For thousands of years, platinum and gold have been used for personal adornment. However, this article will pursue the modern use of platinum and how it compares with gold that is used in jewelry. Platinum or "platina" meaning silver in Spanish, was first utilized within jewelry in the late 1880s. At the turn of the century, jewelers finally perfected the craft of getting the extreme heat that is needed to use these metals properly. This extreme heat can measure up to 3,215 degree Fahrenheit for platinum alone.
In the early 1900s Louis Cartier was using the metal to craft some of his now world famous jewelry. Much of Cartier's current designs are still made with Platinum to enhance the beauty of their diamonds. The use of this precious metal continued until the beginning of the Second World War. However, during 1939 through 1945, it was declared by the US Government to be a strategic metal and was not allowed to be used by jewelers. After the end of the war in 1945, the metal has been used continuously and is one of the most popular metals used today for both the manufacturing and design of the world's finest jewelry.
Some of today's best jewelry designers use the metal in their design, especially designs that include diamonds. Most designers of today prefer using platinum in their designs, especially if the design calls for diamonds. When colorless diamonds are set into platinum they remain colorless because there is no yellow color in the metal that might be attracted to the diamond.
When diamonds are set into white gold, they most often pick up yellow color from the white gold. This occurs because gold starts life as yellow gold in a pure 24 karat form. Manufacturers must use different types of alloys to bring the mixture down to 18 or 14 karat in order to make white gold. For example, 18 karat is 75% gold and 25% alloys. These alloys include zinc, palladium, nickel, silver and other precious metals.
White gold contains a large percentage of yellow gold, which tends to bleed through and often will give the diamond a yellow-like appearance.
This pure metal is combined with 10% iridium in order to make it harder and more effective in jewelry use. This mixture has been standard in the industry for a long time. However, in recent years, some manufacturers have changed the mix to create a new class of jewelry. Platinum still is one of the purest metals and the total amount mined through history would fit in a large living room. Some metals that are included in the platinum family are:
Because of this precious feature, the price of platinum is generally twice that of gold. And as of April 2007, Platinum is priced at $ 1,284 USD per ounce versus gold at $ 684 USD per ounce. These prices help us to understand why platinum jewelry costs much more than that of gold.
This price is also affected by the manufacturing of gold, where the melting point is only 1,947 degrees Fahrenheit (compared to that of 3,215 for Platinum). Because of the equipment used to melt and cast the metal, the price rises.
After the diamond is finally set into the platinum ring, the final polish is applied which is always done by a trained craftsmen who attempts to bring the final beauty touches to the metal which will hold these precious diamonds for years and years to come.
Source by James Greene