image description our blog

Archive for Platinum Category

Sell Platinum: Facts from Platinum Buyers

As San Diego’s #1 platinum buyer, we here at San Diego Jewelry Buyers love all things platinum. Those who own platinum or want to sell platinum to a local buyer might find the following facts about platinum interesting.

1) In 2005, luxury watchmaker Vacheron Constantin auctioned a platinum watch for $374,000 to mark its 250th anniversary.

2) More than 30% of all platinum supplied to international markets each year is used in catalytic converters to control harmful automobile emissions.

3) Platinum has historically tended to be more expensive than gold because it is rarer and has a wider range of irreplaceable applications.

4) The U.S. government declared platinum a strategic metal at the onset of World War II, and forbade its use in non-military applications, including jewelry.

5) Gasoline, fiber-optic cables, anti-cancer drugs, fertilizers, eyeglasses, explosives, paints, and pacemakers all rely on platinum.

6) Japan is the greatest consumer of platinum fine jewelry—while China is number 1 in total platinum consumption.

7) The Merensky Reef in South Africa produces about 75% of the world’s supply of platinum.

8) Ten tons of platinum ore must be excavated to yield a single ounce of pure platinum. Only three tons of gold ore are excavated to yield the same amount.

9) If the jewelry is marked with the word Platinum, it must be at least 95% pure by law.

10) Approximately 160 tons of platinum are mined every year versus 1,500 tons of gold.

For information on how you can sell platinum for cash today, contact San Diego Jewelry Buyers for a free, no hassle, appraisal.

We are San Diego’s trusted A+ BBB rated platinum buyer and estate jewelry buyer.

A Primer from San Diego Platinum Buyers

As San Diego’s most prominent platinum buyer, we here at San Diego Jewelry Buyers love all things platinum. Those who own platinum rings and jewelry or want to sell platinum to a local buyer should find the following article about platinum very interesting.

Platinum’s current march to the forefront of the jewelry industry has been a steady and in many ways remarkable one. In the last dozen years platinum jewelry demand has more than doubled world-wide. Consumption in the United States has increased by a startling 1500% percent since 1992—while bullish China recently propelled itself past Japan to the pole position of platinum buyers. Many leading designers have worked in the precious metal for years, their creations highly sought after by Hollywood personalities. Not surprisingly, many smaller designers and manufacturers (realizing that platinum is not a fad) are beginning to take a look at the metal for the first time. This article is for them. What follows is a short primer about platinum’s rich and mysterious history, its characteristics, and its popularity in fine jewelry.

The story of platinum is both noble and mysterious. Found in the sarcophagi of ancient Egypt and the ruins of Pre-Incan civilizations, the metal disappeared from the archeological record until the Spanish conquistadors of the 16th century stumbled across it in South America. Underestimating the metal’s value, they gave it the name “platina”, meaning “little silver”, and tossed it back into the rivers to age. Platinum first debuted in Europe during the alchemy craze of the 1700s and picked up added steam when King Louis XVI declared it the only metal fit for kings. But it wasn’t until the 19th century that methods were discovered and perfected to make the tough metal malleable, thereby permitting the timeless creations of royal designers such as Fabergé and Cartier.

In the United States, platinum jewelry reached its peak of popularity prior to World War II, at which time platinum was classified as a strategic metal and its use in jewelry forbidden. Just like today, the platinum boom in America was driven by Hollywood, with celluloid stars such as Mae West and Marlena Dietrich adorning themselves in the white metal, while Jean Harlowe added an artful precis to the trend with her performance as the title character in Frank Capra’s 1930s film Platinum Blonde. More recently, celebrity couples like Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas have pledged their love with platinum rings.

So does platinum live up to all the hype? Is it deserving of its reputation as the noblest of all metals? In a word, yes. And the reasons can be traced to its uncommon physical attributes—the first of which we’ll say is its purity. Platinum’s purity is a frequent selling point to consumers. The platinum used in fine jewelry-making is most commonly alloyed with only 5% or 10% other metals, usually Palladium, Ruthenium, Cobalt, or Iridium. This purity not only appeals to a jewelry buyer’s desire to purchase a gift for a loved one which symbolizes their heart-felt emotion but also makes the platinum piece hypoallergenic and suitable for those with sensitive skin. Additionally, because the metal is naturally white, it does not require plating to maintain its white luster.

The international standards for marking the purity of platinum jewelry can be nutshelled like this: Only jewelry containing 950 parts or more per thousand can be marked with the word “Platinum”, while jewelry containing 850 to 900 parts may be marked with the parts percentage plus the abbreviation PT or PLAT (for example 850 PLAT or PT 900). Jewelry containing less than 500 parts platinum cannot be stamped with the word “Platinum” or any of its abbreviations.

The second of platinum’s singular characteristics is its strength. Platinum is the strongest of all the precious metals, with a density 1.7 times that of 24k gold. Because of its strength many of the world’s most famous diamonds such as the Star of Africa and the Koh-I-Noor have been set in platinum. Like the metal itself, a platinum prong setting is considered “dead”, meaning that it has little or no memory. The setting is therefore not prone to sagging and can be expected to protect a precious stone for generations. Its weight also adds substance to even the most delicate ladies rings, while resisting the damage of daily wear, which is one reason it is a favorite for bridal jewelry.

Platinum’s appearance, its cool moon-glow like luster, is incomparable and another precious attribute. Its subtle beauty, which enhances the brilliance of precious gemstones like no other metal, has appealed to designers both past and present because of its versatility. Capable of being combined dramatically with 18 karat gold, or used as a stand alone setting, platinum offers designers avenues of invention not offered by other metals. Recently platinum mixed with pink gold and pink colored gemstones has become a hot ticket item among many platinum jewelry buyers. Other designers have taken advantage of the discreet luxury that platinum exudes to market the sentimental looks of days gone by and developed vintage-inspired collections from the Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Deco periods.

Lastly, platinum is truly a rare metal. Its scarcity far exceeds that of its nearest competitors on the precious metals market—a popular analogy having been made that if all the platinum in the world were to be poured into an Olympic size swimming pool the depth wouldn’t rise above your ankles. This rarity appeals to consumers seeking special one-of-a kind jewelry. But the metal also brings with it price concerns for both consumers and manufacturers.

The majority of the supply on the platinum market comes from only two places on the globe, South Africa and Russia, and platinum prices have been ballooning in recent years. In 2008, platinum prices spiked at $2,252 per ounce, causing a slowing of demand in many markets. Currently, prices are fluctuating around $1,400. Although South African producers such as Lonmin Platinum have been expanding production levels, the demand from platinum buyers is also increasing, thus many forecasters believe that the days when platinum was priced below $1,000 are gone forever.

For information on how you can sell platinum for cash today, contact San Diego Jewelry Buyers for a free, no hassle, appraisal.

We are San Diego’s trusted A+ BBB rated platinum buyer and estate jewelry buyer.