The Power of Platinum

Platinum is one of those supercharged words that always signifies the best of the best. Jewelry made of platinum has a status and image unlike any other. But this is nothing new. Platinum’s desirability and use go back thousands of years.

The metal was coveted by the ancient Egyptians, discovered centuries later by the Incas and prized by members of the French royal court. Before it was declared off-limits during World War II, platinum was king in important jewelry the world over. Its beauty, versatility and style were ?rediscovered? in the early 1990s, and today, one in four brides chooses platinum for her wedding set.

In addition to its icy white color, platinum’s superior strength makes it the ideal setting for a diamond. Many of today’s stylish brides love the look of a cushion-cut diamond framed in shimmering micropavé in a lacy platinum setting. Others opt for the most classic look of all: a round brilliant diamond held in place by five or six slender platinum prongs.

One of the wonderful things about platinum is its purity. When you buy 18-karat gold, you are getting 18/24ths, or 75% gold. When you buy platinum, you are getting 85% to 95% pure platinum. Most jewelry sold in the US is 85% to 95% pure platinum and will be marked 850Pt, Pt850 or 850Plat; or 950Pt, Pt950 or 950Plat. If a piece is at least 95% pure, it may be simply labeled ?platinum.? This high purity makes the metal tarnish-resistant and hypoallergenic as well.

To show that special person your love, choose a precious gift of platinum and diamond jewelry. Among the most popular pieces are rings, from diamond fashion styles to classic three-stone designs in which a colored gemstone center is flanked by diamonds.