Everything You Need to Know About Platinum

Posted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021 in Precious Metals.

platinum bar

One of the world’s rarest and most valuable metals, platinum is known for its strength and durability. When wearing platinum jewelry, you can feel confident knowing your gemstones are well-protected and the metal won’t wear down over time.

So where does platinum come from? Well, over two billion years ago, meteorites containing platinum crashed into Earth, burying the metal beneath the Earth’s surface. The precious metal remained hidden until the late 1500s when Spanish conquistadors discovered it for the first time. They named the metal platina, which means “little silver,” referencing platinum’s white color.

Unlike white gold, platinum is naturally white, meaning you won’t have to worry about your platinum jewelry discoloring and won’t have to deal with getting it re-plated every few years. Also unlike gold, platinum doesn’t flake off when scratched. Instead, the metal just gets moved around a bit. Overtime, you may notice your platinum jewelry begin to take on a satiny or slightly frosted finish. This is called patina. While some individuals prefer this finish and consider it a badge of honor, others are less enthusiastic about it. For those who would rather wear shiny jewelry that looks brand new, platinum can be polished to get its original luster back.

Platinum jewelry contains 90-95% pure platinum. The other five or ten percent contains other metals like cobalt, iridium, and ruthenium. To determine if your platinum jewelry contains 90% or 95% pure platinum, look for one of the following stamps on your jewelry:

  • 95% Platinum: PLATINUM, PLAT, PT, PT950, 950PT
  • 90% Platinum: 900PT

For those with sensitive skin, platinum is highly recommended. Since the metal is hypoallergenic, you don’t have to worry about developing any allergic reactions when wearing your platinum jewelry.

Due to its durability and rarity, platinum is more expensive than other precious metals like gold and silver. Found in only a few regions of the world, platinum is over 30 times more rare than gold. It’s also a denser metal, meaning more of it is required to make a jewelry piece. This leads to a heavier weight. In fact, platinum weighs 60% more than 14 karat gold.

Like all fine jewelry, your platinum pieces may require cleaning from time to time. To clean your platinum jewelry at home, mix a small amount of dish soap into a bowl of warm water. Place your jewelry in the bowl and let it rest for a minute or two. Then, use a soft toothbrush to lightly scrub the piece. Finally, dry your platinum jewelry off with a soft cloth or towel. You can also take your platinum jewelry to a jewelry store to have it professionally cleaned and polished.

If you have any questions regarding platinum or any of the other precious metals, contact us at 414-276-2457 or info@kloiberjewelers.com.