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Platinum is less than gold why is there a premium on plat??

NonieMarie

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May 30, 2012
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I was on Rio Grande looking for something. At the top of the page, they had the current price of gold and platinum, gold was $200 more. Why do we pay an extra 25% or more if we want something made in platinum? I found a Rio Grande receipt from 2013.
Gold $1582 and Platinum $1579. I remember when platinum was a lot more expensive per ounce. Why haven't we seen the drop? :confused:
 

Karl_K

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Re: Platinum is less than gold why is there a premium on pla

Plat is heavier than gold and there is more of it in a ring.
Plat is usually 90% or 95% where gold is 75%(18k)
Plat also takes more labor to make and finish than 18k gold.
 

Laila619

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Re: Platinum is less than gold why is there a premium on pla

I know, I find this so annoying too!
 

MollyMalone

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Re: Platinum is less than gold why is there a premium on pla

fwiw (I don't maintain any kind of spread sheet as I scroll thru PS sponsors' sites), my impression was that JA had reduced the price spread between its 18K white gold & its platinum settings around the holidays and into the new year, and seemed to be the only PS sponsoring vendor who had done so -- but I freely acknowledge I could be wrong about that.

Platinum is crawling back up: it was about $820/oz in late January; today it sold for ~$1000/oz with gold at $1267.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: Platinum is less than gold why is there a premium on pla

Here's an example, Molly. The popular Vatche U-113 is listed on Whiteflash at $1600 for 18k wg and $1800 for platinum. Considering the 18k ring is only 75% gold and the platinum is 90 or 95%, one can understand why the platinum doesn't cost less than the gold. The fact that platinum is more dense/heavier and doesn't wear away over time like gold does with polishing and wear makes it worth $200 extra to me, personally. I am having almost everything made in platinum (as far as white metals go), because the cost differential hasn't been all that great for awhile.
 

MollyMalone

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Re: Platinum is less than gold why is there a premium on pla

Since designers like Vatché generally don't permit authorized retailers to deviate much from the "sticker price" fixed by the brand, I was paying more attention to the vendors' in-house settings where I figure they have greater flexibility in deciding upon the selling prices. E.g., Whiteflash's own Corina setting in 18K white gold is priced today at $795, but $1295 in platinum, more than 60% higher (I won't pretend to say that $500/60+% was the same difference at holiday shopping time; I don't remember).

I'm glad Karl K gave the reminder above that, e.g., platinum jewelry alloys contain more of the precious metal than the 18K gold alloys, and I don't imagine any of the PS sponsors are themselves buying pure platinum on the commodities markets. But think it's understandable why we've seen posts in recent months questioning whether the cost differential actually represents a true difference in production costs.
 

Michael_E

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Re: Platinum is less than gold why is there a premium on pla

Karl_K|1457409063|4001331 said:
Plat also takes more labor to make and finish than 18k gold.
This is where the costs really add up in a platinum piece. When doing finish work, platinum is kind of like really hard silly putty. Imagine trying to sand and polish frozen silly putty, yeah, it's tough. :wall: It gets even tougher when doing interior work like in the gallery of an ornate ring and so the time just adds up and up.
The other contributor is margins. If the material cost for platinum is $150 more than for a gold alloy and the labor to finish is an added $150 AND then you double those for a typical margin, the difference at the end of the process is $600.
 

NonieMarie

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Re: Platinum is less than gold why is there a premium on pla

MollyMalone|1457463540|4001655 said:
Since designers like Vatché generally don't permit authorized retailers to deviate much from the "sticker price" fixed by the brand, I was paying more attention to the vendors' in-house settings where I figure they have greater flexibility in deciding upon the selling prices. E.g., Whiteflash's own Corina setting in 18K white gold is priced today at $795, but $1295 in platinum, more than 60% higher (I won't pretend to say that $500/60+% was the same difference at holiday shopping time; I don't remember).

I'm glad Karl K gave the reminder above that, e.g., platinum jewelry alloys contain more of the precious metal than the 18K gold alloys, and I don't imagine any of the PS sponsors are themselves buying pure platinum on the commodities markets. But think it's understandable why we've seen posts in recent months questioning whether the cost differential actually represents a true difference in production costs.
This is what I noticed. Some vendors seem to have a big difference in price.
 

MollyMalone

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Re: Platinum is less than gold why is there a premium on pla

Michael_E|1457465604|4001671 said:
Karl_K|1457409063|4001331 said:
Plat also takes more labor to make and finish than 18k gold.
This is where the costs really add up in a platinum piece. When doing finish work, platinum is kind of like really hard silly putty. Imagine trying to sand and polish frozen silly putty, yeah, it's tough. :wall: It gets even tougher when doing interior work like in the gallery of an ornate ring and so the time just adds up and up.
The other contributor is margins. If the material cost for platinum is $150 more than for a gold alloy and the labor to finish is an added $150 AND then you double those for a typical margin, the difference at the end of the process is $600.
Think the question has arisen (in more than one post here on PS) because platinum has consistently sold for lower than gold in the past year, and since September, has been $200 - $310/ounce cheaper; even with the climb in platinum's price, the spread yesterday was more than $250/oz.
http://www.denvergold.org/precious-metal-prices-charts/platinum-gold-spread/

Platinum has been selling, in the past year, for roughly 1/2 the price it was in 2011; don't know how one might readily ascertain whether, generally speaking, retail prices of platinum solitaire mountings in recent months are any lower (after accounting for inflation) than the same settings' 2011-12 price tags.
 
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