Why Is Platinum in High Demand?About 30 times rarer than gold, platinum is the least common of the precious metals. It is therefore highly valuable. Platinum was used in Ancient Egypt but its first reference was in 1557 in Spain, where miners thought it was impure silver. It was one of the eight known metals by the late 18th century when it was called white gold due to its silvery-white appearance. But unlike white gold, platinum retains its natural white color over time.
Characteristics of PlatinumPlatinum is 95% pure, making it the only true hypoallergenic precious metal used in jewelry. Comparatively, white gold is a mixture of different metals, some of which can be irritating. Other traits that make platinum highly desirable include:
Durability: Platinum is six times denser than diamond and 21 times denser than water. It has a melting point of 3,215℉. It also doesn’t tarnish, corrode, or easily wear down; instead, platinum molecules shift from one place to another when scratched. This causes it to develop a patina finish, giving a platinum ring an antique vibe.
Purity: The purity of platinum is what makes it hypoallergenic. On the other hand, gold and sterling silver are mixed with other alloys that can trigger allergic reactions. Platinum is unreactive, which means it won’t oxidize or be affected by common types of acids. It also doesn’t react with sweat, body oil, or cosmetics like nickel does.
Longevity: Platinum is resistant to wear and tear and can be resized and reconditioned. Metal that’s been shifted by scratching can be polished back into place to restore its shine. Well-kept platinum jewelry can therefore last for generations.
It Complements Diamonds: The silvery-white coloring of platinum helps accentuate a diamond’s sparkle. It does not reflect any color off the diamond. White gold develops a yellowish tint over time that can reflect on a diamond, making it look duller.
However, platinum is a dense metal, making it weigh more than most. Therefore, you need to factor in the weight of a platinum ring and the comfort of wearing it. Since precious metals are priced by weight, a platinum ring will cost more than one made of, for example, white gold. Platinum’s rarity contributes to the cost factor as well.