Why Metal Matters
Platinum is one tough metal—much stronger and denser than gold.
With a higher concentration of platinum in its alloys (the term used to indicate the mixtures of precious metals used in manufacturing), platinum is known for its ability to withstand daily wear without thinning. That’s why it’s the industry standard for a diamond’s setting. Platinum prongs ensure that a diamond will be held securely.
Platinum is known for its bright white color—a truer “white” than white gold, which retains a nominal yellow tinge despite its name.
When diamonds are set in platinum, the gems appear to “pop” from their settings. Their fire and brilliance are much more evident against platinum’s “true white.”
Platinum enjoys a rich heritage, becoming the precious metal of choice during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Cartier, Tiffany, Fabergé, Van Cleef & Arpels and Buccellati all used platinum in their exquisite and timeless designs. Many of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, Russia and Japan include platinum settings. Platinum’s popularity slowed during World War II, when platinum was deemed strategic to the war effort. During this time, platinum was used in the manufacture of explosives and flight instruments.
Look for the Platinum purity stamp inside your jewelry.
In the United States, Federal Trade Commission guidelines mandate that you’ll see PLATINUM, PLAT, PT, PT 950, or 950PT in jewelry made from an alloy that is 95% platinum. Another alloy that’s popular in the United States is 90% pure platinum. You’ll see jewelry with a 900PT purity stamp for this alloy.
What's The Allure
With time, platinum jewelry will take on a subdued, soft finish known as a “patina.”
This finish is actually preferred by many consumers, since it accentuates the whiteness of the metal and underscores a sense of authenticity.
If you look closely at a piece of well-loved platinum jewelry, you will notice a series of extremely small cross-hatches or lines on the surface of the jewelry.
These lines may almost be invisible to the naked eye, but when viewed as a whole, the jewelry’s warm patina is easy to see. Because platinum is not normally plated, its patina unfolds with daily wear.
Any piece of platinum jewelry can return to a bright white shine by bringing it to your jeweler for polishing.
Unlike white gold, which is plated with rhodium to ensure a whiter color, pure platinum is naturally white.
Designers love the soft patina that platinum shows with wear, and some pieces of jewelry use platinum expressly for this reason.
Combined with its denseness, it’s a tactile expression that cannot be imitated with any other metal.