Why is Platinum Much More Expensive Than Gold?
Platinum is a hypoallergenic virtually pure precious metal. Jewelry stores who sell high quality platinum offer 950 Grade (95% pure platinum) jewelry. Anything less should not be considered either pure or hypoallergenic or of substantive quality.
This means that 95% of the content of a piece of platinum jewelry is pure platinum and 5% is another platinum group alloy such as palladium, ruthenium, or iridium. Most of these alloys are excellent choices to mix with platinum jewelry, but palladium and ruthenium should be considered top choices.
In addition, unlike white gold, platinum does not require rhodium plating for maintenance.
Platinum Purity Compared to Gold
Platinum is 30 times rarer than gold!
Compared to 14k gold (which is only 58% pure gold or 14 of 24 parts gold) or 18k gold (75% pure gold or 18 of 24 parts gold), platinum can cost significantly more due to its purity and value as a rare precious commodity.
For example, the same wedding band weighing 10.0 grams in gold will weigh 16.0 grams in platinum.
Since the amount of a precious metal (or the gram weight) is a significant factor in determining prices, platinum tends to be more costly than gold, but well worth the difference in price if it meets your budget.
Manufacturing and Labor Costs
Platinum is also more expensive than gold due to the fact that it is slightly more difficult to work with and less platinum jewelry is produced than gold jewelry, thereby effecting the manufacturing and labor costs of platinum vs. gold.
Overall, you can expect to normally pay 3-4 times more for platinum than for gold. Although with platinum prices historically lower than average, you may be able to find platinum jewelry costing closer to 2.5 – 3 times more than gold currently. Still a premium, but a bargain today regardless.
Market Price of Platinum
Platinum is a voraciously volatile precious metal whose base price is directly connected to the metal’s market price. As of today, platinum hovers at $965.00 per ounce (a historically low price that will probably change by the time I finish writing this).
Platinum Formula for 950 Grade Platinum Jewelry
Market price of platinum per ounce + 18 / 31.1 = Price of Platinum Per Gram
Taking today’s price of platinum of $965.00 per ounce, this yields:
965 + 18 / 31.1 = $31.60 per gram
(Why +18 and divide by 31.1? 18 is the amount of estimated loss of platinum when the metal is refined into jewelry, and 31.1 is the number of grams per ounce).
Keep in mind that rarely should platinum jewelry’s value or price be determined solely on gram weight alone–there are many factors including design and labor, limited production of a specific piece, whether the item is handmade or mass produced, and many other factors. But this formula will give you an idea of the base price of your platinum jewelry.
For example, a ring weighing 20.0 grams of platinum may cost $1,425.00. If you divide 1,425 / 20 — you will get $71.25 per gram. That is the amount you are paying per 1 gram of platinum in your ring (inclusive of labor, retail markup, etc.).
Apples of Gold has recently reduced the prices on all of its platinum wedding bands–in response to platinum’s current market valuation. Now is the time to buy platinum, before platinum prices skyrocket as they have in times past. (Platinum used to be valued at $2,300+ per ounce just 11 months ago!) It will probably return to such levels again.
The jewelry has not changed–but the market’s valuation of the metal has–for now.
Featured 950 Grade Platinum:
View more Designer Platinum Wedding Bands from Apples of Gold.
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- Platinum — The More Volatile Precious Metal
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- Price of Gold Per Gram
Category: Jewelry Tips