Although is seems like Platinum is a new metal, it has a long and legendary history. The ancient Egyptians mastered the technique of processing platinum and used it to decorate caskets with ornate platinum hieroglyphics. The Indians of South America in 100BC created nose rings and various other items of jewelry combining platinum and gold.
King Louis XVI proclaimed it the “Only metal fit for Kings.” Platinum is by far the strongest of all the precious metals. And because it is so dense, it will not wear away like other metals. It is so dense that a six-inch cube weighs 165 pounds!
Rings with platinum prongs need less maintenance and hold precious stones longer than rings with gold prongs. In fact, the world’s most famous diamonds, including the Hope, are secured with platinum. And even legendary jewelers such as Cartier, Faberge and Tiffany created their famous designs in platinum.
Platinum was the metal of choice in the early 1900s, but during WWII it was declared a strategic metal and its use was banned in all non-military applications, including jewelry. White gold’s popularity soon soared in platinum’s absence, and it never regained its former popularity until the late 1990s.
Platinum is one of the rarest metals on Earth. Ten tons of ore and eight weeks are required to produce one once of platinum. And all of the platinum ever mined could fit into the average size living room.
Platinum jewelry is as elegant and versatile as it is pure. In the U.S. platinum is 90 to 95% pure. Compared to 18k gold, which is 75% pure and 14k gold, which is 58.5% pure. Because it is so pure it is also hypoallergenic.