Platinum comes from the word “platina,” which means “little silver” in Spanish. It was named this because, at the time it was discovered mixed in with gold, it was thought to be flecks of silver, and it was thrown away. It wouldn't be until centuries later, when platinum was analyzed using the burgeoning field of chemistry, that platinum's true value would be discovered. Platinum is a noble metal, meaning that it resists corrosion; it is stronger than gold and occurs even more rarely, giving it the nickname of “rich man's gold.” By the 19th century, platinum became sought after to craft jewelry for the rich and royalty of Europe and Russia. By the middle of the 20th century, platinum was being used regularly in jewelry in North America.
In the same way that gold uses karats as a measure for the jewelry’s gold purity, a similar system is in place for platinum. It is measured in one thousands parts total. For example, PT999 means that the piece contains 999 parts platinum and 1 part alloy. While jewelry with more platinum is more valuable, platinum is a relatively heavy metal, and some wearers prefer pieces with less platinum because the piece is lighter and sometimes feels more comfortable.
Because of platinum's extreme durability, it has recently become more popular in engagement rings, wedding bands, and anniversary bands; platinum's almost eternal longevity as a noble metal is quickly becoming a symbol of the eternal love that characterizes marriage. And while platinum is one of the most durable of the noble metals, platinum jewelry still needs special care. While platinum jewelry can be worn almost daily, it should not be worn while performing physical labor. And when platinum jewelry is being stored, it cannot touch any other platinum jewelry. This is because platinum jewelry can scratch. Over time, if you find your platinum jewelry has scratched, it can be polished out by your jeweler.