Do you write, platinum bars, platinum teeth, inside your jaws
Diamond gon’ rock my platinum wrist, platinum toilet to take a ish
Gold is gold, and platinum is happenin so, wodie watch this” – lyrics from Platinum Starz
My generation was the first one to be exposed to a new genre of music called hip hop where its artists were known as rappers. Status among rappers has always been measured in jewelry and cars. In the ’90s and ’00s if you wanted to show that you were a rap king it was all about the “bling”.
Gold has been a historic favorite of emperors, dictators, drug dealers, and commoners but platinum was made most famous by rappers. The street lyricists were right to view platinum as superior to gold during their rise to notoriety. Platinum is substantially more difficult to use in jewelry making than gold. Platinum has a much higher melting point than gold and is difficult to work with in jewelry. For these reasons, it’s not surprising that historically platinum has maintained a price premium vs gold.
The chart below shows the price per ounce difference between platinum and gold since 1987. You’ll notice that platinum has historically had an average premium of approximately $100 per ounce above that of gold. In June 2008 it rocketed past gold with a premium of $1,143 per ounce above gold.
But times have changed for platinum and hip hop. Many have called the last decade the death of hip hop. Having listened to the current hip hop available in 2019 I agree that it has died and in need of a comeback. Perhaps this is what explains the slump in platinum prices. Platinum has fallen from its historic premium to gold and is now selling at an eye-popping discount of -$645!!
As everyone in the music business knows, it’s not gold record sales that matter, it’s platinum.
Now go get yourself some bling. You’ll thank us later!