Did you know that at BAUNAT we not only have jewellery in yellow, white and red gold, but that you can also buy stunning variants in platinum, too? But what is platinum exactly? And how does platinum differ from gold? Time to examine the most noble of precious metals that is adored for jewellery, by women but also by men.   

Browse all our platinum engagement rings now

 

 

What is platinum?

Platinum, referred to on the Periodic Table as Pt, is an exceptionally rare precious metal. 30 grams of pure platinum requires 10 tonnes (!) of platinum ore. The platinum purification process takes 5-6 months. Currently, South Africa is the biggest platinum producer, followed by Russia and Zimbabwe.  South Africa alone makes up 68% of global production. There is a key  difference between gold and platinum jewellery: rings, earrings and bracelets made of platinum are far purer than their gold counterparts.
In addition, platinum is a hypoallergenic precious metal. Ideal therefore for those who react sensitively to jewellery
Here you can see what platinum looks like, a grey lump that is rarer than gold - BAUNAT
24 carat gold is too soft to use for jewellery. All gold jewellery comprises an alloy of pure gold (75% at 18Ct and 58.3% at 14Ct) and other (precious) metals, such as palladium, silver or nickel.  Copper is also added to the alloy to attain red gold.

This is not the case with platinum. Precisely because platinum is so strong and durable, the biggest part (85-99%) of platinum jewellery is made up of pure platinum.  The rest is supplemented with iridium, ruthenium or cobalt, for example. Platinum rings that bear the inscription 900 or 950, are respectively made up of 90% and 95% pure platinum.

This clarity means that, in contrast to white gold that is very similar, this metal will never lose its colourfastness. The colour of platinum is, and remains, a softly shimmering light grey. Yet, choosing between platinum and white gold is no easy task.

What is the history of platinum?

The use of platinum dates back to 2000 years ago when it was first mined by pre-Columbian people in Latin America. In the 18th century platinum drew the attention of European metallurgists, who were intrigued from the start by its high melting point (1772 °C). Platinum is not easy to manipulate. It is less flexible than gold, whilst being equally resistant to corrosion. Ironically, the Europeans disregarded American platinum and continued with their tireless quest for gold.
For centuries scientists tried to ascertain how to manipulate platinum. It wasn't until 1895 that a safe technique was developed
Woman wears platinum earrings and ring. Find diamond platinum jewellery at BAUNAT
From that point, up until the outbreak of the First World War, platinum predominated the jewellery market. Because platinum is so strong it can be crafted into exquisite designs. However, the war changed all of that. Its durability made platinum very sought after for military applications. Countless people willingly ceded their jewellery.

During the interwar years the jewellery trade underwent a brief, yet significant revival. The Art Deco movement had a real penchant for the sophisticated elegance of platinum. But then the Second World War came about, and the American government banned the use of platinum other than for military use only. To compensate for the scarcity of platinum, white gold was developed after the war as an alternative silver-coloured metal. However, since the 1960s, platinum has undergone a renaissance.

Browse our collection of hypoallergenic platinum diamond earrings here

Why is platinum more expensive than gold?

Woman wears platinum earrings and ring. Find diamond platinum jewellery at BAUNAT
What is platinum worth? Platinum's higher price tag can be attributed to three things. Platinum alloys are purer than gold alloys; its higher density means more platinum is required to make a ring than a similar-sized gold one, and the production of platinum is more labour-intensive and is more specialised. Platinum embodies luxury, status and durability even more so than gold. It is with good reason that the standard kilogram is made up wholly of platinum: after all, the metal would never erode.

Take a closer look at these platinum BAUNAT earrings

What else is platinum used for?

Obviously, platinum is a very popular precious metal when it comes to jewellery but is used in countless of other applications besides.  It is often used in devices that need to withstand extremely high temperatures and corrosive conditions. For example, catalytic converters in cars or electrodes in electronic equipment. Platinum is also frequently used in aviation spark plugs.

One remarkable application is as a medicine against certain cancers! Cisplatin that is partially made up of platinum, is an effective cure for cancer and is even listed on the WHO's list of essential medicines.

Why should I choose platinum?

Besides exclusivity and prestige, the main reasons are its hypoallergenic properties and durability. Being scratch resistant, colour-fast and very easy to maintain, platinum jewellery can be enjoyed for many years to come, by you and your children and grandchildren after you.
Woman wears platinum earrings and ring. Find diamond platinum jewellery at BAUNAT
A platinum engagement ring? Why on earth not. The robustness of this precious metal means any precious stone set into it will be protected too. Queen Elizabeth II no less can be seen wearing a platinum engagement ring with a solitaire diamond. She has worn the ring since 1947: that shows just how incredibly durable platinum is.

Take a closer look at this platinum flower ring with a centre emerald

What does platinum mean in the music industry?

In the music industry, platinum is used just like gold, to indicate the number of times a single or album has been sold. Because platinum is more expensive and rarer than gold, it is similarly harder to attain platinum status as a musician meaning you would have to sell more albums.
To date, Elvis Presley has had the most platinum albums to his name (53)
Precisely how many copies musicians must sell to attain platinum status differs country by country. For example, in the Netherlands a single must be sold 40,000 times to be rewarded with platinum status.  Prior to 1999 this was actually 100,000. Over the years this target has dropped as physical sales of singles in shops have declined. Streaming services such as Spotify have captured the market. In the Netherlands, 150 streams count as 1 single sold.

In Belgium 20,000 singles must be sold to attain platinum status. This is on the proviso however that the single is sung in one of the country's native languages. If the single isn't in Dutch, French or German, it has to be sold 30,000 times. In a large country such as the USA, a single must be sold 1 million times.

How do I look after my platinum jewellery?

Platinum boasts an exceptionally tight molecular structure.  Were a scratch to appear on the surface, no platinum would be lost. The metal is practically resistant to wear & tear. But despite the metal's exceptional strength be sure to take care when working with aggressive chemicals or when gardening.  Your jewellery is best cleaned using a mild soap and lukewarm water and dried with a microfibre cloth. If your platinum ring is set with a precious stone have the setting examined every 2 years to be sure the stone is still securely in place.

Read additional tips on how to look after and protect valuable jewellery.

What platinum jewellery will you choose?

BAUNAT has an extensive collection of high-quality platinum jewellery for you to browse. We always work with platinum 950: a platinum alloy of the highest quality. So, you can rest assured you are buying quality at the best price.
Every precious stone is given its unique certificate of authenticity
Our exhaustive endeavours that focus fully on online sales means you can buy BAUNAT jewellery at the best price-quality ratio. We procure our materials, precious stones and precious metals, directly at the source. This circumvents intermediaries and a costly processing chain, which ultimately benefits you.

So, go ahead, browse our collection of platinum engagement rings and order your choice right now for your loved one online.
Are you looking to surprise your partner with stunning platinum or gold jewellery? The BAUNAT collection has jewellery for both women and men. Ever thought of buying BAUNAT cufflinks? Please get in touch should you have any queries or would like some assistance in making your choice.

What do you need to know about other precious metals?

Is pure romance, the kind that goes hand in hand with the different tints of gold, more your thing?  You're at the right address at BAUNAT. Besides platinum jewellery we also have jewellery in white, yellow and red gold. But do you know how these alloys are made, what they signify and how gold is mined?  Read about that and much more in these blogs:
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