For centuries, jewelers across the world have been working with precious metals to create beautiful works of art. Gold, platinum, palladium, and silver are the metals most often used in jewelry production. Each metal has specific characteristics and properties that suit it to different jewelry applications.
Platinum is a silvery gray metal and is the hardest of the four main metals used in jewelry. It is often considered a high quality, luxury metal. In recent years, it has become one of the most popular precious metals used in fine jewelry.
Platinum is the hardest of the precious metals, which makes it a very good choice for creating durable jewelry that will last a lifetime. Platinum's popularity stems not only from its alluring beauty, but also from its practicality. In fact, it is significantly more durable than both silver and gold. Platinum, however, may look scratched or aged, but the metal will never chip or wear away. Additionally, platinum doesn't tarnish, it is one of the only hypoallergenic precious metals on the market, and can withstand exposure to high temperatures. When it comes to fine jewelry, platinum is a great option. As such, platinum jewelry is especially recommended to consumers who have an active lifestyle, and are looking for jewelry that can withstand a little wear and tear.
This precious metal's natural silver-white luster makes it an especially attractive metal. Unlike white gold, its color does not fade away or wear off, it does not need to be plated with additional layers of rhodium. Platinum's versatile hue makes it an increasingly popular precious metal used in a variety of jewelry designs and styles. Scratched platinum jewelry can be re-polished without losing significant metal weight.
Platinum is also an extremely rare metal. This rarity increases its value, making it more valuable than both gold and silver. Due to its density, platinum is also significantly heavier than gold or silver; a characteristic that adds to the metal's worth.
Like gold, platinum is frequently combined with other metals to create platinum alloys. Platinum is most often alloyed with other PMGs to create a harder but lighter metal for jewelry production. Six slightly different metals belong to the Platinum Group of Metals (PGM): platinum, iridium, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium and osmium. Nearly all fine platinum jewelry is composed of the purest platinum alloy: 95% pure platinum mixed with 5% iridium, palladium or ruthenium to strengthen the metal. These pieces should always be marked with "950 Plat" or "Plat" to indicate their high quality.
If you prefer your platinum jewelry to look as shiny and new as possible, make sure it's safely stored and regularly cleaned. Platinum jewelry is known for developing a 'patina', a fuzzy sheen that can make it look brushed, and while many people enjoy this look, some prefer a cleaner finish.