With a naturally rich white lustre platinum jewellery pieces contain a subtle beauty and elegance. Platinum is one of the world’s strongest precious metals and is extremely durable. Platinum is ideal for jewellery worn every day because, while it can be scratched, it exhibits little material loss even after prolonged wear. It is also the most pure of the precious metals used in jewellery and will not tarnish or lose its colour, whilst also being hypoallergenic.
The high cost of platinum can be attributed to the four qualities of purity, strength, durability and rarity but they also showcase the excellent value contained in platinum jewellery pieces.
Although platinum may seem new, it is also legendary. The ancient Egyptians and South American Incas prized it. France’s Louis XVI proclaimed it the only metal fit for royalty. Famous jewellers such as Cartier, Fabergé and Tiffany created their timeless designs in platinum. The world’s famous diamonds, including the Hope, Jouter I and Koh-I-Noor, are secured by the permanence of platinum.
Platinum is also used in catalytic converters, dentistry and scientific and electrical components. However only a few hundred tones are produced every year because of the manufacturing process needed. Ten tons of ore must be mined to produce a single ounce of platinum. By comparison only three tons of ore are required to produce one ounce of gold. It takes five months to process platinum ore into pure platinum.
South Africa accounts for 80% of the world’s production of Platinum.
In the UK the hallmark ‘950’ is used, with the purity of platinum in the products at 95%, coupled with other white metals.