s just not
the market I want to address. It’s already flooded anyway, between
chain stores, big box department stores, large independent jewelers,
etc. I can’t compete with those people because I don’t have the
buying power, so I have no intention of trying. Everywhere you go
there are cases and cases full of wedding/engagement pieces. Who
would look at mine ? Without name recognition for what I create
probably no one will. So I’ll do what I like, what makes me happy,
and what I already have found out that I can sell. What more do I
need ?

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers


I am a little surprised that you are an internet only seller and you
do not place a tag for your website on the bottom of your emails.

Greg DeMark
If You Like Antique, Vintage or Custom Jewelry
Visit us on the web at:

Not yet but soon they could be... I just have to pop in here to
talk about the platinum/sterling alloys. I don't own stock in the
product or company but I wish I did! The platinum/sterling alloys
work like 14K yellow gold and are strong enough to hold up over
time. You could make wedding ring from these alloys. Plus they are
naturally white, bright white, and resist tarnish six times better
than standard sterling. You got to try these alloys. They can be
cast like gold would be, no special crucibles or torches. They can
be engraved and bright set. When working with them it feels like
working karated gold. And they cost at a quarter of the cost of

Nanz, what exactly does “resist tarnish six times better than
standard sterling” mean? How many times better than standard sterling
does white gold resist tarnish? How about platinum? What is the
standard unit of “tarnish resistance”? This sounds a lot like a
puffed press release from a hopeful manufacturer, not an objective
recommendation. What is the formulation for this alloy? If it only
costs 1/4 the price of white gold, shouldn’t it be called a
silver/platinum alloy, since the vast majority must be silver instead
of platinum?

Sorry for all of the negative questions, but, you know, if it sounds
too good, etc.

Lee Cornelius
Vegas Jewelers


Go to any mall and all of the commercial jewelers have cases chock
full of wedding items. Why try to compete with that ? I want to
create one-off "art jewelry", 

If you are doing one-off art jewelry you aren’t competing with the
malls. They have commercial stuff. There is nothing wrong with
selling “one-off art wedding bands”. And there is a lot of money to
be made at it as well. Our business got off the ground 25 years ago
specifically because we offered wedding bands/jewelry that didn’t
look like anything commercially available at the time. Not all
wedding jewelry incorporates diamonds either. (However while
“diamonds may be as common as coal” it takes a whole lot more to get
them out of the ground than it does coal.)

Problem is, most weddings don't hold up over time ! 

Oh hooey! While the divorce rate has skyrocketed in this country,
over time “most” weddings don’t end that way. And I’ve got news for
you. If you sell someone a wedding band when you’re just starting out
it may not seem like much. But when they come back in for their 5th,
10th, 25th anniversaries for presents that often have absolutely
nothing to do with wedding jewelry you begin to realize how important
it is to start creating these relationships with customers when they
are beginning their own new lives. Sure some of those bands you sell
may end up part of a divorce settlement but the number that lead to
more of your “art jewelry” sales are going to be far larger.

Everywhere you go there are cases and cases full of
wedding/engagement pieces. Who would look at mine ? 

The same people who would look at your art jewelry of course! If you
are driving people to your website to look at your other stuff they
would see the wedding bands too. Do you think you can’t sell
something interesting for a wedding band too? I sell unique wedding
bands every week. Sure I sell some basic stuff too (it sure helps pay
the rent) but my whole business is based on the fact that I offer a
unique product.

As an aside, I have just done a web search on both Yahoo and Google
under “Vassar Jewelers” and you aren’t showing up anywhere. You might
want to look at how you’re marketing yourself a little.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

At this point, I don't do anything custom, just what I want to
build, and I work only with colored I really don't
like/can't afford diamonds right now (I've never liked diamonds -
they're as common as coal) so I don't work with them. I'm not sure
I want to do custom or commission work. It's just not my game plan.
That may change with time, but I need my business to evolve
further first. 

Brian, if you dislike diamonds because of their “common-ness”, you
should down-right HATE just about all colored stones, the lower
qualities of which are incredibly common, generally worthless, and
used as driveway gravel around the world. How many kilotons of junk
rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, garnets, tourmalines, etc.,
etc., etc., would you like to buy for a few dollars a pound? Shipping
kind of eats into the profits, but these materials are far more
common than diamonds at the mine sites. Attractive diamonds are also
much more scarce than any of the normally commercially available
jewelry quality colored stones.

How about silver? Pretty loathsome stuff, with an estimated
534,130,000 ounces mined in the year 2000 alone. I’m sure you
wouldn’t want to debase your art by contaminating it with such a
common material.

