Johnson Matthey has a rich history of supplying high quality pure and alloyed platinum group metals into the jewellery industry. In addition to our products we offer a reliable service with exceptional supply continuity, a full refining service and flexible metal management options.
We offer platinum group metals and alloys, including platinum-ruthenium, platinum-iridium and palladium alloys, in a variety of forms:
- Platinum and palladium casting grain, or shot, provides flexibility for your requirements at exactly the weight you need. Refer to the table below for a list of available metals and alloys.
- Ring tubing is available in platinum and palladium alloys. Tube is produced to your exact specifications to support your wedding band and ring blank requirements.
- Sheet, plate, strip and foil are available in various alloys and thicknesses for both fine and heavy stamping requirements such as earring backs and watch cases.
- Chopped rod, or pellets, is ideal for fabrication, machining, drawing or casting of specific weights. Rod is available in many alloys including platinum-iridium, platinum-ruthenium, and platinum-cobalt. Refer to the table below for descriptions of the most common platinum and palladium alloys.
- Platinum wire in various alloys can be used for repair work or intricate fabrications. Using our precision production techniques, we produce we produce burr and tear free wire on a microscopic scale with exceptional strength and the highest quality finish. This can be drawn wire to almost any size and specification, including large scale fine diameters on reels for automated production of chain and similar products.
- Plating salts and solutions to enhance the appearance and properties of the jewellery. These premium plating salts come with a guarantee of purity, assay and consistency. They are made to a concentration and pack size that meets your exact needs.
Our network of logistics experts enables us to serve customers around the globe from our manufacturing sites in North America and Europe. We also offer a range of additional services such as closed-loop refining, flexible metal management and a variety of payment and finance options.
Choosing the correct jewellery alloy is a difficult process requiring a careful balance of aesthetics, castability, hardness, process requirements and regulatory considerations. We ease this burden with our range of alloys designed with desirable material properties whilst being compatible with a broad spectrum of production methods, from casting and wrought to hand worked fabrication and automated methods such as stamping.
|Fineness (ppt)||Melting||Hardness (Hv)||Annealed
|Density (g/cm3)||Key Characteristics
|HPP platinum||999||1769||1769||55||35||21.4||Improved hardness and strength|
|FP platinum||3% Cu||970||1740||1755||120||30||20.6||Soft for settings|
|GW platinum||4.5% Cu||955||1725||1745||125/108||29||20||General purpose, medium hard, can be cast|
|HC platinum||4.5% Co||955||1750||1765||135||20||20.8||Fluid for hard castings|
|SW 950 platinum||5% Ir||950||1780||1790||80||30||21.4||Castings, delicate|
|SW 900 platinum||10% Ir||900||1780||1790||110||25||21.5||All purpose alloy|
|SW 850 platinum||15% Ir||850||1800||1820||160||15||21.5||Springs, watch backs|
|SC 950 platinum||5% Pd||950||1755||1765||60/68||22/22 (c)||20.6||Castings, delicate settings|
|SC 900 platinum||10% Pd||900||1740||1755||80/72||22/22 (c)
|SC 850 platinum||15% Pd||850||1730||1750||90/64 (c)||22/22 (c)||19.1||Chain making|
|HM platinum||4.5% Ru||955||1780||1795||130||32||20.7||General purpose, good matching properties|
|HS platinum||Proprietary||950||1370||1520||300||10||19.4||Hard springy, can be cast for catches|
|Palladium||5% Ru proprietary||950||1499||1521||125||35||11.8||Hard and durable alloy, suitable for casting|
|Palladium||5% Ru||950||1558||1580||115||30-35||11.9||Suitable for cold worked pieces|
We take a holistic view of where we source metal and how we are being responsible towards the environment and the communities in which we operate. We also encourage our suppliers to adopt their own values and we have systems in place to manage the activities of our supply chain and contractors.
Despite there being no significant viable stream of 100% recycled platinum group metals, the majority of feedstock for our jewellery products is from secondary sources recycled at our own refineries. These are strictly and constantly monitored to ensure they meet demanding environmental standards. As a leading secondary refiner of platinum group metals, we're the refiner's refiner. We recycle:
- Jewellers’ scrap into fresh mill products
- Collectors’ scrap for final refining into pure metals and alloyed products, such as those supplied to our jewellery customers.
- Virgin metal that is mixed with secondary metal
We also source pgms from similar, reputable and established refineries. Like us, they refine materials from a number of sources, everything from autocatalyst to jewellery scrap.
We’re often asked about 100% recycled platinum. Unlike gold, of which there are decades worth of supply above ground, there are few significant stocks of pgms above ground in vaults. Although mining is energy-intensive and sometimes hazardous, the market is finely balanced with little stock. Virgin metal is therefore required to satisfy demand for a number of sustainable industries, notably automotive catalysts. However, mining companies in South Africa, in particular, are heavily committed to continuous improvement in all areas of Corporate Social Responsibility, including safety and conditions. In addition, we ensure the supply chain has excellent traceability and carried no conflict concerns or Dodd Frank reporting requirements.
With supply so tight, we believe that one user taking only recycled metal would have no net benefit, because this would merely shift the environmental burden to other users, like the auto industry. So it becomes an issue of how the miners and fabricators like us operate, treat the environment, their people and their community.
While we wouldn’t claim our products are from 100% recycled metal, although they quite often are, we ensure they have a minimal impact on the environment. Our facilities are ISO14001 certified for their outstanding environmental performance and we are working towards our sustainability vision. We would encourage you to adopt our values of responsibility and pass it on through the supply chain, from mine to market, to improve the industry reputation and help sustain jewellery manufacturing.
We know how important it is for you to know where your products come from. That’s why at Johnson Matthey we are proud to be one of America's platinum suppliers and we're proud to support the American jewellery industry. However, under the FTC guidelines we are unable to describe our products as made in the USA because the raw materials are largely mined elsewhere. So even though most of our jewellery products are made using metal recycled and refined at our site in the USA, it is originally sourced in South Africa and other mines across the world.
At present, no platinum fabricator or American jeweller working with platinum or palladium can strictly speaking claim their product is American-made because the metals are only partially sourced from American mines. The FTC believes making such claim is misleading to consumers. So while we do not claim our products are made in the USA, we do support the American jewellery industry:
- We support American jobs, employing over 3,000 people in North America across 32 sites, of which 28 are in the USA. Around half of these people are directly or indirectly involved in our jewellery manufacturing and refining operations.
- All of our alloyed jewelry products, such as grain, tube, plate and wire, are fabricated in the USA.
- We upgrade fresh mine material from miners and purify it in the USA to excellent delivery standards.
- Our jewellery products contain mostly recycled metal, refined at our New Jersey refinery, which has the American Chemistry Council's RC 14001 Responsible Care standard. This exceeds the environmental, health and safety requirements of ISO 14001.
- Our jewellery handling sites operate to the highest quality and environmental standards and are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified at a minimum.
- Our platinum group metal (pgm) refinery is also ISO/TS 16949 certified.
Even if our products cannot be labelled as made in the USA, we believe our customer's products can be. We fully support the efforts of Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA), Rio Grande and other industry stakeholders to define the point of origin of jewellery metal as the location of the refiner or fabricator, such as Johnson Matthey. We believe that jewellery manufacturing is a "substantial transformation" of our metal in almost every way, and that this warrants the final jewellery bearing the name "Made in the USA".