What is Platinum?

Platinum Jewelry - A large circular cut diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds in a platinum setting.

Platinum is a precious metal and is one of the rarest elements found in the earth’s crust. Because it is so scarce and highly sought after, it has great value. Although platinum was first discovered in around the 16th century in South America, today the majority of the world’s platinum is mined in South Africa, which accounts for about 80% of the worlds platinum production annually.

Platinum is used in the manufacture of a number of industrial products, including catalytic converters, laboratory equipment, electrical contacts and electrodes, platinum resistance thermometers, dentistry equipment. Platinum is also used for investment purposes. As the prices of precious metals surged to all time highs in 2008, the spot price of platinum jumped to $2,243 an ounce, sparking a buying frenzy amongst investors.

Platinum is also used to create jewelry. About 40% of the worlds platinum production is used in the manufacture of high-end platinum jewelry. It is silvery-white in color, soft and dense in its purest form and has a beautiful, luminous shine. Platinum does not oxidize and is ideal in the production of fine jewelry.

Platinum jewelry rarely contains pure platinum and is often combined with other platinum-like metals  — rhodium, palladium, iridium — or base metals — copper — to create the finished product.

When buying platinum jewelry, it’s important to deal with a reputable jeweler. Modell, Inc. with locations in the New York City Area has friendly, knowledgeable associates who can help guide and educate customers about platinum. Modell deals in only the finest quality platinum jewelry and is proud to offer merchandise at competitive prices.