Jewellery represents a third of global platinum demand with significant potential for growth.
Together with the other platinum producers, we support the Platinum Guild International (PGI). The PGI’s core focus is on the high potential Asian markets of China and India. It is also active in Japan and the USA.
In South Africa, we invest in improving the design and manufacturing skills of jewellers and students so they can compete effectively, both locally and internationally. We sponsor various training institutions, providing instruction in platinum jewellery design and manufacturing.
As most all platinum alloys can be used for casting, it is important to find the one that will be the best suited on many levels. The alloy should be fluid, it should be filling fine detail and should be hard and scratch resistant. A Platinum / Copper alloy for example, may be good for fabricating and forging, but it is not the best choice for casting. The alloy will tend to be porous, have a high non-fill rate and will often require re-working.
The issue of hardness, scratch resistance and denting can be an important consideration when casting is the manufacturing method. Most castings are cleaned and polished and there are no other steps taken to work-harden the metal. Thus the “as cast” hardness of the alloy becomes an important consideration. Alloys such as Platinum/Iridium 950 have a very low hardness and thus are not recommended for casting. The same can be said for many Platinum/Palladium alloys that are used mainly in Japan. These alloys have a very low hardness as well as a grayish color. Many Japanese manufacturers are rhodium plating their product to achieve the whiter color as well as a harder skin on the jewelry. In the States, jewelry manufacturers are often creating platinum jewelry that is of main stream design and was originally created to be made of a different metal, and not necessarily of platinum.
For those wanting the price of a gold ring, with some of the characteristics of platinum, palladium may be a great alternative to consider. Palladium is naturally white in color, like platinum, but is less costly than platinum and closer in price to 14k gold rings. It is also known to be hypoallergenic like platinum.