The festive season is on and so are the preparations of celebrations of festivity which includes jewellery shopping. In Indian tradition, buying gold and gold jewellery is considered auspicious on festivals. Times have changed and tables have turned so is the form of gold and gold jewellery. Platinum which is rarely heard and bought but is costlier than gold is the known as ‘silver shining metal’ or ‘white gold’ is ruling the market. Apart from festivities, platinum holds a special place among bridal jewellery.
The term ‘platinum’ is derived from Spanish term ‘platina’, which is literally translated into “little silver”. Chemically Platinum is represented by PT. it is the least reactive and most rarely found metal among all precious metals. Platinum is generally non-reactive and possess a remarkable resistance to corrosion and even at high temperatures it stays stable. Platinum is used in catalytic converters, laboratory equipment, electrical contacts and electrodes, platinum resistance thermometers, dentistry equipment, and jewelry. Platinum is more ductile than gold and is also known as silvery white gold. In April 2012, Gold was priced at $1,634.10 per ounce and platinum was priced at $1,602.00 per ounce. But Platinum prices are riding high and have crossed the gold mark price bar.
It is known fact the despite gold prices been skyrocketing since time immemorial, platinum is always riding high than gold. The charm of platinum entices due to its silvery shine and virtue of gold combined together. This is the reason why is it called silver shining gold. There are many reasons why platinum is costlier than gold. Here are few of them:
Mining procedure for gold is much easier than platinum. Difficulties involved with mining procedures of platinum triggers the price.
Due to its rhodium plating and silver shine, platinum unlike gold never needs re-plating and thus is a treasure to keep forever.
Platinum is little harder than gold in daily wears so it’s less vulnerable to wear and tear conditions.
The platinum alloy used in jewelry consists of 85% to 95% platinum, that’s 850 to 950 parts platinum for every thousand parts. Gold jewelry conversely generally uses a maximum of 75% or 750 parts gold per thousand parts for 18ct jewelry, or less gold for 14ct, 10ct or 9ct jewelry.
The price of any metal is also contributed by the factor that the type of alloy is used for finishing or boosting shine and virtue of the basic metal and platinum is not left behind in the race. Earlier platinum was mixed with the alloy of gold to maintain its shine but now palladium is used which helps to retain its whiteness. Whereas the higher price of platinum than gold is concerned, the alloy palladium itself is costlier than gold.
Platinum is also denser than gold and it weighs more than gold. As price is decided by weight per gram then this heaviness of platinum also contributes to the higher price than gold.
Labor used in the making and molding of platinum needs to more skilled and perfect in the procedure as the making of platinum has to be done in an environment which is not tainted or affected by the effect of any other metal.
The logic of demand and supply also favors platinum prices rising high. Gold is much more in demand whereas platinum is still not the toast of the town. Low demand and even lower supply and availability of platinum are what make this silvery white precious metal more precious and pricey.
Gold might be the first choice among the middle class jewellery buyers but platinum is always holding its head high with the luxury factor attached to it and thus is the choice of elite class.
South Africa which is major supplier of platinum will be soon facing a downtime in supply and thus 2013 are estimated to be heavy on platinum & platinum jewellery buyers. Jeffrey Rhodes, global head of precious metals of INTL Commodities said, “Over the last three months, we have seen platinum at a steep discount to gold of more than $200 below gold and it makes no sense especially to a metal which is vulnerable to supply shocks. Platinum is currently at a discount of $144 an ounce to gold, and prices of the white metal may climb to $2,000 by end of December.”