With gold prices hitting $1800 an ounce, the metal’s popularity as an investment has had a notable affect on its role as an embellishment. Basically, it’s become expensive to the point that jewelers are re-thinking their designs, prioritizing stones and using different materials, in order to create styles they can still offer at consistent price points.
The price hike is affecting independent designers and fashion’s major players. The Financial Times cites the French jeweler Marie-Helene de Taillac, who started using more gems instead of gold beginning last year, and has looked into incorporating offbeat materials like rock crystal into her designs. The veteran accessories house Bulgari, meanwhile, is keeping the details vague but also noted in the FT that they’ve increased their focus on different materials.
Theories about the correlation between hem length and the economy aside, who says the markets don’t directly affect fashion? This is an unexpected, if funny, way for investors to influence designers. Now we’ll just wait for the study to come out that shows a sudden spike in the sale of platinum engagement rings.