Platinum Explained

Platinum bezel set engagement ringThe furor surrounding platinum erupted towards the start of this century when the buyers of the world were introduced to this shiny, silvery metal. It is rare and that makes it precious, and like all precious metals, it is used in crafting fine jewelry. Platinum, by nature is a heavy metal just as its predecessors, gold and silver are. For what it’s worth, platinum and diamond bond together like the atoms of hydrogen and oxygen. Part of the reason for their perfect match is that platinum has the body to hold gemstones firmly, something that makes gems the life of platinum jewelry. The furor surrounding platinum erupted towards the start of this century when the buyers of the world were introduced to this shiny, silvery metal. It is rare and that makes it precious, and like all precious metals, it is used in crafting fine jewelry. Platinum, by nature is a heavy metal just as its predecessors, gold and silver are. For what it’s worth, platinum and diamond bond together like the atoms of hydrogen and oxygen. Part of the reason for their perfect match is that platinum has the body to hold gemstones firmly, something that makes gems the life of platinum jewelry. So, if you are about to buy your first platinum jewelry or just casually reading about it out of general curiosity, here are some things to know.

 

 

The Platinum Group

Platinum, much to the surprise of most, is not a single metal, but a group of metals. Platinum when fused with a bunch of acceptable alloy form the following array of metals:

  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Iridium
  • Rhodium
  • Ruthenium
  • Osmium

Jewelry that is made of 50% platinum with other aforementioned alloys is labelled as platinum jewelry. However, the equation changes in case of presence of other metals in equal proportion as alloy. So, a piece containing gold and platinum in half and half cannot be called a platinum piece. For a piece to be labeled as platinum, it has to contain 85% pure platinum. That is part of the reason why platinum ornaments are so expensive. They use pure platinum in large quantities with mostly alloys from the platinum family.

 

Platinum Marks

Here is the part that buyers must read attentively. The US government has some standards set for the purity and content of platinum in jewelry. Those earmarks control the labelling and pricing of the jewelry.

Jewelry is described as platinum-made only when it contains 950 parts platinum for every thousand. That makes the platinum content in a platinum jewelry piece as high as 95%. However, jewelry that contain pure platinum in lesser amounts are not exactly non-platinum. The board has a different name assigned to it.  Jewelry that are marked Pt or Plat are ones that contain 850 to 950 per 1000 part of platinum.  Those that have 650 parts platinum and 350 parts iridium are marked 600Pt., with 350 Ir.  For Palladium, the marking initial is Pall.  So look out for the markings to find out the content of platinum in a piece.

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