Platinum has increasingly become used in jewelry due to its attractive white luster and resistance to corrosion. Like gold, it is a very rare metal that is malleable and divisible. In fact, it is even rarer than gold, which is why it has not been used as much in jewelry historically. All of the platinum ever mined could fit in a 25 cubic foot box. While the price per ounce of platinum is less than gold, the price of platinum has in the past surpassed the price of gold. The two nations that produce the most platinum are South Africa, which produces over half of the world’s output, and Russia.
Advantages of Platinum
Because platinum is stronger and more durable than gold, many jewelers prefer using platinum to hold a stone on a ring because of its firmer hold on the stone. It has the advantage over silver, another white metal, in that it does not tarnish. Over time, platinum jewelry can develop a patina due to oxidation with the environment, though this is appreciated by many for its special look. To remove the patina, all that is required is simply polishing the metal properly.
Because platinum is naturally white, it will remain the same color as it ages, whereas white gold may turn yellowish over time as the plating of rhodium or another white metal on it wears off. Those who are allergic to other metals such as nickel may find platinum to be non-allergenic.
Disadvantages of Platinum
Platinum is more susceptible to scratches than gold. However, while scratches on gold reduce the amount of gold in the piece, scratches on platinum merely move the metal from one part of the piece to another. Because platinum jewelry is typically made in high purity — especially 95 percent — it is generally more expensive than gold, such as 14K gold which is 58.3 percent pure.
Platinum Is a Precious Metal
Like gold and silver, platinum is a precious metal. As a precious metal, it is likewise a store of value. Though the value of platinum may fluctuate from day to day, platinum will remain a very valuable metal due to global demand for it and its scarcity. In developing economies such as China and India, platinum has become increasingly popular as jewelry. Currently, China represents the largest market for platinum jewelry. The growing global demand for the metal, along with other uses such as for catalytic converters in industry to purify car emissions, will likely propel its value much higher in the future. Buying platinum jewelry is thus a way to not only enhance one’s image but also build net worth over time.