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> what characteristics make it more desirable to work with than white
Joanna, I'll let others weigh in on why platinum is popular - I'd
say the usual reasons. Why is peanut butter popular?
For working, though platinum does not oxidize, not ever. Since 10%
iridium platinum is the only alloy worth working, I'm speaking of
that. The fact that it doesn't oxidize means that you can heat and
melt it any time and any way. For ring sizing, you can just fuse the
seam and file it out, and it will look like nothing ever happened.
I'll just melt metal in a spot, just like waxwork, and then file and
shape it. No solder, no worrying about perfect fit, no oxides, no
smudge, no firescale. People do use solder when it's needed - adding
a setting or other places. And some weld less than I do, and solder
more. But it's still the same - no oxides, ever. I work it pretty
much like wax - build it up, carve it down.
A downside that you'll learn quickly is that this all happens at
6,500F or something (not gonna go look it up exactly ;<}, which is
white hot, considerably hotter than molten steel, and very hazardous
to your eyes and well being. It's not for the faint of heart, but
all or the heat related problems other metals have just vanish,
working in platinum. Then it also files and polishes differently,
but not so much. You can move from silver to gold pretty easy - same
thing, many of the problems silver has just disappear in gold.
Moving to platinum is not so hard, but not so easy, because it's
quite different in many ways.