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All About Platinum: For New Collectors

A platinum ring
Most people think of gold and silver when they talk about precious metals, but platinum is another choice for investors and scrappers. The value of platinum is impressive, and those who seek out this metal could have less competition than gold collectors. 

The Rarity of Platinum

Platinum is a metal that looks like silver but is almost twice the weight of gold. It is a durable material that is rare when compared to the amount of gold on earth. Experts estimate that only 200 million ounces of platinum exist aboveground, as compared to the five billion ounces of gold already mined.

The Profit Potential 

The values of all metals change daily, and this is true of platinum as well. The value of the precious metal rises when the need for platinum increases. Sectors to watch for potential rises include the automobile and technology industries, since both use platinum in the production of their goods.

The potential for a value increase is good because the number of vehicles produced each year continues to rise and because the constant upgrades to electronic devices encourage shoppers to buy. Platinum jewelry is also common, so anyone who wants to collect the metal does not have to feel any concern that they will need to stockpile laptops and vehicles.  

The Best Sources

New collectors who want to collect platinum jewelry for themselves can shop in the same places as gold and silver buyers. Estate sales, pawn shops, and jewelry stores are all sources of potentially favorable deals on platinum coins, watches, and other jewelry. People who hope to cash in on unwanted platinum can choose between scrap metal and collectibles.

Anyone seeking out jewelry should look for pieces with a white sheen like silver. Scan through old jewelry collections and check out attics and garages before making an investment somewhere else. 

Catalytic converters on vehicles are also a desirable item for anyone who hauls scrap metal.

The Markings 

Valuable jewelry made from precious metals will usually have descriptive markings. Platinum jewelry may have the full word marked on it or include an abbreviation.  The abbreviations that may be on the jewelry include PLAT or PT. A number may also be engraved into the metal. This number lists how much platinum is in the jewelry compared to other metals.

A good place to look for platinum is in any ring, bracelet, or other piece of jewelry that holds a diamond. Many consumers prefer white metals with diamonds because the color of the band helps the diamond to reflect a whiter light. Gold can make diamonds look yellow, and because of this, it has gone out of favor with some buyers.

The Testing Methods 

See if unmarked metals are platinum with platinum test kits, exposure to a flame, and the weight of the metal. Platinum is heavier than other metals, so comparisons of the weight of a band suspected to be platinum next to a similarly sized gold or silver band could prove the metal's validity. Exposing the metal to heat may also help. Flames will not change the color of platinum because of its high melting point.  

Of course, all platinum should have a mark if the item has at least 50 percent platinum. If there is no mark, the jewelry could be an inexpensive metal like silver or aluminum plated with platinum to prevent tarnish or stains on the skin. The amount of platinum may be so small that the jewelry will have little value.

At Gardena Jewelry & Loan Company, we can help people to buy and sell gold, silver, and even platinum. Stop in to see if your coins or jewelry contain platinum. We can help you to learn their value and make a fair offer to anyone who wants to sell. Stop by to learn more.