Interesting Facts About Platinum
Nov 6, 2017 // By:admin // No Comment
Platinum is definitely one of the rarest and most sought after precious metals. Most people do not realize how rare platinum is. All of the platinum ever mined would fit in the average living room. There is only about 133 tons of platinum mined every year compared to approximately 1,782 tons of gold. It takes 10 tons of ore and a five-month process to make 1 ounce of platinum.
Some people believe that platinum is a somewhat newer metal, however, it is legendary. The ancient Egyptians and South American Inca’s thought it was priceless. Louis XVI of France made a proclamation that it was the only medal fit for royalty.
The Spanish considered platinum a nuisance and named it platina, which means small silver. Platinum was the same color as silver but it resisted melting or forging so the Spanish government banned it from being imported in the 17th century. The little bit of platinum that did make it to Europe entered as contraband.
In the 18th century platinum had captured the interest of the scientific community. They first thought it was an alloy of gold and iron and in 1751 they concluded it was in fact, a new metal. By the end of the 18th century because of platinum’s properties and resistance to heat and acids made it popular for scientific, medical and industrial purposes.
Some of the most renowned jewelers including Cartier, Faberge and Tiffany have created most of their timeless designs in platinum. The world-famous diamonds including the Hope, Jonker I, and the Koh-I-Noor are secured in platinum. In the early 1900’s platinum reached its peak in popularity and was the preferred metal for all types of fine jewelry in America.
This all changed when World War II began; because the US government declared platinum a strategic metal and any non-military application of this medal including jewelry was disallowed. To try to satisfy consumers who prefer platinum’s white luster, white gold was substituted in platinum’s absence.
Today, once again, platinum charms a new generation of consumers; it is very fashionable to wear platinum and gold jewelry together. In fact many jewelry designs combine platinum and gold together. The white color of platinum contrasts beautifully with yellow gold and adds versatility to jewelry.
Platinum is the heaviest of precious metals and weighs almost twice as much as a karat of gold. It is very strong and will secure diamonds and other precious gems in their settings. Unlike gold, after many years platinum will not wear away or wear down.
As with any and all precious metals including gold and silver, platinum can be scratched. However, platinum doesn’t scratch the same as gold and you can take a platinum piece of scratched jewelry and all the jeweler has to do is polish it and it will be as good as new.
Platinum jewelry is one of the purest medals and most American jewelry contains 90% to 95% of pure platinum. On the other hand, 18 karat gold is only 75% pure and 14 karat gold is 58% pure gold.
Another advantage to platinum is that it will never tarnish or lose its rich white luster. Any type of jewelry set in platinum will be a rare classic and timeless piece. Platinum is one of earth’s rarest gifts. A platinum piece of jewelry is a treasure to be worn for a lifetime.
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