Scientific Symbol: Pt
Atomic Number: 78
The striking sheen of platinum makes it the precious metal of choice for the highest quality jewelry. Unlike white gold which on occasion will be treated with Rhodium to maintain its appearance, the magnificent appearance of platinum stands on its own. The heavy weight, resistance to corrosion and durability of platinum make it a metal that will not wear away with constant use. Platinum is far more precious than gold. The price of platinum varies with market conditions but normally is almost twice the price of gold.
Platinum has long been associated with exclusivity and wealth. “Platinum” credit cards offer more privileges than “gold” ones. A “Platinum award” is a term used to express the highest possible level of recognition. In the 18th century, King Louis XV of France declared Platinum the only metal fit for a king. The frame of Queen Elizabeth’s Crown is made of platinum. Platinum jewelry is particularly admired in Japan.
Platinum provides a rich backdrop for diamonds. Traditionally, diamonds of less pure color have been set in gold to hide this weakness. The very highest quality white diamonds may be shown to best advantage in a setting of radiant platinum. Jewelry of platinum alone is equally elegant Touches of 18 carat yellow gold combine with platinum to create a stunning appearance.
Platinum jewelry is classified by the amount of platinum it contains. Platinum content is measured in parts per thousand of metal composition. The number you will see shows how many parts per one thousand is pure platinum. If you see ’850 Plat’ marking, it has 850 parts platinum out of 1000 total parts.
- Jewelry that contains at least 950 parts may be marked or described as “Platinum”
- Jewelry that contains between 850 and 950 parts pure will be marked with the number of parts platinum and “Pt” or “Plat” as disclosure of the makeup of the metal, such as:
- “850 Plat”or “850 Pt”, or
- “950 Plat”or “950 Pt”
Platinum is the strongest of jewelry metals. It can, however, scratch and develop a patina of wear. Many people find this look unique to platinum as well as very attractive. Soaking platinum in a solution of soap and warm water while gently scrubbing it with a soft-bristled brush at home is all that is required to maintain the metal’s luster. Buffing with a soft cloth will usually bring mildly scratched platinum jewelry to its pristine luster. For more severe scratches, a jeweler can easily polish your jewelry to bring back the original finish.