The perfect jewelry material for these
understated times, many regard platinum as a “new”
metal; however the fact that platinum is one of the most rare
and purest precious metals in the world was discovered and revered
Dating back to 700 BC, when the ancient Egyptians mastered the
techniques of processing platinum, to 100 BC, when the Indians
in Pre-Columbian South America combined it with gold, platinum
has played an important role in the culture of human existence.
Though widely utilized since then, the true worth of platinum
was relatively under appreciated until the mid-eighteenth century,
when Europeans began to hold it in high esteem. Premier jewelers
like Cartier and Tiffany owe much of their fame and importance
to this period. The "Art Nouveau" jewelry that emerged
from the fortuitous pairing of platinum and diamonds has indeed
transcended the years.
Elegant and subtle, platinum never competes with the color of
a gem. Its deep white luster complements the stone's brilliance.
The Duchess of Windsor, an expert and collector of jewelry, declared
that platinum was the one and only jewelry choice for evening
wear. The world's most legendary diamonds - the Hope, Jonker I
and the Koh-i-noor are all secured in platinum settings. Today,
given the variety of designs and combinations, platinum can be
worn for every occasion.
World Events Impact Platinum Sales
During World War Two, the United States Government declared Platinum
a strategic material and prohibited its use and trade in most
non-military applications. During this time, white gold was developed
as platinum’s replacement but could never offer the pure
snow-white look only platinum offers.
The 1997 Platinum American Eagle--America's first
platinum coin--shown here in its 1 oz size has a face
value of $100 but a street value of close to $600.
Platinum has made an amazing comeback. Since the late 1990’s,
demand for fine platinum jewelry has soared to all time highs.
Grissom’s has specialized in fine platinum work specifically
in bridal or anniversary jewelry for many years and can offer
any style requested. Grissom’s has invested in state of
the art equipment like our laser welder, hydrogen torches and
sophisticated casting machines to insure the highest quality control
available. Platinum does, however, remain five times more rare
than gold and commands for many reasons quite a premium price.
The following factors cause this increase in value or price:
1. Platinum is one of the most rare natural materials on earth—five
times more rare than gold.
2. It is used in a highly pure state 90-95 % generally compared
to gold’s most popular alloys being 58.5% for 14k and
75% for 18k. Its incredibly high density, which adds to its
lasting durability, makes a platinum jewelry item weigh about
50% more than the same item in 14k gold. This very high density
also adds great time to any finishing process, greatly affecting
labor cost. Platinum has a melting temperature of about 3400
degrees Fahrenheit compared to gold at about 1700 adding to
energy cost for working and smelting or refining platinum.
3. The refining of platinum excess or scrap costs jewelers
up to 10 times that of gold and only a few refiners offer this
service, generally excluding the smaller trade shops from a
Due to these factors, most accessory parts have to be handmade
as opposed to being ordered like standard parts in gold or silver.
Jewelry customers often are shocked when they find platinum jewelry
at 2.5-3.5 times the cost of white gold for a solitaire band.
However they usually find the cost compared to the diamonds, and
other precious stones they hold, very worthy of consideration
as it only adds $300-$900.00 to the cost of most rings. Bracelet,
necklaces, and specifically fine watches can be 3-10 times the
cost of similar gold items. Platinum watches are very rarely offered,
generally reserved for the wealthiest of customers as they often
cost upwards of $50,000. At Grissom’s we have been able
to offer platinum watches from Breitling, Rolex, Longines, and
Patek Phillipe on several occasions.