What is Platinum and Why is it Associated with Luxury
The word platinum originated from the Spanish word ‘platina’, meaning little silver. Platinum is a precious metal known for its rarity, purity, and durability, thus, making it the ultimate metal for engagement rings and wedding bands to symbolize luxury, purity, and longevity in a relationship. As such, platinum has adopted many uses and meanings over the years. Record-breaking albums, white hair, men’s cologne (Aquarius Platinum), 70th wedding anniversary, and luxury jewelry.
The Ancient Egyptians First Used Platinum
The ancient Egyptians first used platinum. They believed platinum was an immature form of silver and consequently called it ‘white gold.’ Platinum was not recognized as a distinct metal until the 18th century when the Spanish colonizers in South America gave it its name.
Egyptian artisans used platinum to create decorative objects and jewelry. It is believed that the Egyptians obtained platinum from alluvial deposits in the Eastern Desert which is located in present-day Egypt. However, the use of platinum by the ancient Egyptians remained limited, and it was not until centuries later that the metal gained widespread recognition.
Platinum is More Rare than Gold
Platinum is one of the rarest metals in the world, even rarer than gold. The total amount of platinum ever mined throughout history is estimated to fit into a single room. In contrast, gold is much more abundant, with around 190,000 tons of gold mined.
One of the reasons why platinum is so rare is that it is much harder to extract from the ground than other metals. Platinum is found in small amounts in the Earth’s crust mixed with other metals at very low concentrations. It’s usually obtained as a by-product of mining other metals, such as nickel and copper, making it difficult and expensive to extract.
In recent years, the price of platinum has fluctuated significantly. At times, it has been more valuable per ounce than gold, while at other times, it has been worth less. However, platinum is likely to remain a valuable and sought-after metal for years to come due to its rarity and unique properties.
The World’s Most Precious Metal: Platinum
Platinum is the world’s most precious metal, found in various parts of the world, including South Africa, Russia, Canada, and the United States.
South Africa is the largest producer of platinum in the world, accounting for more than 70% of global production. The country’s platinum mines are located in the Bushveld Complex, a geological formation that spans the provinces of Limpopo and North West.
Russia is the second-largest producer of platinum, with most of its production coming from the Norilsk-Talnakh region in Siberia. Canada and the United States also have significant platinum reserves, with mines in Ontario, Montana, and Alaska.
Platinum has a range of applications in different industries used primarily in the automotive industry—due to its resistance to corrosion and durability—in catalytic converters to reduce harmful emissions. It’s also used in jewelry, electronics, and chemical applications.
Why Jewelry Made of Platinum is a Great Choice
Platinum is a timeless and elegant choice sure to last a lifetime and is an excellent choice for jewelry meant to be cherished and passed down for generations. Platinum is a dense, malleable, ductile, silver-white metal that will not change color over time. Platinum is one of the most valuable metals in the world and is widely used in the jewelry industry for its beauty and durability.
Platinum has many unique properties which make it an ideal metal for jewelry. It’s resistant to tarnishing and corrosion, maintaining its luster and beauty. It requires much less maintenance than other white metals like gold and silver. Platinum is also hypoallergenic, making it an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin.
In addition to its beauty, platinum is a versatile metal that can be formed into many different shapes and styles. It can be polished to a high shine or a matte or patina finish for a more understated look. When purchasing platinum jewelry, it is important to look for a hallmark that indicates its purity.
Platinum as a Luxury Engagement Ring
Platinum is a popular choice for engagement rings, especially for luxurious and long-lasting options. Its rarity, durability, and beauty make it an ideal choice for a symbol of love that will last a lifetime.
One reason platinum is a sought-after metal for engagement rings is its durability. It is one of the strongest and most enduring metals in jewelry making, which means it can withstand daily wear and tear without losing its shape, which is especially important for an engagement ring that will be worn every day. If platinum becomes scratched or worn, it can easily be brought back to its full luster and beauty by a skilled goldsmith.
Another reason why platinum is a popular choice for engagement rings is its rarity. Platinum is one of the rarest metals on Earth, and this scarcity means that it is often associated with exclusivity and luxury. Choosing a platinum engagement ring is a way to show your partner that they are worth something rare, unique, and special.
Platinum’s beauty is undeniable. Its bright white is the perfect backdrop for diamonds and other precious stones, making them appear even more brilliant. Its timeless and classic color makes it a popular choice for engagement rings that will never go out of style.
Tips for Buying Platinum Jewelry
If you choose platinum jewelry, you should keep a few things in mind to ensure that you get the best value for your money. Here are some tips to help you make the right purchase:
- Understand the meaning of PT950: PT950 stands for “Platinum 950,” meaning that the jewelry is made of 95% pure platinum, making it a high-quality and durable metal well-suited for jewelry.
- Check for authenticity: Make sure the jewelry you’re buying is authentic PT950. Look for markings or stamps that indicate the platinum content, such as “PT950” or “950Pt.”
- Consider the design: Platinum is a versatile metal that can be molded into various shapes and designs. Consider the style and design of the jewelry to ensure that it suits your taste and preferences.
- Compare prices: Platinum is a valuable metal, so it’s important to compare prices from different shops to ensure you’re getting a fair price. Remember the price can vary based on the piece’s design, size, and quality. A more intricate design required more detailed goldsmithing expertise so the labor in creating the piece needs to be taken into consideration.
- If a piece of platinum jewelry is marked ‘10%iridplat,’ it generally contains 90% platinum and 10% iridium, a platinum group metal. This is very commonly used in jewelry making and is still considered a platinum jewelry piece. Iridium is a “sister” metal to platinum.
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