Platinum: First among Equals, best choice for engagement rings
Platinum, the gray-white precious metal, derived its name from the Spanish word ‘Platina’ or ‘little silver’. Platinum is one of the rarer elements found in earth’s crust. South Africa supplies approximately 80% of platinum produced globally. Owing to platinum’s natural scarcity, global annual production remains limited to only few hundred tons. Also, due to platinum’s vital uses, it is considered an important ‘precious metal’ commodity and highly valuable.
Platinum and corrosions
One of the least reactive metals, platinum offers significant resistance to corrosions, even at remarkably high temperatures and is hence regarded as ‘noble metal’. Pure platinum is ductile, malleable, and lustrous. Thanks to these unique physical characteristics and chemical stability, this silver-white metal is used effectively for industrial applications. Platinum’s resistance to tarnish and wear in combination with the gleaming veneer makes it an extremely attractive choice in engagement rings.
A Flight from History to Modernity
Traces of platinum were discovered by archaeologists in the gold used by Egyptians in their hieroglyphics and tombs as early as 1200 BC. Nevertheless, it is not known whether the early Egyptians were familiar with platinum and in all probability, they failed to recognize that platinum was present in their gold.
Platinum was knowledgably employed by pre-Columbian Americans located near modern-day Esmeraldas in Ecuador. They used a comparatively sophisticated method of powder metallurgy to produce stunning artifacts with a white alloy of gold and platinum. The platinum used in these objects was exactly not the pure material but a naturally occurring combination of multiple platinum group metals that included slight amounts of rhodium, iridium and palladium. The earliest reference to platinum can be found in European discoveries in 1557.
Application of Platinum
Application of platinum is extremely varied. As of data available until 2014, 34% were used for jewelry and especially engagement rings. Apart from this, 45% was used in vehicle emission control devices, and the rest were allocated amongst petroleum refining and chemical production, electrical applications, and minor applications like biomedicine and medicine, investment, glassmaking equipment, anticancer drugs, electrodes, oxygen sensors, turbine engines and spark plugs.
Platinum is Forever
Over the years, connoisseurs have discovered and rediscovered platinum to associate it with wealth and exclusivity. This fascination with platinum has encouraged engagement rings ingénues around the world to create some of the finest and striking ornaments with this metal. Platinum is passion and a medium of ingenuity for artisans and aficionados alike.
An exceptionally versatile metal, platinum has enamored designers for over centuries. Connoisseurs have discovered the distinctive qualities of platinum which signifies that it will not change color or fade over time.
Qualifying Characteristics of Platinum
The rarest of valuable metals, platinum is naturally white and provides the most protected setting for precious stones like diamonds-in engagement rings. When it comes to expressing love that promises to last the lifetime, there is no better way to do that than opting for the perfect choice of platinum.
- Platinum is thirty time rarer than familiar gold
- Platinum engagement rings are simply exclusive and desired as the statement of individuality by people in the know
- Platinum is naturally white and hence will not radiate any unwanted color in a diamond
- Platinum used in jewelry is generally 95% pure so it will never tarnish or fade
- Being hypoallergenic, platinum is ideal for individuals with sensitive skin
- The resistance and durability of platinum refers to a selection of jewelry that will last the lifetime of frequent wear
- Platinum being a strong metal does not wear away and so, holds stones securely and retains intricate designs
Greatest jewelry designers over the world have always preferred working with this metal. Platinum’s remarkable malleability allows it to be drawn out beautifully yet sturdily into a fine wire. This pliability enables the creation of delicate and intricate engagement ring designs in platinum which cannot be fashioned from any other precious metals.
Platinum is also highly sought after in other fields such as in catalytic converters for automotive industry as well as in making pacemakers in healthcare. The unique properties of platinum mean that it can be effectively used in human body without any harmful effects as it does not create any oxidation effect in blood.
Platinum Compared to Other Metals
Not every white metal shares the same qualities. For instance, white gold, though a white metal, is an alloy created out of yellow gold. To maintain the white color of white gold over the years, it needs to be re-plated as and when required. Compared to this, platinum is white in nature and will never tarnish or fade.
- Comparing the properties of platinum with other metals show that other alloy metals in white shades tend to fade unlike platinum
- Platinum is extremely strong and does not change its shape, hence platinum jewelries are virtually eternal
- Platinum while being durable is also incredibly dense. Therefore, it feels definitely heavier than most metals. For instance, a platinum ring would be as much as 40% heavier than a ring of same size made out of pure gold
- Compared to 75% purity of 18k gold, platinum is often 95% pure when used in engagement rings
Authenticity of platinum can be determined by identifying the hallmark – a mark or symbol that indicates the highest quality of platinum used in jewelry. Platinum Guild International (PGI USA), a global platinum authority provides necessary information to help buyers make informed choice while investing in platinum.
Platinum Jewelry and engagement rings
Platinum has been a dominant force in jewelry & engagement ring designs whether classic or contemporary for over a long time. Jeweler’s fascination with this precious metal is best reflected in designer and custom pieces showcased at imposing stores around fashion hubs of the world. Platinum lasts longer and offer the best value over time. Any vintage platinum ring from pre-World War II period stands testament to lofty eulogies by the designers. Compared to platinum, white gold is nothing but an economical and wannabe alternative. Though there is a certain cost perspective, opting for the real deal is a better option for platinum’s enduring value.
No wonder, connoisseurs always insist that there’s a certain ‘romance’ to all things platinum.