Platinum’s purity is indicated on every genuine piece of platinum jewellery through a hallmark (for example Pt950), a symbol that reassures consumers the metal they are buying is authentic.
Hallmarking is achieved following a process of verification known as ‘assaying’, which is a way of independently testing an item to confirm the amount of pure metal in the alloy. In most countries, such as the UK, hallmarking is a legal requirement.
Assurance for investors
The London Platinum and Palladium Market is the major trading centre for platinum bullion. It operates the Good Delivery List, which sets out the minimum standards for platinum traded across its market.
Refiners of platinum must satisfy stringent requirements to be accepted on to the List, and platinum bars must conform to strict criteria which govern purity and size, including markings detailing fineness and weight. In China, Shenzhen Hengfu Yingjia and CNOOC Taiyuan have both recently launched platinum bar products for retail investors produced by Metalor, a Good Delivery refiner.
All of this is good news for investors who are seeking exposure to platinum, be it through online bullion accounts, physical bars or physically-backed exchanged traded funds.
As long as the underlying platinum has Good Delivery status, they can have confidence that it meets internationally recognised and independently verified quality standards.