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The History of Platinum
Although platinum may seem new, it is also legendary. The ancient Egyptians and South American Incas prized it. France's Louis XVI proclaimed it the only metal fit for royalty.

Legendary jewelers such as Cartier, Faberge and Tiffany created their timeless designs in platinum. The world's famous diamonds, including the Hope, Jonker I and Koh-I-Noor, are secured by the permanence of platinum.

Platinum reached its peak of popularity in the early 1900's when it was the preferred metal for all fine jewelry in America. When World War II began, the U.S. government declared platinum a strategic metal and its use in non-military applications, including jewelry, was disallowed. To appease consumers who preferred platinum's white luster, white gold was substituted in platinum's absence.

Today, platinum again charms and enchants a new generation of consumers.

What is Platinum?
Beneath its subtle beauty and understated elegance lie the properties which make platinum truly unique.

Platinum is strong.It is the heaviest of the precious metals, weighing almost twice as much as karat gold. Its strength ideally secures diamonds and other precious gems. Even after many years, platinum will not wear away or wear down.

Platinum is pure.In America, platinum jewelry contains either 90% or 95% pure platinum. By comparison, 18K gold is 75% pure and 14 karat is 57% pure gold. Only platinum will never tarnish or lose its rich white luster. Because platinum is so pure, it is hypoallergenic.

Platinum is rare.Ten tons of ore must be mined to produce a single ounce of platinum. It takes five months to process platinum ore into pure platinum. Only after this time can skilled hands work their creativity and craftsmanship, transforming platinum into pieces of wearable art.

How to Buy and Care for Platinum Jewelry
Platinum jewelry made in America contains either 90% or 95% pure platinum. Platinum jewelry marked "IRIDPLAT" contains 90% platinum and 10% iridium. When marked "PLAT" an item is at least 95% platinum, with 5% ruthenium.

Whether you are choosing a ring, pin, bracelet, necklace or bridal jewelry, you will find new and sophisticated platinum designs.

Platinum jewelry should be cleaned the same way you clean other fine jewelry. Use a pre-packaged jewelry cleaner or have it professionally cleaned by your jeweler. As with all precious jewelry, store with care, not allowing pieces to touch or scratch each other.

An experienced jeweler can assist you in selecting platinum jewelry that will bring pleasure to you and the recipient for years to come.

Information is provided courtesy of the Platinum Guild International, USA.


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