A History of Romance: Part 1
Platinum Wedding Rings Endure Time
Platinum wedding rings are the choice of celebrities. The white metal is in demand, so much so it has been dubbed “the 21st century colour” and it has left the more traditional metals, such as gold, behind. But the metals allure dates back much further than the recent history of Hollywood and Hello magazine. In fact, platinum is meteoric, literally. The metal is found in meteorites and the earliest recorded meteorite on Earth dates back 2 billion years. Platinum has been a rare and sought after metal throughout time, enchanting the Ancient Egyptians, pre-Inca civilizations and fascinating Kings and alchemists. It explains why platinum wedding rings are such a potent symbol – and so desired by movie stars and the celebrity elite today.
Walk like an Egyptian
Platinum was always destined to be used for wedding rings. It is incredibly rare, durable and has a rich and romantic history. 3,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians employed metal smiths who were skilled in working with this rare metal. A 2,500-year-old coffin of an Egyptian high priestess was found with the coffin’s platinum-engraved hieroglyphs still polished and lustrous. What better material is more suited to love? Platinum wedding rings last a lifetime and beyond.
The Incas also created jewellery from platinum but when they were invaded by the Spanish conquistadors, the invaders dumped great amounts of platinum into the sea because they were fearful it would become a cheap imitation of silver. The thirst was still for gold, and by the 1700s platinum was a desired ingredient for alchemists who used it to try and turn lead into gold.
- 1751 – Swedish scientist Theophil Scheffer categorizes platinum as a precious metal.
- 1780s – King Louis XV1 of France declares it is the only metal fit for kings.
- 1788 – King Carlos III of Spain presents an ornate platinum chalice to Pope Pius VI.
Platinum Wedding Rings
But it wasn’t until the 18th century that the idea of platinum wedding rings was introduced as its suitability for jewellery took hold. By the 19th century, platinum was the standard mounting for diamonds making platinum wedding rings a firm favourite for couples all over the world.