>> Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Wright & Lato, champion of 585 platinum, a “14 karat” alloy of 58.5 percent platinum and base metals, was acquired by Novell Design Studio after filing for bankruptcy under Chaper 11. Novell, which has been filling orders for Wright & Lato since November, acquired the company’s assets, customer list, and intellectual property. Although Novell will keep the Wright & Lato brand name, it has no interest in continuing Wright & Lato’s line of 585 platinum jewelry. The high price of platinum has led many in the jewelry industry to seek alternatives, including new whiter alloys of gold, palladium, and platinum alloys with platinum group metals (which are less controversial than the base metal alloy promoted by Wright & Lato since they are already included in FTC marking rules.) So far, palladium has picked up the most converts since this platinum group metal is similar in appearance to platinum but much lighter as well as much less per ounce, resulting in much more affordable jewelry even in 900 and 950 alloys. Without the support of Wright & Lato, 585 platinum seems unlikely to pick up any market share.