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Article: Platinum - The King Of Precious Metals

Platinum - The King Of Precious Metals - DSF Antique Jewelry

Platinum - The King Of Precious Metals

Platinum is the king of all precious metals, and its name comes from the Spanish platina, short for plata, silver.

And although we are accustomed to considering gold the most precious metal in jewelry, in reality, platinum is the rarest, purest, most durable, and is the most important from every point of view.

So true that at the same time, this metal is also the most difficult to work, however, to those who know how to do it, it offers unique expressive possibilities.

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Platinum Is Seductive

The exclusive preciousness of the white metal, moreover, is not only the objective, material one; it is determined mainly by immaterial valences, by an extraordinary complex of emotional elements.

Platinum is seductive, but in order to be conquered entirely by its charm, one must learn its history and discover the meanings that, over time, have been attributed to it by man.

Only in this way is it possible to fully appreciate a piece of platinum jewelry and recognize its real values of beauty, taste, and style.

A Myth

It was so in the Roaring Years when it superbly indulged the bold geometries of Art Deco and fascinated Joplin and Fitzgerald, Mary Pickford and Cole Porter, Greta Garbo, and Jean Harlow, the "platinum blonde".

But it had been for centuries, for many centuries before the Spanish conquistadors equivocated about its nature and christened it "platina", meaning silver of inferior quality.

More than 2,500 years old is a casket of the Egyptian priestess Shepenupet, decorated with platinum elements by a craftsman from Thebes.

Such is the charm of this metal that some have wanted to speculate that it was even present in Agamemnon's armor, diligently described by Homer in the Iliad.

One hundred years before Christ, South American Indians loved to flaunt jewelry made of platinum and gold.

Myths are within us, architectures of the mind built on the desire for rare and precious things. Like platinum.

Rare And Precious

So far, only a few areas of the earth have revealed platinum deposits.

According to calculations, if all platinum ever mined on the planet were consolidated into a single solid, the resulting cube would only be 4.6 meters dilated.

The richest platinum deposits are currently found in South Africa, where about 85 percent of global production comes from.

Significant, though much smaller, are the reserves in Russia, Canada, and South America, though.

Eighty-five tons of this metal is produced each year, compared with 1,300 tons of gold.

To obtain one ounce of platinum -- that is, 31.1 grams -- ten tons of rock must be mined and processed, and it takes five months of work to go from raw material to ingot.

For comparison, an equal amount of gold "takes" three tons and four to five weeks. An immense effort. But the result is a metal with truly unique qualities.


With a specific gravity of 21.45 grams per cubic centimeter, platinum is the heaviest of the precious metals.

24-karat gold has a specific gravity of 19.3 while pure silver comes in at 10.5.

The simplest of comparisons shows that lead (11.35 grams/cubic centimeter) usurps its reputation as the heaviest metal.

In addition, platinum has a very high melting point: 1773 °C versus gold's 1063 and silver's 960.

Though, it is also other characteristics that make it unique: its resistance to physical and chemical agents (no acid or alkaline solution can alter it, with the sole exception of aqua regia at 70 °C) and how it is heat-resistant.

In 1795, when the metric system was adopted, the standard meter and its kilogram were made of platinum. It is still possible to see the two samples in the Pavillon de Breteuil in Sèvres, Paris.

Emerald diamond ring

The purity and incredible ductility make platinum the ideal metal for making jewelry.

The pure metal content in the alloy used in jewelry is 950, and from a single gram of platinum a very thin wire two kilometers long can be made.

This special metal is perfectly compatible with all types of skin, is immune to alteration and wear, protects like no other material the stones it sets, and, thanks to its color neutrality, enhances their beauty without ever competing with their light and color.

England's most famous crown diamonds -- the Koh-i-Noor and the Star of Africa -- are mounted in platinum.

For all that, the great jewelers of all time have accepted the challenge posed by platinum to their technical skill and creativity.

Authentic artists such as Louis Cartier, Tiffany, and Fabergé did it.

The most celebrated contemporary "makers" do it every day, engaged in every part of the world to exploit the full potential of this metal to invent a new design and a new relationship between man and jewelry.

If you would also like to have a unique jewelry or to give something truly unique in platinum as a gift, please visit our showcase by clicking here Henry Dunay Platinum Diamond Earrings (
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