Jeweller Julian Bartrom's new metals for bespoke jewellery

Friday 26 April 2013, 12:53PM

By Sharp Angles


Julian Bartrom in his jewellery workshop
Julian Bartrom in his jewellery workshop Credit: J Bartrom Jewellery


Auckland jeweller Julian Bartrom is using innovative techniques which combine precious metals with exciting qualities. Organically fusing precious metals platinum and gold in his bespoke jewellery designs, the acclaimed and award winning young jeweller, just 26, has just sold his first examples of the ‘Platinum Fusion’ alloy to clients. He is also working to create a superior silver alloy with robust characteristics.  

“Platinum Fusion achieves a brilliant result with a distinctive look for use in fine jewellery, it is only made possible through the inert characteristics of both platinum and gold” says Bartrom. Calling this new metal  Platinum Fusion, platinum and gold are brought together, resulting in a display of gold rivulets or running at random within platinum. Creating Platinum Fusion is a unique and difficult process which is unlike any other technique performed in the traditional goldsmith’s workshop. Bartrom and his peers are not aware of anybody else able to create this striking effect.

Educated as a Goldsmith, and one of few young jewellers in New Zealand currently studying with the Gemological Institute of America, Julian Bartrom is highly regarded for his creative jewellery. In 2011 Bartrom, while only 24, won the prestigious “People’s Choice Award” in the New Zealand Jewellery Design Competition, his winning entry was an Art Nouveau inspired dragonfly brooch valued at over $35,000.  In a market flooded with mass produced jewellery, nearly each piece of Julian Bartrom’s jewellery is unique. Setting up his studio only three years ago, already over 80% of his work is bespoke, mainly engagement and wedding rings, made to order with input from clients.

Since winning the award in 2011 Bartrom has continued his focus on high end jewellery innovation and has no plans to start mass producing his designs. Platinum Fusion will only be available in bespoke, made to order jewellery, designed with consideration of style preference and size. Creating a valuable point of difference for the jeweller, he expects Platinum Fusion will be particularly popular in men’s wedding rings and as a detail in platinum jewellery.

Bartrom is continuing work on the development of a new superior silver alloy, which he will be launching with the name Silvadium. Trials of Silvadium have already proven its enormous benefits: It will have a natural silver colour but unlike white gold it will not need regular rhodium plating. It will have superior anti-tarnishing properties and better scratch resistance.

Whilst Silvadium will be nearly two times more valuable than standard Sterling Silver it is less than one quarter the price of 18ct white gold. This makes it an attractive option for clients looking for white precious metals which are current in demand. Julian is conducting more experiments before releasing this new metal to his customers as an exclusive product of the Julian Bartrom studio. “There has been an enthusiastic response to Platinum Fusion by clients commissioning rings and we plan to have Silvadium consistently available soon,” says Julian.

As an award winner, demonstrating remarkable creativity Bartrom is making a name for himself. While Julian is currently focused on his bespoke jewellery and completing studies with the Gemological Institute, he is looking for opportunities to exhibit examples of his work later this year. 

Julian exhibits his jewellery designs on his website gallery