Precious Metals in the Era of COVID-19: Still a Safe Haven, but with New Applications
(22 September, 2021) The third of this year’s CIBJO commissions’ Special Reports has been released, prepared by the CIBJO Precious Metals Commission, headed by Huw Daniel, the report reviews the year in the gold, platinum, palladium and silver markets and looks at how they fared in a world economy in the shadow of a pandemic.
“In many ways the pandemic has simply accentuated the roles these metals have always played in providing a safe haven to investors,” Mr. Daniel wrote. “Yet, we also see new trends emerging in new applications, with new gold and platinum jewellery alloys that are pushing the boundaries of design, ensuring their precious allure will continue to capture the eyes and hearts of a new generation of consumers.”
In general, all four precious metal markets experienced robust sales, with prices rebounding from the lows they had experienced during the disruptive turmoil of 2020. Because all four metals are considered safe haven investment assets, they experienced what appeared to be a temporary dip in value following a meeting in July of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), where the possibility of tapering, or a reduction in the pace of monthly bond purchases, was discussed.
A clear factor in creating robust market conditions was the strong recovery in jewellery demand, and innovation in the development of new products and the savvy use of social media marketing. The result of these innovations in China, writes Mr. Daniel, “has been to revitalize sales of pure gold (23 and 24 karat) at the expense of 18K gold, as new levels of hardness permit greater design innovation at these more attractive purity levels.”
The CIBJO Precious Metals Commission President also noted a growing tendency by both government and NGOs to maintain close scrutiny over supply chain integrity. He points to the upcoming review of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission of its Green Guides, scheduled for next year. “The Green Guides regulate environmental claims made across industries, not just in jewellery – and the FTC’s revision process will be the source of any changes it makes going forward,” he notes.
CIBJO congresses serve as the official gathering place for the World Jewellery Confederation’s global membership, and are also the venue for the annual meetings of CIBJO’s sectoral commissions, where amendments can be introduced to the organisation’s definitive directories of international industry standards for diamonds, coloured stones, pearls, gem labs, precious metals, coral and responsible sourcing, known as the Blue Books.
The CIBJO Congress is also where the programme of World Jewellery Confederation Education Foundation (WJCEF), relating to responsible and sustainable activities in the industry and CIBJO’s ongoing cooperation with the United Nations and its development programme is reported upon.
Read the full report HERE.