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All About Platinum Jewelry

Platinum is a valuable silvery-white metal that, despite its many applications, is most commonly associated with platinum jewelry, including such items as platinum cross pendants, platinum chains, engagement rings or wedding bands. Its symbol is Pt having an atomic number of 78 and an atomic mass of 195.1. Platinum has a melting point of 3,215.1 ˚Fahrenheit and a boiling point of 6,917 degrees. 

Platinum Jewelry

Platinum is one of the essential fine jewelry metals, alongside gold and sterling silver. It is also a hypoallergenic metal and rare, pure and valuable. Because of these characteristics, it’s a favorite choice for engagement rings, platinum wedding bands, pendants, chains and necklaces, and other fine jewelry.

Properties and Characteristics

Platinum is a beautiful white metal that reflects light well. This is what gives platinum jewelry its natural luster and brilliance. Platinum is one of the densest elements on the planet, making it heavier than other metals used in jewelry. This often makes its more desirable for shoppers seeking more substance and weight in their jewelry, such as those shopping for items such as platinum cross pendants or other fine jewelry that is desirable with a little more substance and weight.

Platinum is approximately 60% heavier than 14k gold. The simplest way to calculate the difference is to simply multiply 14k gold by 1.66. For example, a 10 gram item of jewelry in 14k weighs approx. 16.6 grams in pure platinum. To convert from 18k, multiply by 1.42 and for 22k by 1.22. 

The hardness of Platinum ranges from 4 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale (the maximum hardness is 10). As a result, it’s a soft metal, albeit it’s still more challenging than gold and silver for jewelry manufacturers, which is why the labor cost for platinum jewelry is higher vs. gold or silver. Platinum is a malleable metal that can be bent without breaking. When platinum jewelry is struck or dropped, it is protected against shattering, which can happen with more brittle metals like tungsten.

Platinum Facts

  1. Platinum has a unique quality that it never tarnishes.
  2. Platinum is rarer and more valuable than gold has unrivaled holding strength and durability.
  3. The phrase “platinum” refers to a collection of metals, which include a family of metals, including iridium, osmium, palladium, rhodium, and ruthenium which are all members of this group and Platinum.
  4. Platinum used in jewelry is 95% pure with 5% base or balancing alloys. You will often see the designation 950 applied to platinum, which is used in hallmarking. Stamps may include, “PLAT”, “950” or “PLAT950” depending on the manufacturer and all are legitimate.

Uses of Platinum in the Real World

Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters, which treat vehicle exhaust emissions and reduce their detrimental impacts on human and environmental health, consume over 40% of the annual global supply of Platinum.

Platinum has a wide range of industrial uses, including catalytic converters. Half of all Platinum mined in the United States and a quarter of all Platinum produced globally is utilized for this purpose. 

Standards for Weights

The US Bureau of Standards also uses Platinum for weights. These weights will never change since this metal never oxidizes.

Jewelry Making

Platinum has several properties that make it the best choice for use in jewelry, and this is the second most popular usage for metal. The metal is rigid, tarnish-resistant, and can be heated and cooled repeatedly without hardening or oxidizing.

Market Value of Platinum

Platinum’s price rises due to its limited supply and fierce competition, making platinum jewelry pricey compared to gold or silver. Platinum was trading at roughly USD 1,010 per ounce when updating this guide (January 2022), but has been as high as $2,000 at its peak. You can track the price of rare, white precious metal at places like (just look up the “all metals quote” for a daily spot price market update.

Popular Types of Jewelry Made of Platinum

Because Platinum preserves significant gemstones better than any other precious metal, it is the natural option for milestone jewelry such as engagement ring and wedding band, but is also very popular for items such as platinum chain necklaces or platinum cross pendants. Our best selling items, at Apples of Gold Jewelry, include our paisley wedding band ring shown above, as well as our many wedding bands such as our hammered designs or braided rings. Our top seller is our platinum cross pendant, also shown above, with a matching women’s platinum cross pendant also available and is also included among our top sellers as well as our platinum engagement rings. Overall, platinum is certainly the luxury choice for jewelry due to its higher valuation, but is certainly among the highest quality precious metals available for jewelry.

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Jewelry Education, Jewelry Guide, Platinum Jewelry