For Your Staff
Platinum Quality Markings
Use your platinum knowledge as a sales tool
by Caroline Stanley, Manager of Communications Platinum Guild International
Quality marks and alloys in platinum jewelry can raise questions in consumers'
minds. Why different alloys? Can my customers tell the difference? Should
I stock one over another? Does my bench jeweler care? Here are some answers.
Q: Why have different platinum alloys?
A: The manufacturer/designer selected a particular alloy based on the method
of manufacture the piece required. If it was fabricated, perhaps it was
a 90% platinum/10% iridium mix. If it was cast recently, it may be a 95%
platinum/5% cobalt mix.
Q: Can my customers tell the difference in alloys?
A: No. They will just notice how beautiful the white metal is and how wonderful
it feels. Q: Should I stock one platinum alloy over another? A: Don't use
alloy composition as a criteria to stock platinum jewelry. Concentrate on
what's salable in the 95% and 90% range and don't worry about the rest.
Q: Does my bench jeweler care?
A: Only if the alloy is cobalt. The 95% or 90% alloys technically are the
same. Working with the cobalt mix requires additional knowledge. [Fax PGI
on your company letterhead at (714) 760-8780 for details.]
Q: How do I know the difference?
A: The accompanying chart offers a quick overview of platinum alloys and
markings. Some of the marks are new and some are old, but you should know
what they mean and what alloys they represent in case you see them on jewelry
a customer brings to you. Post the chart in your store and make sure all
of your sales associates understand the differences.
Guide to Platinum Quality Marking
The platinum standard is different from other metals. Gold purity is
a familiar subject: 24 karat gold equals 99.99% pure gold, 18 karat is 75%
pure and 14 karat is 58.5% pure. In the platinum world, 1,000 parts of platinum
equal 100%. All other alloys are derived from these 1,000 parts.
Common Quality Marks
|999 parts per thousand platinum and 1 part other metal|
|950 parts per thousand platinum and 50 parts other metals (usually ruthenium,
iridium, cobalt, copper, tungsten, palladium or a combination of cobalt
900 parts per thousand platinum and 100 parts other metals (usually iridium
IRIDPLAT is 900 parts per thousand platinum and 100 parts per thousand
|850 parts per thousand platinum and 150 parts other meatls (usually palladium)|
585 parts per thousand platinum and 365 per thousand palladium
30% lighter that high-purity platinum
Caroline Stanley is a past-president of the Arkansas Jewelers
Association and the Southwest Guild of the American Gem Society. She now
travels for PGI, training retailers across the U.S, and manages a variety
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.