Frequently Asked Questions – Platinum

Platinum is one of the rarest metals used for making jewelry, only being found on a few places on Earth. It also takes a lot of platinum ore to make refined platinum. Many of the world’s most famous diamonds, like the Hope and the Koh-i-Noor, are secured by platinum settings. Why is platinum so good for jewelry? Let’s take a look at some common questions and find out!

Q: Why is platinum good for making jewelry?

A: Platinum is one of the least reactive metals, and is very resistance to corrosion, which means it is very resistant to tarnishing . These qualities mean platinum is considered a noble metal. It’s also very dense, 60% denser than yellow gold, so it feels hefty.

Q: What’s the difference between platinum and white gold?

A: White gold is usually rhodium-plated, which wears off and needs to be redone semi-regularly, while platinum does not require plating. White gold is also not recommended for people with nickel allergies, whereas platinum does not contain nickel and is considered hypoallergenic. In the U.S., platinum jewelry generally contains 90% or 95% pure platinum. By comparison, 18 karat gold is 75% pure gold and 14 karat gold is 58% pure gold.

Q: Is platinum harder than gold?

A: Platinum is softer than gold, so it can scratch and dull more quickly than its counterparts. On the other hand, platinum is tougher than gold, so it’s less likely to bend out of shape.

Q: Does platinum stay white, or does it have to be plated with another metal?

A: Platinum does not require plating, it’s a naturally white metal. We recommend platinum jewelry be polished every few months to get out any scratches that may occur through normal wear. But, that’s true for just about every metal.

Q: When was platinum first used in jewelry?

A: The ancient Egyptians were the first to use platinum in jewelry, about three thousand years ago. Eight hundred years later, the South American Incas worked with platinum. The first platinum jewelry in Europe appeared around the year 1780, under the reign of Louis XVI of France. The Edwardian period of jewelry was characterized by platinum settings intricately designed around the stones set in them.

This platinum ring is from the Edwardian period. Notice the intricate detail of the platinum around the stones!