What Exactly Is Platinum?

  To answer the article title’s question, the Merriam-Webster definition is “a precious grayish-white noncorroding ductile malleable heavy metallic element that fuses with difficulty and is used especially in chemical ware and apparatus, as a catalyst, and in dental and jewelry alloys.” What Merriam-Webster forgot to mention was that platinum is a gorgeous metal used in luxury jewelry. It’s so luxurious that it’s more expensive than gold and even purer. It’s color and quality make stunning jewelry and its use goes back a couple of centuries. 

   According to Jefferson Lab says that platinum was discovered in 1735 by Antonio de Ulloa. Before then, it was in us by pre-Columbian Indians. The Diamond Pro states that platinum is almost pure in nature with percentages that can be as high as ninety-eight. Another form of platinum is sperrylite which is found in nickel mines. Like gold, it is corrosion-proof. Its resistance to corrosion is so strong that manufacturers put it in ships, pipes and steel piers so that it stays in tact even in sea water. Not only is platinum hard to corrode, it is also hard to melt. Berkeley University says platinum melts at 1,774 celsius, and boils at 3,827 degrees. Berkely also estimates that platinum “bout one ten millionth of 1 percent” of the earth’s crust. Despite how rare it is, it is still on the market and there are plenty of online resources to help you find it.

How Do you shop for Platinum?

   Platinum is difficult to find and can be hard to shop for too. However, it doesn’t have to be hard, there are a few tips to keep in mind. The Jewelry Shopping Guide gives three tips: go to a trustworthy seller, look at the hallmark, and be sure to observe the after-sale agreements. 

   There are few worse moves to make when jewelry shopping than going to a s sketchy business. Before giving a business hundreds or even thousands of dollars, research it. You can look at reviews or even visit the place in person without making a purchase. After you feel comfortable giving them your business, be cautious while buying their products too.

   Before you even think about owning a piece of platinum, look at the hallmark. Pt Platinum advises readers to watch out for the words “PLATINUM” and “PLAT” and says that platinum hallmark gives the following examples: PT950, 950PT, Pt900, Pt950. These are only some possible hallmark symbols. If they have a legit hallmark, then get it. However, be careful even after you get the jewelry. If you have second thoughts about the piece, you may want to send it back. Also, you may be eligible for free maintenance or an exchange. 

   Platinum is an expensive, but lovely metal that is quite difficult to find. Even when you do find it, buy and own it with caution. Be sure to clean and maintain your jewelry so it lasts for years. However, the search and upkeep is well worth it for you and your partner, should you choose a platinum engagement ring.