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Mark Maglin, Gemologist

The History of Platinum and How it Rose to Popularity

As one of the rarest and most costly metals in the world today, platinum has found popularity everywhere from the automotive industry to Hollywood. But how did this precious metal find its place in today’s modern world? Here’s everything you need to know about the history of platinum and how it found fame in all around the globe.

The Very Beginning

The earliest use of platinum has been located in the remnants of ancient Egypt. During the time of intense Egyptian discoveries, the Casket of Thebes was observed to be decorated with gold, silver, and platinum. On the other side of the planet, several South American populations were also using platinum, this time for ceremonial jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, and even nose rings.
However, the platinum used in these civilizations was not pure platinum. Like many metals used throughout the ancient world, platinum needed to be mixed with other metals to increase its strength. It was often mixed with palladium and iridium to create stronger alloys.

New World Uses

In the 1500s, Spanish conquistadors discovered platinum being used in the New World, alongside gold and silver. It was considered ugly and not very desirable. It wasn’t until 1746, when Spanish discoverer Antonio de Ulloa returned to Spain with a few samples. It took another five years for the metal to be understood as its very own element, following the melting of a sample.
Within the next few years, platinum gained popularity for decoration, and as it became more available, jewelers began to take an interest. However, it was difficult to work with and lacked the pliability of softer metals like gold. However, when the jewelry torch was created, jewelry makers were able to heat the metal up to desired temperatures, making platinum jewelry a possibility for a wider audience. In fact, Louis Cartier, the famous jeweler, was the first to use platinum as a major component of his jewelry designs.

Platinum Popularity

It wasn’t until the 1970s that platinum really got popular with a mainstream audience. This was mostly due to the Arab Oil Embargo, which caused the prices of precious metals like platinum to surge. It was then possible for investors to purchase bars of solid platinum.
By the 1980s, several countries, including Australia, Canada, and the United States, began producing platinum coins, bringing investment possibilities to an even wider group of people.

Platinum Now

Nowadays, platinum is used in a variety of industries. Of course, it is still a popular choice for jewelry, especially with customers that don’t like the look of yellow gold but still want something durable. It is also used in catalytic converters in car engines. Furthermore, it is used in the electronics industry to make hard drives as well as the medical and dental industries to create medical devices and fillings.

The Gembyr Difference

Gembyr differs from a pawn shop in the sense that we only want the best for your and your accessories, because we understand there is a story behind every piece. We understand that this sentiment builds value and can make it incredibly difficult to part with a family heirloom or item of significance.

Safety, Simplicity & Satisfaction

We understand how difficult it can be to part with an item of sentimental value, but we are happy to help in the decision making process at one of our secured locations in New Hampshire. If you have damaged jewlery, diamonds, or gold accessories,contact Mark today for a free consultation or appraisal you can also contact Mark by email or calling today at 1-603-828-1144.