Have You Seen The Price Of Gold?

While those of us in the jewellery business have obvious reason to keep abreast of developments in the prices of precious metals, gems and diamonds, the majority of people do not.

So have you seen the latest price of gold?

Well it's a lot higher than it was a few months ago. In fact, it's the highest it has ever been (when not adjusted for inflation).

Because this blog is not intended to be an economics lesson (phew!) nor a platform for predicting commodity prices (I've never met anyone yet who can), we just felt it worth highlighting. 

The reality is that the various stages and parties involved in creating fine jewellery are acutely sensitive to substantial movements in raw material prices. 

These movements inevitably drive higher retail prices in turn, such that this is relevant to customers and retailers alike.

For an item of fine jewellery with precious metal representing a relatively small proportion of it's overall cost, such as a premium grade one carat diamond ring, movements in the gold price have only a moderate impact on the retailers' pricing.

Even less so if it is made from 9 carat gold, as this contains only 37.5% gold, mixed with other alloys.

But the typical retail price of a heavyweight, 18 carat solid gold curb chain is likely to fluctuate much more proportionately to the underlying price of gold. 

Which means right now that gold chain will cost you quite a bit more than just a couple of years ago.

So is gold now more expensive than platinum?

Yes - and it has been for a while.

However, platinum, which is visually almost identical to 18 carat white gold, is denser and harder, which makes it more challenging to work with in the creation of fine jewellery.

And as it is denser, a greater weight of platinum is required to create the identical item if made in 18 carat white gold.

Along with it's hypoallergenic credentials and resistance to tarnishing or yellowing, platinum had for a long time been  the more coveted - and more expensive - option when buying jewellery.

These qualities still apply. The only difference now is that the price has gone up a lot less than gold.