Perfect Platinum: What you should know about this precious metal

Platinum bracelet

Platinum bracelet

Platinum is the “gold standard” (so to speak) of jewelry metals. It’s only found in a few places around the world, generally South Africa and Russia. And while it’s ancient (the Egyptians used it thousands of years ago), it set the modern jewelry world on fire when Cartier, Faberge, and Tiffany used it to show off their creations.

Did you know…

  • Platinum weighs more than gold.
  • 10 tons of ore have to be mined to get 1 ounce of platinum.
  • The Hope Diamond is set in it.
  • Platinum weighs more than gold, so jewelry will be heavier.

ringIdentifying platinum

How do you know if a piece of jewelry is high-grade platinum? Look for markings: 950 is a blend of 95% platinum and 5% alloy—usually ruthenium, copper, cobalt, iridium, rhodium, or palladium. 900 indicates 90% platinum and 10% of an alloy—usually ruthenium or iridium.

Platinum vs. white gold

White gold and platinum have become the metals of choice for wedding bands. At first glance, the two metals may look similar, but they’re actually very different.

  • Durability: White gold is softer, so scratches can mean it actually loses tiny amounts of metal. This can cause wear to the band and prongs. Platinum is stronger, so it’s less likely to bend under general pressure. However, unlike gold, which can be lightly polished and buffed to remove scratches, platinum’s tougher surface makes getting scratches out more difficult.
  • Allergies: To achieve its color, white gold has to be mixed with another metal—like silver, nickel, palladium, or manganese—and is covered in rhodium for shine. This can cause an allergic reaction. Platinum, on the other hand, is hypoallergenic.
  • Maintenance: White gold can fade over time and turn a shade of yellow, unless it’s re-plated with rhodium. Platinum wears with age, though it lasts about 2-3 times longer than gold. On the plus side, as platinum loses some of its luster, this can make the diamond in its setting appear to shine even brighter.

bracelet2So, while platinum costs more than white gold, it will generally outlast gold in durability. And while a “gold medal” indicates the highest perfect achievement, consider that a platinum credit card has more status than a gold one.

If you have questions about whether platinum or gold is right for you, or whether your prized heirloom is really platinum, let me know. I’m ready to help.

Brilliantly yours, Aimee


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