Jewellery Metals - Platinum
Because the noble precious metal known as platinum is so rare, it has come to be associated with an elevated prestige that surpasses even gold. Unforgettably beautiful, versatile and elegant, platinum is also treasured for its durability and resilience.
Origin & Supply of Platinum
The luxurious and famously rare white metal known at platinum gets its name from the Spanish term “platina”, which literally translates as "little silver".
Platinum occurs naturally in the alluvial sands of certain rivers. It is also found in nickel and copper ore deposits. This exclusive metal was initially used by pre-Columbian South American natives to produce meaningful artefacts.
The alluvial deposits used by these pre-Columbian people are still a source of platinum group metals, while another large alluvial deposit continues to be mined in the Ural Mountains of Russia.
Apart from being so rare, platinum stands out for having a remarkable resistance to corrosion, even at high temperatures. For this reason it is called a ‘noble metal’.
Platinum is generally also an extremely pure material – it has a purity of 95%, whereas for example 18 carat gold is only 75%. This means that not only is its white lustre never diminished by fading, it is hypoallergenic therefore naturally kind to the skin.
Because platinum is so durably resistant to wear and tarnish, it is extremely well suited for use in fine jewellery. Its versatility also lends to exquisite craftsmanship, with prime examples seen from major brands such as Fabergé and Cartier.
Platinum Buying Tips
Platinum is 35 times more rare than gold, so for this reason it does not come cheap.
This metal is also very dense – it would weigh over a third more than the same jewellery piece made from 18 carat gold.
The extreme durability of platinum means that it is the perfect choice for jewellery that lasts a lifetime.
Allergic reactions are usually caused by the alloys that are used in precious metals. Because platinum does not require this treatment, it is ideal for those with sensitive skin.
Bleach and other harsh chemicals will not damage platinum, however they can cause discolouration of any gemstones that may be present in the setting. For this reason it’s always best to prevent jewellery from coming into contact with these types of materials.