Platinum is now wooing men to the jewelers

KOLKATA: A Ravikumar, a Hyderabadbased senior pharma consultant, has just bought a platinum bracelet for himself. The 33-yearold has a gold bracelet but developed a fascination for platinum after seeing two of his colleagues wearing platinum neck chains. "It's a nice experience to experiment with a new metal apart from gold," says Ravikumar. Like Ravikumar, Surinder Singh, a businessman from Punjab, too has got a platinum kada for himself. 

Platinum jewellery in India is witnessing an interesting trend. We have seen women getting attracted to this precious metal all these years but it's men now who are heading to the jewellers. And surprisingly, the southern cities of Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad — the traditional gold consuming markets — are showing an interest in platinum. 

On the investment side too, platinum is seeing an upsurge which has prompted 
Johnson Matthey, a precious metal refiner, to launch platinum ounce bars in India shortly. Vaishali Banerjee, country manager (India), Platinum Guild International, said: "Platinum has broadened its appeal amongst multiple consumer segments. Our consumer research study across India shows that today's men are at ease when indulging in jewellery to enhance their style quotient. And platinum is the choice amongst discerning men. The look of platinum and its weight appeal to men as it is understated, yet sophisticated and elegant. The heft and weight of the metal can make for a substantive piece of jewellery without signs of being ostentatious. Young men today are not only looking at platinum bands or rings but also prefer platinum chains, bracelets and cufflinks." 

Jewellers in south India have started selling platinum jewellery for their male customers. C Krishniah Chetty & Sons, a wellknown name in south India, is selling platinum jewellery for men. 

Siddharth Mehta, chief strategist of Karnataka-based 
Rajesh ExportsBSE -0.56 %, said jewellers in south India have started taking interest in platinum. "Small jewellers have already gone ahead with platinum products. Retail chains will gradually follow." As an investment product, platinum is finding increasing interest. Rohit V Pitale, sales and marketing manager (India) of Johnson Matthey, said: "We have just launched platinum ounce bars in the US and the product is doing well. Our next destination is India and we will soon launch platinum bars in India as well." 

The platinum spot price in the global market was hovering around $1,580 per ounce on Monday while the spot price of gold was around $1,602 per ounce. 

"Platinum spot price is moving in this range for last 10 days. It is expected that platinum prices will go up in the coming months as the availability of this precious metal has dwindled due to labour unrest in African mines," added Pitale.