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Platinum is  a  heavy,  malleable  precious  metal, resistant to corrosion; in addition to its  use  in exclusive jewellery,  it is also  used in  laboratory equipment and dentistry. 

In the 18th century, the rarity of platinum was  brought  to  the  attention  of  King  Louis  XV  of France, who declared that it was the only  metal fit for a king. In the 19th century, due  to its rarity, difficulty to work with and sheer  expense, it was used in a very limited manner  in the jewellery industry. This changed in the  20th century when the metal became popular  for expensive Diamond engagement rings.

Platinum is a third heavier than 18k gold and  is  the  most  expensive  metal  used  in  making jewellery  (other  than  the  rhodium  used  in  plating).  Pure  platinum has been known to be twice the price of pure gold. Since  1975, it has been a legal requirement in the UK  to  hallmark  platinum  jewellery.  The  current  standards of fineness are 850 (85% pure), 900,  950  and  999,  with  950  (95%  pure)  being  the  most common.

To help comprehend the rarity of platinum, it  was once suggested that if all the platinum in the  world was poured into an Olympic swimming  pool it would not even cover your ankles! It is  also said that all of the gold in the world would  only fill approximately three or four pools.

So when you see two identical band rings, one  made of 950 platinum and one made from 18k  gold and wonder why one is four times the price  of the other, remember there are three factors:  the  price  of  the  raw  material  is  double;  more  weight is used because it’s a third heavier; and  the purity is higher.

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