A Growing Taste for Platinum

As the millennium turns, there’s hardly a soul who doesn’t immediately recognize the initials “www.” And soon, everyone will know what “Pt” means, as well. Worldwide demand for platinum jewelry seems to be growing at a rate surpassed only by the demand for Internet access. In the United States, the fastest-growing Western market for platinum jewelry, sales were up 25% last year from the year before, to a total of 200,000 ounces, according to James Courage, head of the Platinum Guild International’s worldwide jewelry division. Both domestically manufactured and imported platinum jewelry showed significant increases, Courage told visitors to Italy’s VicenzaOro I fair in January. Platinum now accounts for 25% of the bridal jewelry market, up from 15% in 1997. Bridal rings are the strongest-selling category of platinum jewelry, though interest in non-bridal and non-ring d

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