Many people who collect precious metals fail to recognize platinum when they see it. They come across an old ring or other white metal item at an estate sale or antique store, assume that it is made of silver, and pass it by. With platinum trading at about $1,000/oz. at the time of this post, and silver at only about $16, that is a very costly mistake to make.
Let’s take a look at some of the common misconceptions about platinum that could cause you to miss it.
Myth One: Platinum Is So Hard that It Does Not Wear
This misconception could have arisen because people confuse chromium (which is hard) with platinum (which is softer than many people realize). The fact is, the platinum items you find can have scratches, abrasions, and signs of wear. So keep your eyes open and don’t pass these items by.
Myth Two: Platinum Is Always Bright and Shiny
Platinum doesn’t tarnish as heavily as silver does, but over time its surface does become cloudy and dull. So if you come across an item of white-toned jewelry that has lost its sheen, it could still be made of platinum, not silver. Our advice? Snap it up for a low price and send it to us for testing.
Myth Three: Platinum Is Only Found in Pure Platinum and Platinum-Plated Items
The fact is that over the years, jewelers have applied platinum accents (including filigree and borders) to other jewelry items. So if you come across a piece of gold jewelry that has bright white-metal decorations applied to its surface, don’t assume that those extra touches are made of silver. They could be platinum accents that are worth much more than you expect.
Myth Four: Platinum Is Brittle
Many people believe that platinum breaks easily when it is bent. Not so. In fact, if you look at a platinum engagement ring, you will notice that little platinum tines have been bent to hold the diamond in place.
Myth Five: Only Newer Jewelry Is Made of Platinum
It’s true that lots and lots of platinum engagement rings are being sold today. That has led to the mistaken belief that pieces of jewelry made a half century ago are probably not platinum. Not so. Platinum might be a “modern” metal, but has been used to make jewelry – and cigarette cases and other items – for many years.
Not Sure What You Have? Send It to Us for Testing
If you have a silver-toned item that could be made of platinum, call us at 800-426-2344 and ask us to test it for you. When you do, ask about shipping costs. Your items could qualify for free or discounted shipping when you send them to us.
How to Tell the Difference Between Silver, White Gold and Platinum
Bright Shiny Platinum Could Be Hiding in Your Dented and Dirty Old Labware
How Much Platinum Does Your Platinum Jewelry Really Contain?
Six Traits of the Best Platinum Refiners