Considered among the most pure and precious metals used in modern-day jewelry making, platinum has become synonymous with luxury and longevity. Because of its hardness and durability, pure platinum is often mixed with other metals to make it more malleable. The most common alloy metals paired with platinum are copper, palladium, rhodium, iridium, and titanium.
Although some alloys may be billed as platinum by jewelry sellers, there are stringent requirements for what constitutes a 'pure' platinum piece. Only metals marked with a 950 or 900 purity designation are considered high-grade platinum. Alloys containing a lower ratio are often used to make jewelry, but these pieces don't impart the same high standards of quality, longevity, or beauty.
Platinum is the least reactive metal. It has remarkable resistance to corrosion, even at high temperatures, and is therefore considered a noble metal. Consequently, platinum is often found chemically uncombined as native platinum. Because it occurs naturally in the alluvial sands of various rivers, it was first used by pre-Columbian South American natives to produce artifacts.
Often heralded as just as beautiful as the gems it displays, platinum boasts a silvery-white luster that imparts unmistakable elegance and blends well with a variety of metals and stones. Four times stronger than gold, platinum is renowned for its hard-wearing properties, resistance to damage and wear, and its substantial heft.