DRAMATIC swings in the prices of precious metals over the past week have seen platinum rise by 13p per gram while silver has fallen by 9p an ounce.

Michael Bloomstein of Brighton, who supplies the weekly prices for precious metals to the Antiques Trade Gazette, said that the drop in the silver price could be explained by the increasing glut of the metal available on the market. This is continuing because the photographic industry, which traditionally used a great deal of silver, is switching over more and more to digital cameras, which do not use it.

Michael Bloomstein also believes that the rising platinum price can be partially put down to the wider spread of mobile phone capacitors and catalytic converters in cars, both of which use the metal.