PLATINUMíS rarity, purity and strength makes it the most precious of all jewellery metals. It takes ten tonnes of ore and eight weeks to produce a single ounce of platinum. Only 90 tonnes of platinum is used to create jewellery in the world each year; compared with over 3,000 tonnes of gold. It is also the strongest precious metal used in jewellery, and is almost twice as heavy as 14-karat gold. Platinum is also less likely to cause allergy and resists tarnish, making it easy for sensitive people to wear. Platinum jewellery is exceptionally pure (90-95 per cent pure as compared with 18-carat gold which is only 75 per cent pure).
In recent years platinum
has rapidly grown in popularity internationally. It especially sought
for diamond engagement rings because its rich lustre brings out the
brilliance and fire of diamonds like no other metal can. Platinum is
naturally white and maintains its shining luminosity forever, unlike
other white metals that, with time, turn yellow or tarnish.
According to Rhea Nasta, Head Designer, Popleys: "Besides diamonds, you can wear aquamarine (sky blue), amethyst (purple) and peridot (olive green) gemstones with platinum." The gold and platinum combination is a favourite among jewellery designers, internationally. "Many platinum designs combine karat gold. The mixing of the two colours looks beautiful and adds variety to your collection," states Nasta.
As for purchasing, Nasta advises: "You do not need definite parameters for purchase of platinum as every piece has an SGS hallmark, so you are assured of 95 per cent platinum purity. Also, it is sold with a certificate assuring you of the same. You must purchase only from a platinum dealer authorised by the Platinum Guild International (PGI)."
Although not too many Indians have taken to buying chunky platinum jewellery pieces yet sleek platinum rings are gaining popularity. "White is really hot and many young people, especially men, prefer the classy look of platinum instead of the glittery gold look," states Nasta, adding that today, the variety in platinum rings is huge. You can opt for a plain platinum band or one with small, large or a cluster of diamonds. Simple platinum bands without stones cost Rs 5,000 upwards, while the range of diamond studded platinum bands starts at Rs.10, 000."
So what does the target
consumer, the urban Indian women have to say about this white metal?
The perceptions and attitudes vary. "Itís just a marketing
gimmick," quips Ritu Singh, a computer professional. "Why
would I buy something which is three times more expensive than white
gold, yet which looks the same." Some others like designer Meena
Iyer love the classy metal: "It brings a fresh appeal. I wouldnít
and canít spend on huge platinum pieces, but would love to pick up
some dainty neck and ear wear, someday." Adds Nivedita Kumar, a
30-something housewife: "In India, platinum can never displace
the culturally strong gold, but thereís no doubt that the metal hits
the right chord with the smart, on-the-move Indian women. (INFS)