While gold and silver have long been used to make jewellery, platinum is a more expensive option that in recent years has become incredibly sought after. It takes the form of a white metal and it is similar in appearance to silver, hence its name. Platinum is derived from the Spanish word platina, whose literal translation is ‘little silver’.
Platinum, like gold and silver, is an element in its purest form and it is one of the rarest elements that can be found and is the least reactive of all metals. For this reason, platinum is ideal for use in the creation of jewellery because it is incredibly resistant to corrosion, even at high temperatures.
This means that its natural white colour will remain and endure over time, never changing, fading or discolouring. Its white colour is the ideal setting for diamonds because no colour will be reflected onto the diamond to detract from its natural beauty. The cheaper alternative to platinum is white gold, which is less durable and will need its rhodium plating replaced relatively frequently to ensure that it maintains its colour.
While gold is generally combined with other elements because it is so soft when pure, platinum is usually used in its 95 per cent pure form. As well as enhancing its value, the purity of platinum ensures that it is hypoallergenic and will not cause any adverse reaction in the wearer.
Platinum is a very popular metal when used for making rings. This is the case in particular when it comes to wedding and engagement rings. This is partly due to its aesthetic appearance and value, but another important feature is the fact that an engagement or wedding ring will be worn every day. When made of platinum, a ring will be completely durable. It won’t fade, discolour or need to be repaired or replaced.
Another reason why platinum is so important in ring making is because it will hold a diamond so securely in place. From engagement rings purchased on the high street, right through to the most famous and important diamonds in the world such as the Hope Diamond, they are all set in platinum.
Prongs used to hold a stone in place will not bend, warp or become damaged when they are made of this incredibly beautiful, durable and highly sought after metal.