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PLATINUM | WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
For its beauty and value, platinum has always been the ultimate expression of celebrations of all kinds: from weddings and anniversaries to birthdays, holidays and other special occasions.
One of the rarest precious metals on earth, platinum is found in only a few locations in the world.
Platinum has a rich and noble history. It was first used by the ancient Egyptians over three thousand years ago. Eight hundred years later, the South American Incas worked with platinum. The first platinum jewelry in Europe appeared around the year 1780, at the court of Louis XVI of France.
It may surprise you that, although platinum has been around for centuries, it has only been used to fashion jewelry for less than two centuries. It is both an ancient and a young metal.
Platinum is among the finest, purest and rarest precious metals on earth, and has an understated elegance that appeals to both men and women.
PLATINUM IS STRONG
Platinum, one of the strongest and most enduring metals in the world, is also one of the heaviest: it weighs 60% more than karat gold. It is ideal for jewelry worn every day because it exhibits little material loss, even after prolonged wear.
PLATINUM IS PURE
In the U.S., platinum jewelry generally contains 90% or 95% pure platinum. By comparison, 18 karat gold is 75% pure gold and 14 karat gold is 58% pure gold. Platinum is hypoallergenic and resists tarnish.
PLATINUM IS RARE
To produce a single ounce of 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. Rarity lends platinum its cachet.
PLATINUM IS LUSTROUS
Platinum's rich, white luster perfectly complements diamonds and other precious gems. Its neutral color enhances a stone's brilliance and depth.
PLATINUM IS FASHIONABLE
Platinum jewelry appeals to many people today because of its subtle beauty and elegant understatement. Many platinum jewelry designs are accented with 18 karat gold, creating a sophisticated, versatile and fashionable look.
Many jewelry designers and manufacturers feel that platinum is best suited for both diamond and colored stone jewelry because of its strength and durability. Platinum prongs show little wear, and thus offer precious stones greater protection.
Platinum is also one of the most enduring jewelry metals. That's why the world's most famous diamonds, like the Hope, Jonker Diamond Number One, and the Koh-i-Noor, are all secured by platinum settings. Faberge, the famed nineteenth century Russian jeweler, prized platinum, as did Louis Cartier of Paris and many of the great jewelers throughout history.
Choosing a stone is only part of the jewelry-buying process. Its setting is just as important, and platinum jewelry offers unusual strength and durability. Fine platinum jewelry endures. Classic design outlives the whims of fashion and retains its character forever.
As platinum's pure white luster, strength and durability are recognized and admired, bridal couples worldwide are rediscovering platinum as the metal of choice for bridal jewelry.
A diamond and its setting should be forever. Because platinum is superior to other metals in strength and durability, it offers a diamond greater protection. The breathtaking radiance of a diamond fused with the timeless elegance of platinum creates a rare and enduring symbol of lifelong love.
Whether you are choosing a ring, pin, bracelet, necklace or bridal jewelry, new and sophisticated designs have created a wide range of platinum jewelry. Many current platinum designs feature 18-karat gold accents. This combination of metals enhances the unique qualities of each.
In the U.S., platinum jewelry usually contains 90% or 95% pure platinum. If a piece of platinum jewelry is marked "irid plat," then it generally contains 90% platinum and 10% iridium, a platinum group metal. If it is marked "plat," then it is at least 95% platinum and another platinum group metal, most likely ruthenium.
Owning a piece of platinum jewelry is a distinct pleasure. You can feel and see the difference; platinum is heavier and denser than other metals and it has an elegant, rich white luster. Buying platinum jewelry is a wise investment. Platinum is one of the rarest, purest and most enduring metals available.
An experienced jeweler can assist you in selecting platinum jewelry that will bring pleasure to you and the recipient for years to come.
No other precious metal is as pure or bears all the qualities of platinum. Worn over a lifetime and passed on to future generations, platinum is the jewelry metal of choice.