Platinum is one of the rarest metals in the world. According to Mining Feeds, it is so rare that all of the platinum that has been mined would only fill a 625 square foot room. Platinum can be worth a lot of money, and you may have some in your jewelry box and not even know it. Here are six ways to tell if the jewelry you have is platinum.
Hold it in Your Hand
Platinum jewelry looks a lot like silver, but it is much heavier. Take a look at your jewelry and mentally determine how much you think it will weigh. Pick it up, and if it weighs significantly more than you expected, it may very well be platinum. Sterling silver or white gold jewelry will weigh much less.
Look for the Stamp
Some platinum jewelry is stamped with a mark that identifies it as platinum. The stamp will say PLAT or will begin with PT and will have a number after it like 900 or 950. This number tells you the percentage of the platinum in the piece. The Federal Trade Commission specifies that jewelry must be at least 50% platinum to be labeled as platinum.
The platinum stamp is almost always found on rings and watches. Other platinum jewelry like earrings, pendants and necklaces may or may not have the stamp.
Perform an Acid Test
You can buy a simple acid testing kit that will tell you if your metal jewelry is platinum. The kit will come with acids that you will use on the metal.
To perform the test, wear gloves because the acid can damage your skin. Rub the metal against a testing stone included in the kit. Drop a small amount of acid onto place where you rubbed the metal. If the metal does not dissolve, it is platinum.
Perform a Heat Test
You can tell if an item is made from platinum by heating it. Platinum does not oxidize even at high temperatures,so the trick is to heat it and watch for signs of oxidation.
Before you perform this test remove any stones in the piece. You don't want to damage diamonds or other precious stones when you expose the jewelry to heat. Carefully raise the temperature of the item with a butane torch or a jeweler's torch. Heat the item until it becomes red. Then allow it to cool completely. If the piece goes back to its original color, it is platinum. If the piece turns a dark color, it may be white gold or sterling silver.
Take it to a Jeweler
You can take your jewelry to a professional jeweler to be tested. The jeweler will use a test similar to the acid test kit to determine if your jewelry is truly made of platinum.
Keep in mind that while the jeweler might offer you money for your platinum jewelry, you will want to shop around. Jewelry stores do not have the reputation of being the most profitable place to sell your precious metals.
Bring it or Mail it to a Metal Refinery
A metal refinery is a place that will buy metals and melt them down to be made into something else. Some refineries will take jewelry by mail, and others will require you to walk in with it.
If you can, find a refinery that specializes in platinum. The metal refinery will be able to tell you if what you have is platinum and how much it is worth.
Platinum is a highly sought after metal that is used in a car's catalytic converter, in some wiring, in laboratories and in dental tools as well as in fine jewelry. There is a demand for platinum, and you can sell it to a platinum scrap buyers at a refinery for a good price.