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Platinum Jewelry History

The name platinum mainly derives from the Spanish platina meaning "little silver".

Naturally-occurring platinum and platinum-rich alloys have been known for a long time. Though the metal was used by pre-Columbian Indians, the first European reference to platinum appears in 1557 in the writings of the Italian humanist Julius Caesar Scaliger (1484-1558) as a description of a mysterious metal found in Central American mines between Darién (Panama) and Mexico ("up until now impossible to melt by any of the Spanish arts").

The Spaniards named the metal "platino," or little silver, when they first encountered it in Colombia. They regarded platinum as an unwanted impurity in the silver they were mining, and often discarded it.

The Spaniards named the metal "platino," or little silver, when they first encountered it in Colombia. They regarded platinum as an unwanted impurity in the silver they were mining, and often discarded it.

Platinum was discovered by astronomer Antonio de Ulloa and Don Jorge Juan y Santacilia (1713-1773), both appointed by King Philip V to join a geographical expedition in Peru that lasted from 1735 to 1745. Among other things, Ulloa observed the platina del pinto, the unworkable metal found with gold in New Granada (Colombia). British privateers intercepted Ulloa's ship on the return voyage. Though he was well-treated in England, and even made a member of the Royal Society he was prevented from publishing a reference to the unknown metal until 1748. Before that could happen Charles Wood independently isolated the element in 1741.

Platinum jewelry was first used un ancient Egypt and it has been popular ever since. However, it was not until the 1800's that the popularity of platinum reached thru current height when royalty started to wear them. Legendary jewelers such as Cartier, Faberge and Tiffany created their timeless designs in Platinum. The world's famous diamonds, including the Hope, Jonker I and Koh-I-Noor, are secured by the permanence of Platinum.

Platinum reached its peak of popularity in the early 1900's when it was the preferred metal for all fine jewelry in America. When World War II began, the U.S. government declared Platinum a strategic metal and its use in non-military applications, including jewelry, was disallowed. To appease consumers, who proffered Platinum's white luster, white gold was substituted in Platinum's absence.

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TODIAMONDS.COM offers a wide selection of platinum jewelry, including platinum bands, platinum wedding rings and other platinum bridal jewelry. Besides platinum, we also have white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold. We manufacture all our jewelry. We also carry a huge selection of loose diamonds, diamond rings, engagement rings, diamond stud earrings, custom wedding bands, custom engagement rings and wholesale jewelry.

       

 

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