The love affair with platinum jewellery is not just a modern one. This rare and precious metal has been used in jewellery making for hundreds of years. Although discovered by the Spanish conquistadors in South America in the early 1500s, platinum proved to be a difficult metal to work compared to gold and silver.
The problem was that platinum has a high melting point and the sheer amount of ore needed to extract this rare metal is very high (10 tonnes of ore is needed to obtain just one ounce of pure metal).
Platinum came into its own in 1751, when a Swedish metal expert learned how to melt it. During the 1780s, King Louis XVI of France declared platinum the only metal fit for a King. His jeweller made several platinum pieces for him, including an ornate sugar bowl. By the end of the 1780s, French scientists had figured out how to refine it into a pure metal and shape it. At this point, platinum jewellery became the ‘must have’ item for the rich and famous. Today, platinum jewellery is still held in high esteem, as its rarity hasn’t diminished with time.
Because of this exclusivity, it is highly prized as a setting for the most precious of stones and many of the Crown Jewels of England are set in platinum. However, platinum has now become more available to the general public and is comparable in price to the best gold items on the market.
Platinum has a unique patina and is surprisingly robust despite being a relatively soft metal. It does scratch but an expert jeweller can easily polish those scratches out. It compliments almost any precious stone perfectly, particularly diamonds, and is used extensively in such items as solitaire diamond rings, diamond stud earrings and subtle but stunning necklaces.
Both modern designs and classical styles adapted for a modern age work well in platinum, achieving elegance, sophistication and a timeless quality that will be appreciated for generations.
Platinum jewellery has become so popular that it is now freely available in most high street jewellers, but the best selections come from companies that specialise in this unique metal.
With a wealth of talented designers working in the metal, new and innovative styles are constantly emerging, making platinum jewellery the new standard of excellence.