It takes 10 tonnes of ore to make 1oz of Platinum, usually fetching double the price of gold. World production in 2006 was just 239 tonnes and the bulk of that went into making catalytic converters.
Due to it's scarcity and value, Platinum will not replace gold as the usual metal for engagement or wedding rings but Victoria Beckham, Eva Longoria, Heidi Klum and Jennifer Lopez have all been the proud recipients of rings crafted from the most precious of metals.
Platinum features heavily in any Royal or Crown jewellery collection, the Cartier 'Halo' tiara purchased for Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother by her husband George VI is platinum and features 880 diamonds. This stunning platinum piece was most recently loaned to the Duchess of Cambridge to be worn on her wedding day as 'something borrowed' from her grandmother-in-law.
As well as being much rarer than gold there are several other important differences. Platinum is twice as heavy as gold but much stronger. It is also harder to work, requiring an even greater level of skill from the jeweller than gold or silver. It is also more durable than gold.
People choose platinum for a variety of reasons. For some the sheer cost is an attraction in itself, but many more choose it because they think it is the most beautiful metal available. The colour and sheen of platinum make it very compatible with modern design and fashion whilst it has a timeless elegance and sophistication that many people think gold cannot match. As a setting for diamonds it is unrivalled, the two complementing each other perfectly.
Men try to buy engagement rings that their girlfriends will like before proposing. However, an increasing trend is for couples to buy the ring together after the proposal has been accepted. A recent survey has shown that in the latter case a majority of the brides-to-be choose Platinum.
Gold, properly cared for, will last almost indefinitely, but Platinum is the ultimate choice. When Gold scratches, small amounts of metal are lost, which can result in thinning in old rings. When Platinum scratches, the metal is merely dispersed and polishing by a jeweller can restore its pristine state. We may not all be able to recapture the perfect moment of first love, but it’s nice to know the ring can endure forever.
Why not browse our platinum engagement rings collection?