Metals company will no longer supply multiples with finished jewels.

By Kathryn Bishop & Rachael Taylor

Birmingham-based Cookson Precious Metals, part of the Cookson Group, has announced that it will cease supplying its multiple retail partners with third-party finished jewellery products.


Cookson released a short statement last month regarding the changes. It read: “On Monday September 10th Cookson Precious Metals – Retail, commenced discussions with their Retail Multiple partners about their intended withdrawal from supplying them with third party product from the end of 2012.”

As a result, the distribution of jewellery products bought from third-party suppliers by Cookson for its UK multiple retail partners will cease in the coming months.

Michael Donaldson, Cookson’s commercial director for retail, told Professional Jeweller that the decision was one based on several factors and should enable the business to shift focus on what it does best and new areas of interest.

Donaldson outlined that Cookson’s decision factored in issues such as the market decline in precious metal jewellery, something he said is highlighted by the evident changes in hallmarking figures over the past decade, global over capacity in the marketplace of jewellery suppliers and changes in retailer and consumer demand for brands and fashion-led jewellery, which Donaldson described as “not one of our core strengths.”

It is believed that Cookson has supplied TV shopping channels, buying groups and wholesalers as part of its retail business sector. Cookson is now set to wind down the product that it has previously bought in from third party suppliers.

Donaldson says he has spoken personally with every single multiple retailer that Cookson has worked with to ensure that the changes happen smoothly. Cookson is also working to ensure all of its multiple retail partners are supplied through to the year end and have orders met or otherwise fulfilled.

The company’s precious metals division says it will now shift focus to strengthen areas of its business that perform well and will build on new opportunities. Donaldson said that Cookson has recently appeared at the Hong Kong jewellery show where it showcased its new Laser Sintering technology.

He added that Cookson will continue to supply its own in-house products and services including wedding rings, semi-finished materials such as ring shanks, signet rings and bangles, and dental products.

Cookson will also continue to offer scrap purchasing and will push its Laser Sintering technology, which works to fuse powdered metals, plastics, ceramics and glass in layers to create a 3D objects.

The company also recently invested in its bead offer, expanding to offer more than 2,500 beading products and tools such as Swarovski crystals, precious metal clay, nylon thread and kilns.

Adam Hunter, e-Commerce manager at Cookson Gold, said the beads launch would improve design options for jewellery makers. “We’re extremely excited about unveiling the new beads section of our website – it feels like a natural progression for us,” he said.

This article was taken from the October 2012 issue of Professional Jeweller magazine, out today. To see a digital version of the issue click here.