(NEW YORK) - In 2008, Platinum Guild International USA (PGI) expanded its technical education courses and resources due to increased interest and its continued effort to support bench jewelers, retailers and manufacturers working with platinum.
urgen Maerz, master metalergist and Director of Technical Education for PGI, spent the year traveling the world educating jewelers and manufacturers on how to polish their expertise. Maerz also documented his training sessions online so that even more jewelers could learn from his lessons.
Maerz has developed a series of 11 online technical presentations on working with platinum featuring himself alongside other master jewelers (www.benchtelevision.com/affiliates/pgi/index.html). Recent statistics reveal an increased interest in the videos with the webisodes viewed more than 300 times in the past nine months.
Several of these technical videos were also added to YouTube, such as "Platinum Fabrication Techniques" and "Fabricating a 3 Stone Platinum Ring," which were rated 5 out of 5 and watched by more than 570 viewers from around the world.
"We are proud and excited that these videos have been viewed by so many people from around the world," said Maerz. "Technical support in the jewelry industry is growing in popularity and demand because jewelers are seeing direct results as they learn new and creative ways to grow their business."
(PHOTO LEFT:Jurgen Maerz, master metalergist and Director of Technical Education for PGI.)
The year's most exciting technical development is PGI's collaboration with Brad Simon of Bench magazine, a quarterly publication for bench jewelers, to create a new channel on the Bench Television Network - www.benchtelevision.com/affiliates/pgi/index.html.
The "Technical Support" section is the most popular section on PGI's comprehensive website, which features more than 30 informational resources and includes the following tools and tips:
- A Technical "Question and Answer" Forum hosted by Maerz where jewelers can submit questions or read the most frequently asked questions, from platinum casting to sizing and stamping. This page is one of the top ten most visited pages on PGI's website. Maerz personally answers all questions within 24 hours.
- A toll free technical number so that jewelers can speak directly with Maerz and ask their specific questions - (888) 961-7111 .
- A Technical Tip Card Series where jewelers can order a laminated set or download quick-reference tip cards directly onto their computers.
- Technical Instructional videos featuring lessons on working with platinum.
- Technical Articles - a PDF database featuring articles on a wide range of subjects, such as alloys, bench techniques and
manufacturing. The most popular article is currently "Machines, Hands, and Wedding Bands."
Throughout 2008, Maerz also trained 185 bench jewelers at Stuller, Inc., and taught at the 5th annual Bench Jewelers Convention & Expo as well as at the Platinum Technical Road Show.
Courtney Genise and senior goldsmith, Frank Forney, from Mountz Jewelers attended an Advanced Level Bench Seminar and were thrilled with the results. "Maerz and Brad Simon are very knowledgeable, work well together and found interactive ways to maintain our attention and focus. Both of us came away yearning to impart the myriad of tips and techniques to the other jewelers in the company."
PGI plans to expand its technical resources even further in 2009 by including online training for ring sizing, which will offer a certificate upon successful completion of the course.
Take advantage of PGI's wide array of technical offerings by visiting www.platinumguild.com/output/page8.asp, or call Maerz directly at (888) 961-7111 .
For further information please visit www.platinumguild.com.