You consider yourself to be an artist - I am sorry to tell you, but
a great artist can find beauty and meaning in not only the most rare,
but also the most common of objects. As it is, your self-imposed
limits serve as blinders to a much wider world of art full of passion
and wonder, innocence and beauty, life and spiritual growth. I
sincerely hope that you can one day fully experience that world.

Lee Cornelius
Vegas Jewelers

Richard…Couldn’t have said it better myself ! It is not about
the money and it is not about your artistic ego…it is about
delivering a product that binds people together and makes them happy
as opposed to ripping them off with a shoddy piece of scanty goods.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing peoples eyes light up
while they squeal delight. It is time that we see customers as
partners in our businesses as opposed to viewing them as prey to be

Our customers are nothing less than an expanded family. I am tickled
to death when each day they come in with their little gifts.
Yesterday one customer came in with two dozen eggs from her range
run chickens. Then another couple came in with a beautiful old satin
box containing a set of sterling filigree nut cups, an antique purple
glass door knob and a hundred year old purple ink bottle ( hand blown
) Today one party came in with a bag of freshly picked garden
produce. Another person came in with a collection of magazines that I
like to read and another came in with a bag of avocados from her back
yard tree. Tomorrow a customer is taking us to lunch at a gourmet
restaurant in Cambria. We are extremely rich with love from our
extended family AND we have a job box filled with orders; as a matter
of fact, we are now doing december levels of business ! I only wish
that I could get the work out on a more timely basis. Life is good
inspite of the fact that man is destroying his cradle. As I look back
I can truthfully say that I have enjoyed the best of it !

Ron Mills, Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.

Our customers are nothing less than an expanded family. I am
tickled to death when each day they come in with their little
gifts. Yesterday one customer came in... 

Even here in South Florida where people aren’t generally known to be
of the “sharing” type, similar things happen to me. A few days ago, a
friend came in to the store accompanied by his date. This lovely
woman had recently gotten her navel pierced, and the piercer had
installed a white gold curved barbell which was beginning to cause a
dermatitis reaction (possibly from nickel in the alloy). Many of you
know that I had been a professional tattoo artist and piercer for
quite some time, but neither of them knew. I haven’t done either for
many years, but I still have all my equipment (some of it is WWII
vintage, and quite collectible). I asked her to come in the
following day because I have something that can help.

When I saw her the next day, I removed the white gold barbell and
inserted a stainless steel captive bead hoop and explained to her
that the stainless is hypo-allergenic, and the hoop will allow her to
keep it much cleaner than the short barbell. As I’m no longer a
professional piercer and did not do the piercing, I refused any
payment as the jewelry is a mere token. I told her she could buy me a
drink next time she came to the bar next door (not exactly cheap, as
I only drink single malt, when I drink at all).

As it turns out, she is the comptroller for a fairly upscale seafood
(my favorite!) restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. Just yesterday I
received a $50 gift certificate to Old Florida Seafood Restaurant
with her signature on it. I’m sure that for her, it is also a mere
token (she is, after all, the comptroller), but as she also digs
jewelry, I believe I’ve made a customer for life. Better, I think
I’ve also made a friend and new member of my expanded jewelry family.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL

Hi Brian

I want to create one-off “art jewelery”, and I consider most wedding
jewelery to be somewhat limited in its variations.

I suppose that I could be called an art jeweler. Namely, I design,
manufacture and retail only my own designs. And 95% of my income is
derived from those designs. The other 5% is wedding stuff and repairs
and the like.

That said, were I not in a pure tourist position and people came to
me often for wedding stuff, I would certainly not disregard that
avenue. Many years ago I did have a shop with bridal jewellery as an
option and I found that after you have made the wedding set for the
couple, they mostly remain your customer and/or friends. Then when a
birthday or Xmas comes up she or he come to you to make something of
your design for the occasion. They show your creation around,
including the wedding set and with luck the friends come to buy your
own art designs.

However, Sometimes it’s hard to spend many hours on a piece, keeping
focus on the fact: That It Is For Sure Is Going to SELL. Then you put
it in the window, someone looks at it… and asks, “Do you have any
real jewelry”? yeah mon, as in bridal stuff…A thin skin is not an

The opposite is the many people who become your friends after they
buy your jewellery and they buy what you like to make. I have on some
occasions reached the ‘perfect plateau’ in terms of ‘jewellery art’.
(To me, anyway) That is: Your art output makes you enough money to
expand your complexity of your work and you can afford a good
lifestyle. You are comfortable I also have been at the place where I
had black coffee because I could not afford the milk. This was a good
thing, because the memories of no money always remain needle sharp.
Then you sell some things and then more designs have to come from
you. These designs have to be made, finished, and presented and.
um.Paid For. One cushion is to have a bread and butter line, as in
stock you made that is OK to duplicate, like dolphins, sea-horses, and
real jewellery stuff. And a bricks and mortar shop helps too. It goes
without say that they are original pieces of yours you are

But your real jewellery art work cannot be duplicated by yourself
over and over… It has to be on the edge, new for you…
And…preferably experimental… All the time.

