by Metal Concentrators SA (Pty) Ltd
Platinum is a multi-facetted metal. Of all the platinum produced annually, 8% is for investment purposes while 31% is used to manufacture jewellery with the balance going into industry as precious metal catalysts. Investment platinum is a rare commodity and platinum jewellery is becoming highly sought after.
South Africa is still the largest producer of platinum and produces approximately 73% of the world’s platinum. Russia being second in line only produces 13%.
A Partnership Agreement between Metal Concentrators (MetCon) and Anglo American Platinum was signed on the 13th of June 2018 enabling South African jewellers to take advantage of a finance scheme designed to make platinum available to the South African jewellery industry at special payment terms. These terms allow jewellers who work in platinum to finance the working capital needed to offer their clients excellent service.
The advantages of platinum for a jewellery client are numerous:
- Platinum is extremely durable and strong
- It’s highly resistant to stress and withstands both extreme heat and extreme cold
- Platinum is hypoallergenic making it suitable for sensitive people to wear.
- It seldom tarnishes
- Platinum jewellery will retain its good appearance and does not need to be routinely rhodium plated as does white gold.
- All of which means platinum jewellery is a great alternative to white gold.
For the jeweller there are several considerations:
- The spot price of gold is today 50% more expensive than platinum and even though it is 27% more dense, the cost of the metal remains economical for a piece of jewellery in platinum relative to 18kt white gold.
- Platinum being more difficult to work with, needs a jeweller with more experience to create a fine piece, increasing the labour cost by around 20%. Possible casting failures due to porosity result in an impact upon profitability.
- Another factor is that platinum, unlike white gold, cannot be re-used by re-melting. Therefore, any scraps and hard filings need to be refined, increasing the cost.
MetCon has examined the factors that impact upon the platinum jeweller and offers solutions including the following:
- MetCon’s finance scheme significantly reduces the working capital requirement of the jeweller.
- MetCon casts several hundred items a day, many of which are platinum. This expertise is available to the jeweller; often reducing the jewellers staff.
- MetCon, being a refiner, deals with the scraps and filings, eliminating the jewellers hassle around sweeps.
- A two-day turnaround gets the finished item to your setter amazingly quickly.
MetCon wishes to extend its Platinum Partnership to its clients as will be highlighted at Jewellex 2018; with the focus on platinum as South Africa’s most exclusive jewellery treasure. Visit us at our booth which has a fresh vibrant look – an exciting unusual design by award winning Nicholas De Klerk.
We look forward to discussing how we can assist you, the South African jeweller, to profitably manufacture and sell platinum products that offer significant benefits to your client base” – Neville Crosse, managing director of MetCon.