Platinum has subtly played a part in metalworking for a surprisingly long time. Unlike it’s flashy next door neighbor on the periodic table, gold, it is not immediately recognizable. But platinum is included in the decoration on the famous Casket of Thebes in Egypt. It was also used by the Pre-Columbian Indians in South America. It was South America that it received the name we use today. The Spanish Conquistadors called the small, silvery nuggets they found platina. It is still an important precious metal today having both industrial and decorative uses.
It is one of the strongest precious metals used to make jewellery. Finer, more intricate designs can be produced than it is possible with to create with gold. These designs can still hold precious stones securely. It was immediately popular when it was introduced. However, it’s popularity waned when world war broke out. AT that time it was confined to industrial production only. White gold was introduced as a substitute, and has been used ever since to imitate the cool grey hue of platinum.
Palladium is a hard wearing, hypoallergenic metal that is rarer than gold. It retains its bright, white appearance without being rhodium plated. Because of these properties it is slowly becoming more popular for jewellery.