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A Brief History of Platinum
Platinum is one of the rarest precious metals and is found in only a few locations around the world.
Although the modern history of Platinum begins only in the 18th century, this precious metal has a rich and noble history dating back to 700 BC. It was first used by the ancient Egyptians, often found in objects such as caskets that were decorated in gold, silver and platinum. It was also found in other small objects at that time. Eight hundred years later, the ancient indigenous populations of South America began to work with platinum, using the precious metal to make jewelry and ceremonial pieces. In the 16th century, platinum resurfaced in Spain when mining for gold and silver in the New World. The first platinum jewelry appeared in Europe in the late 1700s, at the court of Louis XVI of France, but it wasn’t until the 18th century when Antonio De Ulloa was credited for "discovering" platinum.
Great jewelers throughout history such as Carl Fabergé, the famed 19th-century Russian jeweler and Louis Cartier of Paris have prized platinum. Many of the world’s most famous diamonds such as the Hope Diamond are secured in a platinum setting.
Why Choose Platinum Rings?
Platinum is a rare precious metal and is the strongest used in jewelry. Its heavy weight and durability will not wear away with constant use and requires very little maintenance. It holds fine gemstones firmly in place for the life of the jewelry. Platinum doesn't lose its shine and color which also makes these rings a fantastic investment.
One of the strongest and most enduring of metals, it is also one of the heaviest. A piece of jewelry containing 90 percent pure platinum weighs 60 percent more than a 14-karat gold piece of similar size. Platinum is ideal for jewelry that's worn every day because it shows little wear. It's also hypoallergenic and resists tarnish.
Platinum jewelry is pure and is expressed as parts per thousand and the number designated represents how many parts per thousand are contained in the metal. The purity of platinum also makes it naturally hypoallergenic and ideal for those with sensitive skin. In the United States platinum jewelry generally contains anywhere from 85 to 95 percent pure platinum. By comparison, 18-karat gold is 75 percent pure gold and 14-karat gold is only 58 percent pure gold.
If a piece of platinum jewelry is marked "Platinum" then it contains at least 95 percent pure platinum. Jewelry with 85 to 95 percent pure platinum is marked "950 Plat." or "950 Pt.", "850 Plat." or "850 Pt.", etc.
Jewelry containing at least 50 percent pure platinum and at least 95 percent platinum group metals (platinum, palladium, iridium, osmium, rhodium and ruthenium) is marked with the platinum content followed by the content of the other metal. And jewelry containing less than 50 percent pure platinum content cannot be marked with the word "platinum".
The reason why platinum is so unique is because to produce a single ounce of finished platinum, a total of 10 tons of ore must be mined. In comparison, only three tons of ore are required to produce one ounce of gold. Platinum's rich, white luster complements diamonds and other precious gems while its neutral color enhances a stone's brilliance and depth.
Platinum is among the finest, purest and rarest of precious metals and has an understated elegance that appeals to both men and women. Its pure white luster, strength and durability are recognized and admired, bridal couples worldwide are rediscovering platinum as the metal of choice for engagement, wedding and anniversary jewelry.
Because platinum is superior to other metals in strength and durability, it offers a diamond the greatest protection which is why it is perfect for so many occasions. The breathtaking radiance of a diamond fused with the timeless elegance of platinum creates a rare and enduring symbol of love.
Caring for your Platinum Jewelry
Platinum jewelry should be cleaned the same way you clean other fine jewelry. Make sure to use a good jewelry cleaner or have it professionally cleaned by your jeweler. As with all precious jewelry, handle with care, not allowing pieces to touch or scratch each other.
How to Select a Platinum Ring?
When shopping for a platinum ring, talk to your jeweler to find out what percentage of a particular ring is pure platinum. Most importantly, research various styles and stones that you would like in a setting. Platinum rings come in thousands of designs with differing details to suit personal tastes and you can always work with a designer to create a custom piece.