A dense, malleable grey-white metal which is one of the rarest with only a few tonnes mined each year, its rarity makes it highly valuable and its hardness and tarnish resistance make it ideal for use in jewellery. Platinum has required a legal hallmark since 1975, it is marked 950 which means it is composed of 95% platinum together with 5% additional alloy.
It is one of only three Noble Metals in general use. It is tough and exceptionally non-corrosive but became popular relatively late in life, at the beginning of the 20th century, as a jewellery medium.
It was a perfect material for the very geometric designs of the time and its hardness made it perfect to use for claws in which to set stones in the emerging diamond-based designs of so much of the jewellery of the time.