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Facts and figures about Platinum.


Qualities of Platinum:

Unlike the other metals used in jewellery, this metal is very hard in its natural state. When manufactured into jewellery it is also the most pure of the metals, normally 950 parts in 1000 are platinum, although other standards are now legal. Until the 1975 platinum was not hallmarked, therefore the exact purity of the metal used cannot be known for certain. Do note that since January 1999 lower standards for platinum now exist in the UK. These along with the established standard can legally be sold as platinum (as far as I can tell). The buyer should establish by checking the hallmark the quality of any new platinum purchased, and if unsure, should only buy from reputable shops. For full details of the new standards, read the page on hallmarking.

Like gold it will not tarnish in normal use. When new its colour is similar to silver, but it slowly wears to a dull grey. You can't polish it at home, so eventually the best thing is to take it to a jeweller, who can restore its appearance. It's difficult to work, and very difficult to solder, melting at a much higher temperature than the other metals described here, and the solder melts at a temperature too close for comfort to the rest of the item.

So you won't see many items made from platinum, and if you do, they're sure to be expensive. It's main use in jewellery, is as a secure mount for precious stones, especially diamonds. Being harder than gold, it will hold valuable stones more safely than gold, while its colour enhances their appearance, finally it will retain its patterning longer.

Other uses for platinum:

It's used a lot in laboratories, because it doesn't react with most other chemicals. And you'll find it in the catalytic converters under new cars.




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