Platinum is one of the rarest metals and therefore extremely valuable. The annual worldwide production of platinum is only around 160 tons. Comparing with the approximate 1,500 tons of gold being produced worldwide per year and one can understand platinum's huge appeal. Platinum is more valuable than gold and more expensive too primarily because of the extensive labor to retrieve just an ounce of this rare metal. Mined primarily in South Africa and Russia, mining just an ounce of platinum requires eight weeks and 10 tons of ore. The cost of platinum is relatively stable compared to other metals due to its rarity and demand.
Platinum has grown increasingly popular in recent years due to its great beauty and durability. Its rich color and sheen makes platinum a popular choice for settings, because the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond are greatly magnified on a platinum setting.
An other interesting fact about Platinum is that while all metals scratch, when platinum is scratched, the metal is merely displaced. Platinum is a very strong metal and can withstand a lot of stress - more so than any other precious metal.
Both platinum and palladium offer quite superior stone setting security than white gold. The reason is called “spring back”, a tendency of metal to spring back to its original position and not stay in the place it was bent. When a prong setting is pushed over a diamond with platinum or palladium, the prong shows no spring back and stays in place.
Colour is one of the primary determiners of the rarity of a precious gemstone or a diamond. Diamonds with little or no colour are typically most desirable. Consequently, the optimal setting is a white metal that won't reflect colour into the stone. Platinum is a naturally pure white metal that will keep its brilliant white luster. All gold is naturally yellow metal. White gold is mixed with other alloys to make it look white, and over time it will lose its whiter shade and begin to yellow. In order to maintain its white look, it may need to be re-plated during its lifetime. Platinum is pliable and can be worked into very intricate designs.
Caring for Platinum Jewellery
If platinum is worn daily, it may develop a slight sheen. Although most people prefer this look, you can always have a jeweler polish and restore it to its original shine. Soaking platinum jewellery in a mild solution of soap and warm water and gently scrubbing it with a soft-bristled brush is about all that is needed to keep the metal looking good. To keep your jewellery shining and scratch-free, store them in their original boxes, soft cloth bags, or a fabric-lined jewellery box.