All that glitters may not be gold. It may very well be, in fact, platinum. Glinting and glam, this brilliant metal looks just as stunning in diamond and gemstone settings as it does mixed with gold and other metallic hues. But, platinum jewellery isn’t just for show—its durability and resistance to tarnish means it can go the distance, lasting for generations to follow. From its gritty beginnings to its resurgence in the Victorian era and its shining comeback in modern times, the history of platinum runs deep with stories of culture, science, and even intrigue. Keep reading—here's everything you need to know.
What Is Platinum?
Platinum is a noble metal. This lustrous, rare silvery-white metal is malleable, ductile and one of the least reactive metals with an amazing resistance to corrosion. Today, platinum is one of the more popular metals for jewellery, watches, and other luxury accessories. It’s also widely used in various industries, including electronics, medical devices, and automotive engineering.
Platinum is a rare metal—30 times rarer than gold or silver. It’s also considered hard to work with due to its unique composition. No surprise, then, that it’s also one of the most expensive, priced at $910 per ounce as of 2023.
Characteristics Of Platinum
Platinum jewellery is remarkably resistant to wear and tear. The metal doesn't fade, discolour, or corrode easily, meaning you can wear it day after day without having to worry about it losing its lustre. Its hypoallergenic properties make it a safe choice for those with sensitive skin.
Moreover, due to its higher density, given the same ring size, platinum is heavier than gold, making it a lot more solid and comfortable to wear.
The colour of platinum is a major draw. Its beautiful silver-white hue is the perfect complement to diamonds and other coloured gemstones, highlighting their natural beauty without altering their hues. In particular, diamonds shine brighter and look truer to their natural colour when set in platinum, compared to other metals.
The History Of Platinum Jewellery
Platinum’s story isn’t one of immediate love. Platinum, originally named platina meaning ‘little silver’, was discovered in South America by Spanish Conquistadors in the early 16th century. However, owing to its relative rarity, gold remained the preferred metal at the time.
Platina remained all but forgotten throughout the years until it was rediscovered and declared a precious metal by Swedish scientist, Theophil Scheffer in the 17th century. Platinum really took off in the late 19th century, when American jeweller Tiffany & Co began using it in its diamond collections. Cartier, who had been dabbling with platinum since the 1860s, also hopped on the platinum jewellery bandwagon in the early 1900s.
Why Is Platinum Ring More Expensive Than Gold?
Platinum's rarity makes it a hot commodity—there's not much of it around, so its value is driven up by supply and demand. Additionally, platinum jewellery is usually refined up to 90%-95% vs. gold ranging from 58%, 75%, 91.6% up to 99.9%, depending on the country's preference. Also, platinum is way denser than gold. It's packed with a lot more molecules per inch. And since precious metals are sold by weight, this means the buyer pays more money for the same size.
How To Care For Your Platinum Jewellery
Platinum metal is beautiful, durable, and hypoallergenic. It requires little in the way of special care and maintenance. To clean, gently scrub with a soft brush and a mild soap solution (dishwashing liquid is fine) and then immediately buff dry with a soft cloth. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners as these can ruin the finish of your platinum jewellery. When you’re not wearing them, store pieces separately in a cloth bag with an anti-tarnish strip. Regularly inspect settings and clasps to ensure stones stay secure.
If you’re looking to add a bit of shimmer to your jewellery collection, it’s hard to go wrong with platinum jewellery. Its glossy sheen and superior durability make it the perfect companion for diamonds, sapphires, and other gemstones. Ready to add this jewellery box staple to your collection? Whether for yourself or as a gift, explore Diamond & Platinum’s range of sleek and elegant platinum jewellery and bring home yours today.