Platinum Tunnels

I did a fun thought experiment today. I currently have stretched earlobes, to the size of 00g. Typically I wear double flared stainless steel tunnels like these. For reference, I paid $10.10 for a pair of stainless steel tunnels from this vendor which includes taxes and shipping.

The thought experiment I did was: what might it cost me if I wanted to get the same type of tunnels, but made from platinum?

Today I weighed this pair of tunnels on a 0.001 g accurate scale. The pair weighs out at 2.666 grams. I’m not sure exactly what type of stainless steel these tunnels are made from so I’m assuming it’s stainless steel 304 which has a density of 7999 kg/m^3. There are some stainless steel varieties that are denser and some that are lighter, but they’re all pretty close to this value (within a few percentage points), and stainless steel 304 seems to be quite common.

Platinum is 21451 kg/m^3 or about 2.7 times denser than stainless steel. When I did the math, if my tunnels were made exactly the same way but made of platinum rather than steel I estimate that they’d weigh 7.150 grams for the pair.

The current value of platinum is $32.62/g so the value of the platinum in such tunnels would be $233.23 just for the platinum.

I have no idea what the actual cost would be to get something like this made. I did some research into how platinum rings are made. What they normally do is take a bunch of platinum and then cast it into a tube of some thickness for a specific ring size. Then they take the tube and cut it into a bunch of sections where each section is ring-shaped. These ring-shaped sections are then worked to get the desired final shape and moulding and whatnot. This is an efficient process because a lot of rings of the same size can be made easily. Making tunnels like I have be fairly nonstandard since it would require a custom casting or milling process.