Wedding Rings: The Symbolism of Platinum
Platinum is most often associated with 70th wedding anniversary celebrations and it is testament to the enduring nature of the metal that it represents such a long period of time in a relationship. Platinum wedding rings can be seen as the beginning of a long relationship, but the metal itself is not a modern invention. Platinum has been used in jewellery for thousands of years.
Platinum first made an appearance as jewellery in ancient Egypt. The discovery of a 2500-year-old coffin of an Egyptian high priestess decorated with platinum hieroglyphs was a clear indication of the importance placed on the metal. The pristine condition of the hieroglyphs also gave dramatic proof of platinum’s durability and strength. The Incas also created jewellery from platinum, but the Spanish Conquistadors mistook it for poor grade silver and even threw much of it into the sea!
In Europe, platinum really became popular during the 18th century and its strength, its ability to remain untarnished and unique lustre encouraged the continent’s finest jewellers to incorporate it into some of the most important royal jewels. It was then that platinum wedding rings started to become popular with the elite.
Although gold is still a perennial favourite across the world, platinum has become a symbol of durability and its rarity has given it added exclusivity that makes it the most desirable of metals. Wedding rings made from platinum capture both these sentiments and consequently the popularity of wedding rings made from platinum has risen sharply. Because of the nature of the metal, it takes a highly skilled craftsman to fashion a piece of platinum jewellery and the inclusion of that level of skill into a wedding ring gives it even more significance.
The symbolism of platinum is reflected in its sociological status – a ‘platinum’ credit card is seen as the ultimate in consumer luxury and the metal is often mentioned in cultural references across the world. Its position as the most precious metal in the world gives it a gravitas that was previously given only to gold, and it is that precious status that makes it so desirable as a statement of devotion and strength in a relationship in the form of a platinum wedding ring.