I know of many good goldsmiths that make very good ‘art jewellery’.
So me of those metal smiths have only one problem. They do not
consistently produce new designs that are translated into real
physical pieces, for sale, now and in your hand…Confidence in what
you are making for sale and that it will sell, is one of the most
difficult parts an artist has to overcome initially, especially when
you need money to pay for milk. And in a way, jewellery is much less
important than milk.

But it becomes easier the more you practice design and produce those
designs, refine them and then sell them… And to sell them, that is
the only real thing, in the end…

Wedding sets are things I often long for. So easy to make pretty and
so much loved by two people.

Art jewellery, on the other hand, is a little bit like the Chinese?
saying, “be careful for what you wish for, it might come true.”

Cheers, Hans Meevis

Last time I asked ABI about hardness numbers they could not give
them to me. As for tarnish resistance there are no standardized
tests. The lab tests that are done are typically unique to the lab
doing them and do not take into account things like abrasive wear
which removes heat generated protective oxides and other anti
tarnish films once the item is worn. There is an awful lot of
hyperbole about these new alloys and little or no independent
testing being published.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


Speaking for us here at PMWest, I can confirm that white gold sales
are healthy as can be. We sell hundreds of thousands of ounces of
alloy for nickel white. We are seeing a shift to palladium for custom
work, and for those applications where the extra cost of the
palladium is acceptable.-

Of course white gold is just one aspect of the strong white look in
general. Platinum sales are hurt by price far more than any shift in
the fashion sense I believe. If we can believe some strong anedotal
reports-Silver may be benefiting by its recent increase. This has
sparked renewed consumer interst.

Which brings up a related point- The US FTC needs to address the
stamping laws. It has been a long time since any adjustment was made
apart from platinum.

Several devout Orchid contributors and I have discussed this.

Now that we have two tone (two or more like Mokume Gane) jewelry
that is made with different precious metals- The stamping
"guidelines" are behind. We should have a rational way to acknowlege
all the precious metals used. Woven gold and platinum, alloys of
interesting content-Like palladium white gold, Mokume, all are held
back by the lack of adequate stamping. Just mentioning the gold or
just the platinum literally sells us short.

Truly profound style and beauty can be found in this artistic
direction. Why o not encourage this by improving the stamping

Tell what you think… We will have an informal meeting on this at

Daniel Ballard

Dear Lee,

in response to your question: what exactly does “resist tarnish six
times better than standard sterling” mean?

The statistics where compiled by independent metallurgical
laboratories and the American Assay and Gemological Office. I do not
have access to the actual testing facilities nor their reporting
procedures. But, I was given test results for the article I wrote. The
standard test for tarnish-resistance is to take identical size and
gauge samples of different metals and put them in identical exposure
tanks or controlled environments, exposing the metals to identical
amounts of tarnish causing chemicals. Then the accumulation of
tarnish on each sample would be timed and measured.

For example: If it took a standard sterling silver sample 6 hours to
become completely tarnished. Theoretically, it would have taken the
platinum sterling sample 36 hours to become completely tarnished.

As a jeweler, you should already know that neither gold nor platinum
tarnish, that is why goldsmith’s value them so highly. The point is,
white gold is not truly white it is a pale yellow color, it will
discolor although that is not referred to as tarnish, it is hard and
brittle, and it causes allergic reactions in many people. All
negative features, that have caused many a jeweler’s head and hands
to ache over the years.

Platinum is wonderful for jewelry (my personal favorite) but is too
expensive for many customers and too demanding to work properly for
many goldsmiths. My recommendation is not objective, not in the
least, it is my enthusiastically positive opinion about a relatively
new alloy that I have enjoyed working with and see as an easily
workable and economically viable alternative.

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228


I alloy my own gold,… This has given me an idea to use pink and
red gold together.

every time I read your posts I'm anxious to find a link at the
bottom to see pictures of your work. More than ever after this
post! Is there such a place? 

I just had pictures professionally done and will be posting on the
Orchid gallery soon. I believe it gets mentioned on this forum when
someone posts new pictures. I am really happy with what I am doing,
and this is a good time for me to share.

Thank you for inquiring.
Richard Hart