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Yossi Harari, Slane Bet on Silver

Two fine jewelry lines have produced an intelligent response to gold’s soaring prices: unveiling collections predominantly comprised of sterling silver.

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WWD A issue 02/06/2012

Two fine jewelry lines have produced an intelligent response to gold’s soaring prices: unveiling collections predominantly comprised of sterling silver.

This story first appeared in the February 6, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Yossi Harari’s new silver range offers an alternative to his 24-karat gold pieces, giving customers the same aesthetic they’ve come to expect from the designer — but at a 10th of the price of his original line.

“It made [the] most sense for us to use sterling silver,” he said. “We are making Yossi jewelry accessible to more people, bringing the overall average price point down while adding a fresh new way to wear the collection.”

Harari introduced “gilver” — a term he trademarked for the unique alloy made from mixing predominantly silver with a small amount of gold, which is then oxidized.

The designer also uses amber, sapphire, turquoise, lapis, onyx, as well as white and cognac diamonds — full and rose cut. He expects this will add 20 percent growth to his overall wholesale business.

“The oxidized metal gave an edgy feel to the pieces and opened up a whole new audience and clientele,” he said. “We have done well with the contrasted pieces, and the added depth in metalwork ultimately pushed me to explore other options, thus arriving at this sterling silver collection. [It] is inherently lighter in feel and tone, adding a fresh layer to my jewelry.”

The earrings, necklaces, wrap necklaces, chain links, cuffs and bangles will be available at Bergdorf Goodman and Stanley Korshak, starting this spring at $180 to $6,000.

Slane — the fine jewelry collection founded 15 years ago by sisters Heath and Landon Slane — will unveil the Aura collection, a range of 18-karat gold overlay on fully recycled sterling silver.

Most often used in luxury timepiece making, the three- to five-micron gold overlay is paired with silver to preserve the integrity of the line’s handmade pieces.

Priced significantly lower than the brand’s gold collection, which ranges from $800 to $16,000, the 100-piece group of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, cuffs and rings retails from $650 to $4,900 — about 20 to 30 percent more than its sterling silver line.

“Aura was really created based on a need we felt existed in the bridge category between designer and fine jewelry. We see [this] as part of designer jewelry, but creating a more affordable price point. It offers a big gold look over our fine sterling silver jewelry,” Landon Slane said. “The response has been surprising. The customer really wants that bold look and [we’re able to] make it approachable. This attracts a different collector to Slane.”

The line will be carried at Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, Schiffman’s, Carats Fine Jewelry and Fink’s Jewelers.

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