Metals Guide -Platinum

Platinum

The everlasting popularity of platinum is due to its purity, colour, strength and prestige. As gorgeous as platinum is, it's not all about looks. Many of us veer towards this metal because of its hardness and resistance to tarnishing, making it a practical and glamorous metal for everyday jewellery.

Platinum develops a beautiful sheen called a patina over time, its natural bright silvery tone is especially popular for specialist jewellery, with many bride and grooms swaying towards platinum for their wedding bands and engagement rings. Its durability and strength make it an ideal setting for diamonds and other precious gemstones.

Whilst gold contains a combination of metals, platinum's purity makes it naturally hypoallergenic and non reactive, ideal for those with skin sensitivities. Denser than gold and twice as dense than silver, it can be quite heavy but this is a favourable quality, especially for men. Despite its durability, like most metals, it does tend to wear a little over time and will scratch if it comes into contact with stronger materials, such as diamonds or steel. Unlike gold, platinum doesn't chip away but instead the scratches are seen as indentations that can be easily re-polished – read more on Caring For Your Jewellery.

You may come across the term 'platinum plated' when shopping for your jewellery, where a metal such as silver has been coated with a thin layer of platinum to give jewellery the beautiful polished appearance of platinum at a more affordable cost.

Traditional platinum however, will always be stamped with a hallmark indicating its purity, with the 950 mark meaning the item contains 95% platinum; this is the most common for platinum jewellery – for more information, read our Hallmarks guide.

The value of platinum is more volatile than gold due to its other more industrial uses, but its rarity means it stands the test of time. Many people invest in platinum and pass it down through the generations as a family heirloom.