What does platinum jewelry means in Cambodia?
According to what we noted during our study, there is no real platinum jewelry in Cambodia. Cambodian people use wrongly the word “Platinum” or “Platine” to describe an alloy of metal containing a certain percentage of gold.
We bought platinum jewelry in different cities and several kinds of stores to accurately determine what this metal is. We also listened to each seller to understand their explanations, and here are the results we got.
The figures we provide are averages and the information is the more accurate as possible. However, the results of our investigation do not necessarily correspond to all the results of all jewelers, there may be exceptions.
What is real platinum?
Real platinum is a lustrous, ductile, and malleable, silver-white metal. Platinum is more ductile than gold, silver or copper, thus being the most ductile of pure metals, but it is less malleable than gold.
Platinum is a chemical element with the symbol Pt and atomic number 78.
Until now, we have never found real platinum jewelry in any jewelry shop in Cambodia. But that does not mean it’s impossible to find
Gold vs Platinum
Cambodian people use the word “Meas” only to talk about pure gold. But pure gold is too soft for jewellery applications.
If a jewel is made with a gold alloy mix with other metals, it is not considered as “Meas”, but as “platinum”.
Noone knows the true origin of the use of the name “Platine”, but we suppose that it is a derivative of the French word “Plaqué” or English word “Plated”, which means that a jewelry in Cambodia is covered with a precious metal, while there is a cheaper metal inside. We suppose that the meaning had change over time.
Actualy, cambodians use the name of French origin “Chromé” to talk about plated jewelry.
Standart platinum (number 3)
Listening to the sellers explanations, the standard platinum is platinum number 3. What is supposed to mean 3/10 of gold, or 30% of gold , or 300/1000 of gold .
In fact, all our tests resulted there is less than 30% gold in these jewels, as you see below, the average is 25.73%. This can vary by a few percent between different stores, and often the percentages even vary for jewelry from the same store.
Tested by: Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF)
- 60.27% copper
- 25.73% gold
- 10.24% silver
- 3.75% zinc
If we compare these numbers to international standards, it means that it is 6K gold or 250/1000 gold
This quality of metal does not exist in other countries, because the minimum amount of gold used as international standards is 37.5% or 9K or 375/1000.
Platinum number 5 and 7
Listening to the sellers explanations:
- Platinum number 5 supposed to mean 5/10 of gold, or 50% , or 500/1000.
- Platinum number 7 supposed to mean 7/10 of gold, or 70%, or 700/1000.
But the result is different
- 45.93% gold
- 42.96% copper
- 9.87% silver
- 1.23% zinc
- 45.82% gold
- 44.56% copper
- 7.83% silver
- 1.78% zinc
For number 5, the result is less than it should be, but it is acceptable, however, the difference is clear for number 7.
The percentage of gold is the same between number 5 and 7, but the color of the metal is different. Indeed, by changing the the proportions of copper, silver and zinc, the color of the metal change.
Demand is low for platinum number 5 and 7. Jewelry is rarely sold as standardized products in Cambodia. It is most often necessary to order it so that the jewelers design the jewel especially for the customer.
Platinum number 10
Platinum number 10 is pure gold, since it is supposed to be 10/10 of gold, or 100% of gold , or 1000/1000 of gold.
But in fact, platinum number 10 doesn’t exist, because in that case, pure gold is named as “Meas”.
Cambodia vs international standards
Compared to international standards, Cambodian platinum is comparable to red gold. Alloy contains a huge quantity of copper. It is also the cheapest way to make gold, because copper is much cheaper than other metals used in gold alloys.
Yellow gold of international standard contains much less copper but much more silver than red gold.
Rose gold is an intermediary between yellow gold and red gold, so it contains more copper than yellow gold, but less copper than red gold.
The following information may vary from one to another shop.
It seems that some Cambodian jewelers are aware that their alloys are of poor quality and that there are also international standards.
We heard about “Meas Barang”, “Meas Italy”, “Platine 18” ..
All these names may have different meanings. And sellers each have a different explanation.
“Meas Barang” means foreign gold
“Meas Italy” means italian gold
“Platine 18” means 18K gold
But from what we heard, these names sometimes describe a quality of metal, sometimes the quality of jeweler’s work. As for platinum number 18, it doesn’t make sense in comparison with other numbers since it would mean that it is 180% pure gold.
Platinum jewelry trading
The banking system is quiet new in Cambodia. Cambodian people traditionally invested their money in real estate as long term investment. And they buy jewelry as short or medium term to avoid spending their money unnecessarily.
Of course, most of people don’t have the budget to invest in anything, but as soon as they have a little bit of saved money, they buy a platinum bangle, necklace or a ring.
Typically, each family goes into the same store because they trust the owner.
Most of people don’t understand what they are buying but they don’t really care because the only two informations they want to know are:
- How much it coast?
- How much the jeweler will buy the jewel back when they will need money?
On average, the jeweler buys back standard platinum jewelry for about 85% of their original price. This may vary by store
The customer just have to bring back the jewelry with the invoice to get paid immediately by cash.
Advantage and disadvantages for jewelers
Advantage for jewelers
- It is a good investment. It s easy to earn several times money on the same item
- Customers are loyal because they can not sell their jewelry in another store in Cambodia
Disadvantages for jewelers
- Need a lot of cash on hand to buy back the jewels of customers. It’s dangerous and can attract thieves. Especially before holidays, when all the customers come at the same time because they need money to go to their province.
- A hard and daily work because the boss have to manage the store by himself. No employees are qualified for this job
Advantage and disadvantages for customers
Advantage for customers
- Easy to get back money
- Don’t need to be an expert
Disadvantages for customers
- You lose money when you sale it back
- If you lose the invoice, you lose everything
- You can not sale it back to another shop
- Everything runs well as long as the store is open. But if the shop closes, what’s going to happen next?
Where to buy Khmer platinum?
You’ll find it everywhere, in any market in any city in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Do we sale Khmer platinum?
We only sell natural gemstones and precious metals certified to international standards.
We also offer to design and make your custom jewelry in any precious metal, and of any quality, including real Platinum.
We hope that our study has been helpful to you.
Looking forward to meeting you in our store soon.