Why Platinum Is So Expensive (And What You Can Do About It!)

Platinum is the rarest and one of the most expensive metals. In fact, it’s so scarce that less than a hundred ounces of platinum are mined in a year. It has been used in jewelry for centuries due to its brilliance and rarity. Platinum can also be sought after for its durability and chemical stability. Of course, the high cost makes it a luxury for most people.

Platinum Metals Prices

In this article, we will break down what makes platinum so expensive and what you can do to save money on the purchase. We’ll also discuss some alternatives to platinum as well as where you can buy it at a reasonable price.

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Reasons why Platinum is So Expensive

Platinum is the rarest element on Earth, and this makes it very valuable. This metal is rare because there are only a few platinum ores on Earth. Platinum ores are hard to find, as they are located in remote corners of the world and they may have to be mined a long way from civilization.

In addition, platinum’s rarity is not just due to the quantity of platinum existing on Earth; it’s also because it’s very difficult to mine efficiently. Even after all these obstacles, about 500 pounds of platinum are mined every year. And remember, less than 100 pounds of Platinum is produced per year at most! Even though the overall number of ounces harvested may be low, this metal is incredibly expensive.

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Below are some of the reasons why this element is so expensive:

1) Low Number of Platinum Ores on Earth

Platinum is extremely rare, which means that there are a few platinum ores on Earth. On our planet, there are only three platinum mines in the world: one in Australia, one in South Africa, and a third in Russia. Up until 1997, these mines were not producing much. In fact, until 2001, the total amount mined was only about 400 pounds every year! More recently though, as demand for platinum increased, these mines have become more productive. In 2012, about 80% of the world’s production of this metal came from these three mines (see graph below).

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The high price of Platinum (up to $2,000 per ounce) has arisen from this low production rate from these three sources. This explains why this metal is so expensive!

2) Number of Ounces Produced By Platinum Mines

The price of Platinum has risen from just over $1 000 per ounce in 1996 to over $2 000 today. This is mainly due to the low number of ounces produced by these three sources: about 800 pounds per year compared to 10,000 ounces for South Africa and Australia combined. The only way for this metal to be more expensive (other than demand continually increasing) would be for a new mine to be developed and produce more platinum each year!

Platinum Rings Prices in Amazon

3) Rarity of Platinum Ores

Due to its difficulty in being mined, the number of platinum ores on Earth is relatively low. Only three mines are producing the majority of our supply. As the demand increases, these particular sources may become unprofitable and close down!

4) Difficulty in Milling Platinum Ores

Mining is an extremely difficult process that requires enormous amounts of energy. Technically speaking, it is impossible for one machine to mine platinum at a time! Every machine must use 24 separate robots which are controlled by 24 other robots to dig the ore from the ground. In the process, tons of dirt are removed and then the platinum is separated. The machines can only operate for about 30 minutes at a time in order to prevent overheating of the material.

5) Not Enough Platinum For Future Demand

Platinum mines are currently running at full capacity meaning that they cannot produce enough metal to meet global demand if it were to increase by 10% each year (the projection for 2040). If this demand were ever to increase beyond our available supply, prices could rise significantly!

To put this into context, if we use South Africa as an example, production reaches only about 30% of its potential before it becomes unprofitable. This means that forecasts of demand for platinum, which could be as high as 500 tons and 50 tons per annum, were an underestimation.

6) Not Enough Space For New Mines

The world has only a limited amount of land available to build new mines. Most of the world’s known platinum reserves take up quite a lot of space and it is difficult to find more. The exception to this rule is Canada which has almost double the amount of land than any other country (nearly 1,000km squared).

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At the moment, it does not have the technology to use its land efficiently for mining gold or platinum either: for example, Africa could potentially find areas where gold deposits can be mined in large quantities with high returns, but this is currently not possible due to lack of technology in mining. In addition, even if Canada did have high-quality platinum deposits there is just not enough land available to mine them profitably.

7) Not Enough Power For New Mines

Energy costs in every country are going to be on the rise as more and more people live in cities. In the past, a large amount of the world’s platinum was mined in countries that had cheap energy costs. Now, however, this is not the case. As platinum prices are rising, areas such as South Africa are beginning to see it become less cost-effective to extract their resources.

Gold-Plated Rings Prices

Australia has already seen a decrease in demand for its natural resources due to high energy prices – something that will have an effect on its ability to make money from mining. It is only a matter of time before other areas find themselves in similar circumstances

How Much Platinum Does It Cost?

The price ranges from $980 per ounce for relatively common 925 gold-plated platinum and up to close to $1,500 for pure 999 gold-plated platinum. For example, a 1 gram piece of platinum costs $1360 at gemvara.com and this is not a typo. You can find much cheaper platinum options on eBay, but you really only need to be looking at one ounce or less to make it worthwhile – even two ounces is probably good enough for most casual and semi-professional jewelry makers. If you want to search for platinum by weight, the lowest amount of platinum that has ever sold on eBay was 18 ounces – but this was in 2009, so it’s not likely to be the case anymore!

Where To Buy Platinum

eBay is a great place to find some reasonably priced platinum and many sellers offer free shipping. They will also sell you some certificates too, which are nice and if you are looking for something under 20 pounds then I suggest you go here for your best prices. If you have lots of money then this might sound like a good plan, but you should check out my list of 5 better places to buy platinum.

1) Amazon One of the places you can purchase platinum is from the Amazon website. They are very competitive on prices and they have free shipping. They also have a lot of jewelry stores that will have platinum in stock, they are by far the best place to look if you don’t need anything under 20 pounds.

2) eBay This is where I go to find some good deals on platinum. If you’re looking for something under 20 pounds then it’s probably worthwhile to shop on eBay because there are some sellers here that offer free shipping.

3) James Allen The James Allen website is another good place to find some reasonably priced platinum. Their prices are usually pretty good and they offer free shipping.

4) Blue Nile I’ve included this one here because they offer what I call the cheap platinum deal. Some of their dealers also offer free shipping and will be happy if you buy a couple of ounces of metal at once, as long as you are buying enough to pay by credit card. They will also deliver to many countries, although the list seems quite short these days!

5) CheapPlatinum – This company started after I wrote this guide and has just added a few more stores to their lineup since then – an excellent sign that the market for cheap platinum is still growing! Some of them even offer free shipping if you spend over $50 (including tax). They have now added over 20 different stores where you can purchase platinum, including some jewelry sites as well as some online diamond dealers, so you can go

However, just remember that these places have not been officially endorsed by me!


In conclusion, there are many reasons why platinum is so expensive. The main reason of all is that it is a very rare element, which means that the demand and supply of platinum are always going to be relatively high. It is also very resistant to corrosion, so it’s ideal for use in industrial equipment, jewelry, and sports equipment. For example, platinum plating is used in everything from catalytic converters on cars to pacemakers. There are precious metals out there that are more valuable than platinum, but there’s no way you can actually own an ounce of them!

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