Platinum is a rare and valuable earth metal. It’s commonly found in jewelry, electronics, and other household items. But how much is platinum worth? Take a look below to learn platinum’s historical and current price (per gram and per ounce) and find out more about obtaining and selling this precious metal.

In This Article:

  • What is Platinum?

  • History of Platinum

  • Common Items That Use Platinum

  • How to Determine the Quality of Platinum

  • How and Where to Buy Platinum

  • Platinum Price per Gram, per Ounce (Historic and Current)

  • How to Sell Platinum

What is Platinum?

Platinum is a durable metal that is Spanish for the term patina, meaning ‘little silver.’

Platinum has certain qualities that make it valuable for manufacturing. It is a durable metal, and also relatively malleable. Platinum is also highly ductile, which means that it is able to change form under particular types of physical stress or tension.

History of Platinum

As a precious metal, platinum is roughly as rare as gold in the Earth’s crust. However, platinum has been mined much less than either gold or silver, largely due to the fact that it wasn’t discovered until the 18th century.

Canada was an early producer of platinum, but now the South African market produces the vast majority of platinum (73%), with Russia coming in a distant second (13%), as of 2012.

The demand for platinum is strong, and challenges with traditional mining exist. To address this challenge, platinum recycling is becoming more common. Scientists have been working on various methods of environmentally friendly platinum recycling to support markets. A report from Visual Capitalist revealed that platinum recycling accounted for over 25% of all platinum being used by manufacturers in 2013.

Common Items That Use Platinum

Because of its ductility, platinum can be pulled to make wire. It is often used in certain types of laboratory equipment, including wires, electrodes, pans, containers, and in certain types of electronic devices, including smartphones.

In recent times, platinum has also become very popular in jewelry making. The use of platinum in jewelry accounts for around one-third of total demand, according to an industry analysis. It is used for rings and other common pieces of jewelry, as well as more specialized and customized crafting.

Another major use of platinum is in vehicle emissions control systems. Platinum is used to produce catalytic converters and other key auto parts that work with greenhouse gases to control emissions. Industry reports show that the auto industry is one of the biggest single consumers of platinum.

How to Determine the Quality of Platinum

While pure platinum is more valuable than most alloys, it is common for platinum to be alloyed with other metals to produce desired qualities, like hardness.

Platinum may be mixed with metals such as iridium, osmium, and palladium.

Platinum can look quite similar to white gold and silver, although it is usually glossier with a mirrored appearance. However, the best way to identify platinum is to look for alloy information on the item or ask for documentation from a jeweler or a seller verifying platinum content.

How and Where to Buy Platinum

Platinum jewelry is commonly sold through jewelry stores and department stores. Buyers can get physical bars or units of platinum from index dealers like JM Bullion or APMEX. Buyers can purchase platinum equities through brokers or registered/accredited financial parties.

About one-tenth of mined platinum is held as an investment. Some investors buy physical bars and coins. However, others buy funds or other equity assets backed by platinum. One of the most popular platinum equities on the market consists of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that trade based on the price per ounce of platinum. Reports show that platinum ETF holdings have more than doubled five times over the past 10 years.

When buying any platinum product, it’s important to protect your investment by getting supporting documentation that identifies the alloy, platinum content, and value at sale.

Platinum Price per Gram, per Ounce (Historic and Current)

What is platinum worth/how much does platinum cost?

Like other rare metals, the price of platinum is always changing.

Prices for platinum have fallen over the past five years. Platinum started at over $1,400 per ounce, or $45 per gram at the beginning of 2012, peaking again at the end of 2012, and again at the beginning of 2013. Prices started a precipitous decline during the last half of 2014, reaching lows of around $1,200 by the beginning of 2015. Prices fell consistently during 2015, to start 2016 with pricing around $850 per ounce.

Finding platinum prices per gram involves dividing the price per ounce by 31. A handy calculator can help with per-gram evaluations.

In the last half of 2016, platinum started at $1,057 per ounce on July 1, but ended the year around $900 per ounce.

In the first four months of 2017, platinum price per ounce jumped from around $900 to $950, with a top price of $1,036.10 on February 27th.

How to Sell Platinum

The value of platinum depends on the condition and format of the platinum. Jewelry is assessed at different prices according to platinum or platinum alloy content, as well as according to standards or trends within the industry. By contrast, prices for physical bars or bulk platinum will more closely track current per ounce or per gram prices.

Most jewelers will buy your platinum jewelry, regardless of its condition, while coin dealers will usually buy your platinum bars and coins. eBay has become a popular platform for selling platinum bars and coins, while a number of websites, such as Sell Your Gold and Express Gold Cash, will purchase your coins bars, jewelry, and scrap platinum.

In Summary

Platinum is a rare metal and a valuable commodity that is widely used in lab equipment, vehicle emission systems, jewelry, and consumer electronics. It’s a common component of many different kinds of consumer products, from rings to smartphones.

There are many options for buying, selling, and investing in platinum. ETFs and other funds will provide intangible ways to invest, while investors can also buy all sorts of blocks, bars, or pieces of platinum to store in a safe location. Many of these investments will come with clarifying paperwork that will show the exact alloy and value of the platinum holdings.

Check current per ounce/per gram pricing prior to buying or selling physical platinum. The prices of platinum vary all the time, along with market pressures and other factors. All in all, platinum can be a solid investment as part of a precious metals portfolio.