A Bride’s best friend

Suhasini wanted something really special to mark the occasion of her sister’s marriage.Her bag, bulging proudly with bonus and extra perks, kept prodding her. One fine evening, her friends, took her to a jewellers’ shopping complex straight after office.

When her friends walked past the gold ornaments counter, Suhasini thought they would look at lightweight jewellery for party wear. They were ushered into another room at the large hall glittering with gold. As the three of them sat down before a counter the sales executive displayed a wide range of white metal jewellery.

“Platinum!” Suhasini gaped at one of the most rare wonders of Nature. Reputed to be 20 times more scarce than gold, platinum is adored for its purity, versatility and durability. In contrast to gold, which can have a maximum purity of 91.6% when used in 22-carat jewellery, platinum can be dealt with in 95% pure form. Platinum Guild India—the Indian arm of Platinum Guild International—takes the responsibility of quality certification and hallmarking of platinum items in India. These ornaments are available only in authorised centres regulated and accredited by PGI and so the chance of duplication and spurious activities are ruled out. It is not very difficult to recognise an authorised store because a PGI signboard outside will declare about the Alibaba-like wealth inside. Secondly, a PGI licence on the jewellery counter and the Pt logo on the ornament will clear the rest of the doubt.

Suhasini could not help exclaiming again, “This is the best gift one can give to one’s favourite sister. It will form a lifetime bond between us”. The sales executive, assisted by two salesgirls, displayed more jewellery pieces and urged them to see first. “You will be glad to know that our present policy is to give discount on platinum by a considerable margin. Thus, the bigger your purchase is the more economical it will be”. He was also quick to add that these prices do not include all making charges and wastage. “How do we make sure about the purity?” Sally enquired in a matter of fact tone. “On every piece of jewellery the Pt logo is followed by a number, either 900 or 950. Pt 950 indicates 95% purity and 5% of base metal, generally palladium and a platinum group metal. Do not settle for a guaranteed standard below Pt 900 in platinum jewellery. Quite obviously an ornament marked with Pt 950 would cost a little more than one marked with Pt 900.

“Could you tell us about its resale value?” Mohana’s question showed her practical considerations. They assured her that platinum, like gold, can be recycled and redesigned as many times as one wishes. Since international market trends control the value of platinum, this precious metal has reliable and lucrative resale value. However, since the process of recycling involves melting, wastage and making charges, the retailer will calculate the cost of the redesigned ornament accordingly. It is better to opt for the exchange method. While Mohana bought a diamond-studded platinum heart-shaped ear studs, her friends selected a platinum finger ring and nose ring. The sales executive explained, “For every purchase made a quality card is given to the customer. It will carry details such as a unique identification number—a serial number to identify every piece of jewellery made in India under PGI authorization. The card will also give information about the purity of platinum such as Pt 950 or Pt 900 along with the name of the retailer and a brief description of the piece. This card is essential for recycling or for the sale of the piece”. The three friends walked out of the shop majestically.

Rita Nath Keshari

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