The Platinum Group of Metals: Their Role in Jewelry Making and More

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By James Greene © 

Platinum is a popular type of metal used in jewelry making these days.  This precious metal is used to make necklaces, bracelets, earrings and even lovely diamond engagement rings.  Platinum is part of a group of metals known as the platinum group.  Included within this group are platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, palladium, iridium and osmium.  Although platinum is the most common type of metal in this group, there are others within the platinum group of metals which can be used to make jewelry.  In fact, all except osmium can and have been used in jewelry production.

When jewelry makers want to give their jewelry creations a lovely shine, rhodium is the perfect metal to do so.  The rhodium is placed over various jewelry metals and the plating creates a shiny finish.  Some of the other metals within the platinum group of metals are used to strengthen platinum jewelry.  The iridium, ruthenium and palladium can be used as an alloy to blend with the platinum and add extra strength to this somewhat softer type of metal.

Although platinum is the highly coveted metal type when it comes to diamond engagement rings and exquisite necklaces, there is another type of platinum group metal which is gaining in popularity. Palladium has been found by jewelry designers to look similar in form to platinum yet it costs less to make jewelry with it.  Therefore, more and more jewelry designers are using this metal to create their designs as they find there is an interest in it when it comes to individuals purchasing the jewelry.

An additional fascinating aspect regarding two of the aforementioned metals, platinum and palladium, is that these two metals are used for tough jobs when compared with the delicate jewelry items which they are often used to make.  Platinum and palladium are two metals used in the construction of catalytic converters in automobiles.  This just goes to show how a metal can be used in the construction of something so fragile on the one hand and on the other hand be used for a heavy duty piece of car machinery.

For whatever use or item you find your platinum group metal being used for, it is sure to result in a durable, well manufactured item.  When using any of these items, except osmium, you will find that the end result is a fine piece of jewelry perfect for you or a loved one.

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