Platinum: Tamir Jewels’ Tourmalines & More

Platinum in Peril?Ongoing labor unrest and closures in the platinum mining industry—­particularly in South Africa, where Anglo American Platinum has shuttered several mines, sparking strikes at others—have caused stock shares to drop and slowed production, leaving many U.S. retail ­jewelers wondering just how the events might affect them.Industry insiders familiar with the platinum trade say there is currently an abundance of the metal in the U.S. marketplace, but platinum’s price per ounce—at press time, $1,688—could escalate depending on how the strikes and closures affect mining costs such as fuel.According to Huw Daniel, president of the U.S. division of Platinum Guild International, the platinum industry has experienced an oversupply during the past year. “This balance is now changing, and prices are up just 7 percent on the average for the last 12 months,” he says.

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