Platinum

Since ancient Egyptian times, traces of platinum have been found in worked gold; it has been assumed that it was considered an impurity that could not be removed. It was around 1590 that it was discovered by Spanish conquistadores in modern-day Colombia. It is an incredibly strong, malleable and ductile material that does not corrode or tarnish, making it perfect for jewellery manufacture.

Platinum was first seen being used in jewellery in the late nineteenth century, usually as prongs to secure stones then later as complete platinum topped gold pieces of jewellery. These were followed by the much more graceful and dainty pieces that emerged in the Edwardian period. However, the use of platinum by the military during the First World War meant that its use in jewellery declined. It showed a brief revival in the 1920s but disappeared again until roughly the 1960s.