Platinum, a term used in the present to describe the crème de la crème of anything remotely desirable, is the strongest of jewelry metals and an exceedingly popular choice for engagement ring settings and everything in between. This precious metal's reputation tends to precede it, with associations to exclusivity and wealth. Indeed its rarity, strength and exceptionally attractive sleek, white appearance make it an exceptional choice for use in engagement jewelry as it accentuates the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond.
The majority of platinum jewelry is 95% pure platinum combined with 5% iridium, palladium or other alloys. For guaranteed quality in platinum, look for the marks 950 Plat or PLAT. While it is the strongest of all jewelry metals, it can scratch and develop a patina of wear. Many people prefer this look, which is unique to beautiful platinum, yet a jeweler can polish platinum jewelry back to its original reflective finish quite easily.
Platinum is not as commonly used in jewelry making as other precious metals yet the frame of the Crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, manufactured for her Coronation as the Consort of King George VI at the turn of the 20th century, is made of platinum. It was the first British crown to be made of this particular precious metal.