When people use gold, silver and bronze rankings for anything, they often use platinum as an extra special class above all the others. Platinum has overtaken gold as the most popular metal for wedding rings and it’s widely accepted as the most precious of the commonly used precious metals. But why? Why is platinum considered to be a cut above other metals?
Qualities and Symbolism
Platinum isn’t only a very pure looking white metal, it is also very pure in its composition. This makes it hypoallergenic so suitable for even sensitive skin types. It’s popular in wedding rings not just because it won’t make your love have an allergic reaction but also because, unlike white gold, it doesn’t fade to yellow over time and is very resistant to tarnishing and corrosion. Many people see this very durable and long lasting quality as symbolic of a long lasting and strong relationship. Its purity is also seen as representative of a pure and true love. Platinum is also a very dense metal which makes it feel heavy compared to other metals and satisfyingly substantial.
Platinum is said to be 30 times rarer than gold. It’s so rare, in fact, that the president of Platinum Guild International USA stated that if you poured all the platinum ever mined into an Olympic sized swimming pool, it would barely come up to your ankle but all the gold ever mined would fill three whole pools. This rarity is one of the many reasons platinum is so prized.
Although platinum was used in ancient times to make jewellery and decorative pieces, it was first documented by an Italian physician in 1557 who described it as a metal which wouldn’t melt and called it ‘platina’ which means ‘little silver’. It was generally considered to be unmeltable and unworkable until the early 1800s when two British chemists produced a purified version by melting it in a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids known as aqua regia which separated the platinum from other materials such as palladium, rhodium, osmium and iridium. Nowadays, it’s mined primarily in South Africa but is also found in large quantities in meteorites.
People generally know that platinum is very shiny and beautiful but not as many people know that it is useful as a catalyst to make chemicals such as silicone, nitric acid and benzene as well as being able to convert harmful exhaust emissions into less damaging waste. That’s why half of the demand for platinum is for use in catalytic converters on exhaust pipes for cars and other vehicles. It’s also used extensively in medicine as a component of some chemotherapy drugs and in making pacemakers and even some dental fillings. Being very strong and heat resistant also means it’s useful for defence applications and platinum based materials can be used to coat jet engine blades to allow them to withstand temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees. Platinum is also very resistant to chemical attacks.
It’s safe to say that platinum is indeed very special and it remains hugely popular for all kinds of jewellery. We are always being asked for platinum engagement rings, wedding rings, other types of rings and pendants set with all kinds of gems and always have plenty of platinum items in stock here at James Ross Jewellers. If you are looking for a specific type of platinum item or would like to browse the platinum jewellery we have, please give us a call on 01273 239763 or email email@example.com.