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PLATINUM DEMAND RISES The platinum push continued last year as North America used 55,000 ounces of the metal in jewelry manufacturing. That was 22% more than in 1993, says a report from Johnson Matthey, a principal platinum refiner, fabricator and marketer. North America remained far behind the top two users, but had the bigg-est percentage growth of any world region. (Japan used 1.45 million ounces for jewelry, up 7%; Europe used 95,000 ounces, down 10%.) The U.S. jewelry industry was once the world's largest consumer of platinum. But the Great Depression and controls on platinum during World War II reduced its use in jewelry to "insignificant" levels for 50 years, according to Johnson Matthey. Then in 1992, the Platinum Guild International launched a U.S. office to promote jewelry, and jewelry manufacturers started to reenter the market, focusing on wedding bands and designer pie
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