As we dive into learning more about noble metals and their properties, we want to take time to discuss each kind of metal and their benefits. First up is platinum which actually refers to an entire group of metals. The platinum family includes iridium, osmium, palladium, rhodium, and ruthenium. While platinum is the one most abundant, the rest of the platinum family metals have jewelry uses. Platinum is hypoallergenic and excellent for people who are allergic to other metals.
When it comes to plating other metals, rhodium is frequently seen as a non-tarnishing option. Rhodium can be used in plating for white gold, silver, and other platinum group jewelry metals. On the other hand, palladium and iridium are commonly alloyed, or mixed in, with platinum or used alone to make jewelry pieces.
Marketing of different forms is used on platinum jewelry based on the amount of pure platinum in the piece itself. If a jewelry piece is marked as “900 platinum”, “900 pt”, “900 plat”, “pt 900”, or “900 plat 100 irid” this simply means the item is 90% platinum and 10% other metals.
The most common platinum alloys include 90% platinum and 10% iridium, or 95% platinum and 5% ruthenium. These alloys tend to be stronger due to the ruthenium. In the long run, the stronger alloy will hold up better and for longer.
When shopping, be sure the item is stamped with its metal content and manufacturer. This will ensure that you’re getting what you pay for instead of something that is barely platinum at all. Additionally, be sure the sales receipt has “platinum” written in the description. It’s worth noting you may be spending more initially because of the expert craftsmanship required to work with platinum as well as the higher overall cost of this family of metal and percentage of alloy.
If you decide to buy online, choose a payment option that will assist in reclaiming your money if there is any issue with the vendor or the product you receive. Precautionary methods are always the best option!
Platinum is a wonderful metal to work with, and we are always open to questions about metals you’re considering for your next piece of jewelry. Whether you’re interested in a quote or want to see examples of platinum in other works we’ve accomplished, we would be happy to educate you on your best options.