“In This Challenging Economy,
Jewelers Want To Sell Products
That Capture The Consumer’s Jewelry Budget.”
– Bruce Pucciarello
This article first appeared in the jewelry industry trade publication – The Jewelry Book:
There’s no metal that better signifies love and commitment—or strength, purity, luxury and longevity. Since 1975, Platinum Guild International (PGI) has recreated a passion for platinum jewelry by supplying information, practical advice, support and expertise to educate jewelry manufacturers, retailers and consumers about the superior qualities of this metal. As PGI evaluates the market, they get the word out about platinum and help businesses tap the endless power of the platinum brand. PGI-USA has chosen to highlight some of the leading manufacturers of platinum jewelry. For the first in a series about the industry’s most inspired leaders, The Jewelry Book spoke with Bruce Pucciarello of Novell Design Studio.
by Jessica Teisch for The Jewelry Book
Platinum has captivated Bruce Pucciarello, owner of Novell Design Studio, since he was eighteen years old. At that time, he was working at a big New Jersey manufacturer working in the precious stone cutting department, crafting bridal products on the precision-engineered, Swiss machinery. “I liked the designing and technical expertise that go into the manufacture of a quality product,” says Bruce. “It’s a wonderful combination of art and engineering, with always something new to learn.” In 1986, after gaining further experience as a designer and machinist (and following a side career as a professional musician), Bruce joined forces with Victor Novogrodsky and founded Novell Design Studio in New Jersey. Today, Novell, a high quality, made in America jewelry manufacturer specializing in bridal jewelry and bands, is renowned for its flexible customization capabilities.
Novell started to specialize in platinum in 1988—and this metal soon defined the company’s core. Novell first designed some 18 karat gold rings with platinum inserts, which increased the average men’s band profit. “Our retailers liked that and so did we,” says Bruce. “Once we started making jewelry in platinum,” he continues, “there was never a good reason for us to stop.” After two decades of experience, platinum has become the hallmark of Novell’s manufacturing facility. “As we became more adept at working in platinum,” Bruce explains, “we realized that any time we develop a new design or concept, we had to make sure that it works in platinum.” Novell works platinum into every style and discipline, from machine-made to hand crafting and casting. Novell has distinguished itself so greatly in platinum that its craftspeople prefer to work with this metal over any other.
Because of the superior qualities of platinum and its success using it, Novell remains firmly committed to this metal—not only for its purity, durability and strength, but also for the market it continues to generate. “Technology makes platinum more viable than ever,” Bruce explains. “It doesn’t matter whether platinum costs $800 or $2300 an ounce; there’s a strong market for platinum jewelry, especially bridal.” When important retailers respond to consumer’s desire to purchase platinum, they sell more and increase profitability. “In this challenging economy,” Bruce stresses, “retail jewelers need to sell products that capture every penny from a consumer’s jewelry budget.” Platinum, unlike other metals, “helps smart stores get at that profit.” Manufacturers also benefit from platinum sales: they become better manufacturing facilities because they have to improve their overall level of expertise in order to craft finer platinum jewelry.
Bruce finds that with platinum, success and customer satisfaction go hand-in-hand. “As long as we can make available almost any piece of jewelry in any kind of metal, we will continue to lead with platinum,” says Bruce. In this economy, that’s no mean feat. With its cutting-edge technologies and ingenuity, Novell “wrote a new list of rules, Bruce explains, which dispelled many myths about platinum, such as its difficulty to work with and its high cost. All our rules start with the words – we can. . .”
That attitude, Bruce stresses, is key to succeeding in this difficult economy—as are other factors. The new economy will demand better customer service, quality products and a price that makes sense. Bruce sees creating jewelry in platinum as a great foundation for the successful manufacturer in this new business world. Unfortunately, Bruce laments, “there will be no rescue plan for the jewelry industry. We need to work it out”—that is, we must strengthen local American companies and communities, with fair work and fair pay—“and not a bail out.” Instead of the Golden Rule (“he, who makes the gold, makes the rules”), Bruce posits the Platinum Rule as a guiding principle: “He who works effectively, and labors to make a durable product that is also an object of beauty, will thrive. That is the future of American jewelry manufacturing, so he makes the rules. He, who has the platinum, has the tools!” For the jewelry industry, there’s no greater truth for the New Year.