Platinum is one of the rarest metals and so it is extremely valuable. The annual worldwide production of platinum is only around 160 tons. Compare that to the approximate 1,500 tons of gold being produced worldwide per year and you can understand platinum's huge appeal. Plus, it can only be found in very few regions of the world, with South Africa leading the way. Simply put, platinum is more valuable than gold and more expensive too.

Platinum has grown increasingly popular in recent years due to its great beauty and durability. Its rich color and sheen makes platinum a popular choice for settings, because the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond are greatly magnified on a platinum setting. While all metals scratch, when platinum is scratched, the metal is merely displaced.

One of platinum's greatest assets is that it is very strong and can withstand a lot of stress - more so than any other precious metal. No matter what fine gemstone or diamond you choose as a center jewel, color is one of the primary determiners of the rarity and therefore the cost. Diamonds with little or no color are typically most desirable. Consequently, the optimal setting is a white metal that won't reflect color into the stone. Platinum is a naturally pure white metal that will keep its brilliant white luster. All gold is naturally yellow metal. White gold is mixed with other alloys to make it look white, and over time it will lose its whiter shade and begin to yellow. In order to maintain its white look, it may need to be re-plated during its lifetime.

Caring for Platinum Jewelry

If platinum is worn daily, it may develop a slight sheen. Although most people prefer this look, you can always have a jeweler polish and restore it to its original shine. Soaking platinum jewelry in a mild solution of soap and warm water and gently scrubbing it with a soft-bristled brush is pretty much all that is needed to keep the metal looking good. To keep your jewelry shining and scratch-free, store them in their original boxes, soft cloth bags, or a fabric-lined jewelry box.