Platinum

Platinum

In its most pure form, the precious metal appears a grey and/or white colour depending on the light that it is reflecting around it and is highly resistant to corrosion or eradication. It is also a strong but malleable substance, and because of this, other than platinum jewellery, it is used in more everyday items than you would imagine. Things like catalytic converters in car and vehicle exhaust systems, heavy plant and machinery and in spark plugs are a just a few examples of where it can be found in everyday objects. It can also be found in electrical circuitry, is commonly used by dentists and is widely functional is all manner of laboratory equipment.

The science bit; A carbon based chemical element, this highly sought after, costly, solid transitional metallic substance has the symbol Pt in the periodic table and an atomic number of 78. The melting point is 1768.3°C, 3214.9°F which, I’m sure you would agree, is very hot, but only a fraction of its boiling point, which is 3825°C, 6917°F. There are six members of the platinum family, all of which are group closely together in the periodic table. These are named Iridium, Osmium, Palladium, Platinum, Rhodium and Ruthenium. It is a far more expensive alloy than Gold, Silver and Titanium.

Platinum engagement and wedding rings

Similar to Palladium wedding or engagement bands, Platinum wedding rings are strong and nedd very little care, which is unlike white gold which needs regular trips to the goldsmith or jeweller to keep its pristine appearance. It is probably the most expensive form of metal, when it comes to wedding rings and in most cases has a diamond or diamonds set into it. Another advantage is that when being engraved it will not discolour. Platinum hallmark starts with the actual maker’s mark which is usually a set of initials inside an eight sided border. This tends to be followed by three numbers inside a shape similar to a house. The numbers represent the purity of the metal. In its cleanest form, you will see the three digits. 85% Platinum – 850, 90% Platinum – 900, 95% (UK standard) Platinum 950 and 99.9% pure Platinum – 999.

You will also find the Assay office stamp. This is where the piece of jewellery, engagement ring, or wedding band was tested for purity. The date may also be visible represented by a letter. 1975 is represented by the letter A, through to 1999 which has the letter Z. There is no letter ‘J’ in this system. Over time, on closer inspection, you may see small scratches appear on the face of your engagement band or wedding ring. This is not a problem. Most high street independent jewellers can simply polish the scratches out, leaving your symbol of marriage in perfect condition. Having this most expensive of precious metals is not a luxury afforded to everyone, so if you do find one that seems very cheap, then check its purity in the hallmark. It could also be second hand. In our humble opinion, we believe that getting a lesser grade metal would be more thrilling for the bride or groom, unless it is a very old antiquity or heirloom.