MUMBAI (Commodity Online): After China, platinum jewellery is making inroads in India now.

Till now, Indians have been ardent lovers of gold, buying it on every auspicious occasion. Indians are the biggest consumers of the yellow metal in the world.

But, things are changing slowly. Platinum is the new craze for younger generation and they go for the white metal.

With its price coming closer to gold, platinum jewellery has gained momentum in the past two years. Leading platinum jewellery manufacturers have been targeting consumers in the 20-40 age group with high disposable income. Platinum jewellery items of various sizes, types and weight are available with almost with every mid-size jewellery maker and seller in Tier-I and Tier-II cities in India.

Market researchers said the demand for platinum may increase to 15 tonnes by the end of 2010-11 against 10 tonnes in 2008-09. The price of platinum, which was double that of gold, has slipped to match the yellow metal. Therefore, consumers who considered platinum a metal beyond reach can now dare to buy it. Again, the metal also offers re-sale value in tune with gold jewellery items and, hence, consumers feel it is a better investment.

In March 2008, platinum was sold in London at $2,285 an oz as against the price for gold at $985 an oz. But gradually, the gap narrowed due to gold's treatment as a safe-haven investment at the time of the global economic crisis. By October 27, 2008, platinum slipped to $752 an oz, while gold fell to $880 an oz. Later in December 2008, platinum gradually recovered to $790 an oz, while gold fell amid fear of economic crisis to trade at $750 an oz. Today, platinum at $1,578 an oz is about one-and-a-half times higher than gold at $1,135 an oz.