When selecting fine jewelry, the most precious materials, the richest and brightest gemstones, the most attractive designs, and the most durable and beautiful metals, are the most highly desired. This is especially true when purchasing jewelry to commemorate a special occasion of one of life's milestones.
Platinum is one of the most beautiful metals used in jewelry today. Its rich white luster and understated elegance are beyond compare. Platinum is the metal of choice for today's discriminating jewelry buyer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Platinum Jewelry
- Why is platinum's purity important to me? Because platinum is so pure, it is hypoallergenic, resists tarnish, is one of the world's strongest jewelry metals and is extremely durable.
- Is platinum the same as white gold? No, it is quite different. To create white gold, yellow gold is alloyed with copper and silver along with small amounts of nickel and zinc to achieve a white look. However, it does not have the same purity, strength, rarity, durability or natural white color as platinum.
- How should I care for and clean platinum jewelry? Platinum jewelry should be cleaned the same way you clean other fine jewelry. Use a pre-packaged jewelry cleaner or have it professionally cleaned by your jeweler. As with all precious jewelry, store with care, not allowing pieces to touch or scratch each other.
- Is platinum fashionable? How will it coordinate with my gold jewelry? Yes, platinum is fashionable! It is very fashionable to wear platinum with your karat gold jewelry. In fact, many platinum designs combine the two metals. Platinum's white color beautifully contrasts with yellow gold and adds versatility to your jewelry wardrobe.
The Strengths of Platinum
Beneath its subtle beauty and understated elegance lie the properties which make platinum truly unique.
- Platinum is Strong
It is the heaviest of the precious metals, weighing almost twice as much as karat gold. A six inch cube of platinum weighs 165 pounds. It is one of the world's strongest and most enduring metals, and will hold diamonds and gemstones securely in their mountings. Even after many years, platinum will not wear away or wear down. For example, after many years of wear, a gold wedding band's shank will wear down and become thinner. This is not the case with platinum. As with all precious metals (gold, silver, etc.), platinum can be scratched. However, with platinum, there is actually no material lost from the scratch as there is with gold. If your platinum jewelry becomes scratched, simply take it to your jeweler for a quick polish.
- Platinum is Pure
In America, platinum jewelry contains either 90% or 95% pure platinum. By comparison, 18 karat gold is 75% pure and 14 karat is 58% pure gold. Platinum will never tarnish or lose its rich white luster.
- Platinum is Rare
Ten tons of ore must be mined to produce a single ounce of platinum. It takes five months to process platinum ore into pure platinum. Only after this time can skilled hands work their creativity and craftsmanship, transforming platinum into pieces of wearable art.
- The Difference is Night and Day
White hot in the mid-day sun. Luminous beneath the stars. Platinum goes from day to night with subtle elegance and sophistication.
Platinum jewelry is as versatile as it is beautiful. The choice is yours: platinum with karat gold accents for breathtaking new versatility or, for the purist, the subtle look of all platinum. Whether inspired by classic or contemporary themes, platinum jewelry is perfect for any occasion under the sun, moon or stars. A quiet luxury in today's world. A treasure to be worn.
How To Buy Platinum
No other precious metal is as distinctive to own and wear or possesses all the qualities of platinum. Platinum's lustrous sheen and rare beauty are coveted worldwide. Platinum jewelry made in America contains either 90% or 95% pure platinum.
Platinum jewelry marked "IRIDPLAT" contains 90% platinum and 10% iridium. When marked "PLAT," an item is at least 95% platinum, with 5% ruthenium. Whether you are choosing a ring, pin, bracelet, necklace or bridal jewelry, you will find new and sophisticated platinum designs. An experienced jeweler can assist you in selecting platinum jewelry that will bring pleasure to you and the recipient for years to come.
A Lustrous History
Although platinum may seem new, it is also legendary. The ancient Egyptians and South American Incas prized it. France's Louis XVI proclaimed it the only metal fit for royalty.
Legendary jewelers such as Faberge and Tiffany created their timeless designs in platinum. The world's famous diamonds, including the Hope, Jonker I and Koh-I-Noor, are secured by the permanence of platinum.
Important dates in Platinum history
- In approximately 700 BC ancient Egyptians mastered the techniques of processing platinum and decorated the casket that holds documents for High Priestess Schepenupet with ornate platinum hieroglyphics.
- In approximately 100 BC the Indians in Pre-Columbian South American cultures succeeded in working platinum and gold together. In 1590 Spanish Conquistadors discovered the white metal in the rivers of Ecuador. In 1824 Substantial deposits of platinum are discovered in the Ural Mountains in Russia.
- Platinum reached its peak of popularity in the early 1900s when it was the preferred metal for all fine jewelry in America. When World War II began, the U.S. government declared platinum a strategic metal and its use in non-military applications, including jewelry, was disallowed. To appease consumers who preferred platinum's white luster, white gold was substituted in platinum's absence.
Today, platinum again charms and enchants a new generation of consumers. Rare, classic and timeless. One of earth's rarest gifts.
Ben Bridge Jeweler carries a wide selection of rings and other beautiful jewelry in platinum. For more information, please see Ask The Jeweler.
Information provided in cooperation with Platinum Guild International (PGI).