Precious Metals

Jewelry buyers in China shying away from platinum

Jewelry buyers in China are opting for gold items and avoiding pieces designed in platinum because of the superior convertibility of gold into cash.

Image courtesy of Reuters.

Buyers in China of high-end jewelry are shying away from platinum, opting instead to purchase gold items.

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“Analysts and jewelers report that a lack of trust in platinum, as well as the higher cost of exchanging platinum pieces for cash, make it a less appealing store of value for older buyers,” according to Reuters.

According to the World Gold Council, sales of gold jewelry in China climbed 7 percent during the first three months of 2018, having risen in 2017 after three years of decline because of a shift in consumer spending.

According to Metals Focus’s June 26 Precious Metals Weekly, the platinum market in China slipped for the fourth consecutive year in 2017, dipping 7 percent, year on year, to 1.13 million ounces, “although the rate of decline has softened compared to the 14 percent seen in 2016.”

Platinum jewelry sales continue to give up a larger share to gold, with 22-karat, .9999 fine, premium 24-karat and 18-karat products showing further gains.

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According to the Precious Metals Weekly, “In contrast to western markets, where platinum’s long-term discount to gold encouraged jewellers to re-stock, the gap has had a negative impact in China across both the jewellery supply chain and consumers. Around 75 percent of plain platinum jewelry is normally sold by weight rather than by piece in China, making consumers far more aware of falling platinum prices.”

Reuters reports that global demand for physical gold and platinum accounts for 14 and 16 percent, respectively, of annual consumption of the two metals.

For more information about Metals Focus, the independent precious metals consultancy, email: or visit the website.

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