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Know about Platinum 


platinumPlatinum is the most valued and precious metal in the jewellery world and is more desirable than even gold itself. Its unique, frosty-silver colour has endeared it to many and made it an ideal house for the most colourful gems and stunning diamonds. Platinum is incredibly strong and largely scratch resistant and allows for remarkable beauty without worrying about damage, wear and tear, or corrosion.


History of Platinum

It will surprise many to know that it wasn’t until the 18th century that platinum was identified as a metal of exceptional quality. Before this period, the metal had remained one of the more elusive elements in the world. There are traces of platinum that have been discovered in the tombs of the great Egyptian pharaohs. However, their understanding of the element is unknown. Archaeologists have also noted the use of the metal in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

The Spanish conquest of this region in the early 16th century would undoubtedly have exposed the travelling conquistadors to platinum. However, the soldiers simply discarded the metal, seeing it as an impurity that lowered the value of gold, rather than the highly valuable material it is today. There was even a degree from the crown that forbade the use of gold with this “impurity” present.

This changed, however, when the metal peaked the interest of explorer and astronomer Antonio de Ulloa. He published a report in 1748, noting the properties of the substance. This coincided with another explorer, Charles Wood, sending samples of platinum to scientist William Brownrigg from Jamaica to the U.K. for further analysis. His report presented to the Royal Society also noted that there was no such entry or description of the metal in the previous history.

These reports created a frenzy surrounding platinum, with many scientists studying the metal vigorously. Its strength and incredible durability were discovered during this critical stage of analysis, and was soon used in many household wares, from jewellery to decorative ornaments. Spain enjoyed somewhat of a boom thanks to the metal and is referred to as the Platinum Age in the Iberian country.

Formation of Platinum

Platinum (Pt) is a very rare metal and is only produced in a handful of countries, of which South Africa is the largest. Platinum can be found amongst iron, copper, and nickel deposits, and is commonly confused with silver, due to their similar appearance. Platinum is an extremely durable metal and is the least reactive element in the table. It is almost completely resistant to corrosion and refuses to break down under extremely high temperatures.

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