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Platinum Marks

Jewelry can contain different percentages of pure platinum. The US Federal Trade Commission, FTC, publishes guidelines for acceptable marking standards for platinum jewelry sold in the US.

Platinum content is usually expressed as the amount of pure platinum the jewelry contains in parts per thousand. Think about it like this... you mix up a huge bucket of fruit tea that contains 1,000 ounces--900 hundred of the ounces are plain tea and 100 are fruit juice. That makes the tea 900 parts per thousand of your mix. Another way to express that is to say that tea makes up ninety percent of the mix--900 divided by 1000.

 

  • Jewelry that contains at least 950 parts per thousand of pure platinum may be marked or described as "Platinum"

     

  • Jewelry that contains 850, 900 or 950 parts per thousand of pure platinum may be marked "Plat" or "Pt" if a number is used in front of the term to disclose the amount of pure platinum in the mix, such as
    • "850 Plat" or "850 Pt", or
    • "950 Plat" or "950 Pt"

     

  • Jewelry that contains at least 950 parts per thousand of platinum group metals, with at least 500 parts per thousand of the total pure platinum, may be marked as platinum as long as the numbers of each metal are disclosed. For instance,
    • "600 Pt. 350 Ir." or 600 Plat. 350 Irid." for 600 parts pure platinum and 350 parts iridium
    • "550Pt. 350Pd. 50Ir." or "550Plat. 350Pall. 50Irid." for 550 parts pure platinum, 350 parts palladium and 50 parts iridum

The Platinum Groups of Metals

Six related metals belong to the Platinum Group of Metals, or PGM:

 

  • Platinum
  • Iridium
  • Palladium
  • Ruthenium
  • Rhodium
  • Osmium

Platinum Care

Soaking platinum in a mild solution of soap and warm water and gently scrubbing it with a soft-bristled brush is usually all that is required to maintain the metal's luster.