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Less Interest in Diamond Causes High Investment in Platinum Jewelry

2001: Less Interest in Diamond Causes Less Interest in White Gold

June 2001

As prices increased sharply in 2000, platinum jewelry demand worldwide fell for the first time in 17 years, in large part due to a weakened economy in Japan, one of the largest markets for platinum jewelry, according to Platinum 2001, an annual report on platinum supply and demand compiled by Johnson Mathey.

A decrease in platinum jewelry fabrication in Japan was attributed to an increase in the recycling of old jewelry and a loss of market share to white gold. Japanese demand for platinum fell 20%.

According to Johnson Mathey, while demand for platinum jewelry continues to grow in the United States, the economic deceleration is expected to slow growth in 2001. Sales were up 15% in 2000.

Platinum prices, meanwhile, soared to a 13-year high of $645 in January. The steep price increase is attributed to a supply shortfall of 310,000 oz--caused largely by floods and strikes among South African mines. Platinum is forecasted to trade between $550 and $625 throughout much of 2001.


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