I remember sitting with Daryl in his shop one day while he was wrapping something in 14K gold-filled wire for someone. I’d just started learning how to wire wrap and was not anywhere close to the level I am at now. In fact, I was very self-conscious about my works and felt like I sucked.
I asked Daryl if he’d ever thought of wrapping something in platinum. He gave me this look and kind of chuckled. Then explained that the reason why he worked with gold-filled wire was that gold was expensive. Platinum was even higher than that at the time.
So naturally, I made a mental note and thought to myself that one day, I would be wrapping my jewelry in platinum. Fast forward over a decade later, and not only have my skills have grown, but another wire artist told me his source for the best-priced wire: Rio Grande.
Rio Grande not only sells competitively priced silver (both Sterling and Argentium) but also a variety of gold wires from gold-filled to solid gold. And yes, they sell platinum.
Realizing That I Could Afford A Small Amount Of Platinum.
My neighbor came over the other day and told me to go check the gold prices. I was astounded to see how high gold had gone up. In comparison, platinum was just half the price of gold. So I checked the wire prices. I found out I could afford 24 gauge platinum wire–six inches of the stuff was just under $50 (with shipping).
24 gauge wire is extremely fragile but great for doing accent work or wrapping a bead into a pendant. I figured that was what I would do. I would get to experiment with platinum and finally do something in platinum–something that if Daryl were alive today, he would smile at.
The platinum came in today and to my surprise, this is one tough metal. I bent it, expecting it to snap like copper would at this gauge level and it didn’t break. I realized that I could wrap a small rough stone with it and add value to the stone.
The first stone that Daryl wrapped for me as a gift was a Moldavite. This is the same mineral I gifted Elon Musk in 2018 (I shipped it to SpaceX) when he shared my older jewelry blog (my ex took it down to hurt me) right after my ex kicked me out of our home.
Needless to say, this particular stone has a lot of personal value to me so I wanted it to be the first piece I wrapped in platinum. Normally I would keep such a treasure, but I want to earn back the money plus a profit to invest in more platinum.
My Thoughts On Platinum.
My first impression when touching it was the energy. I can sense the energies in stones and metals if I really tune in and the energy of the platinum was like, whoa!. However, when I looked at it, it didn’t look like I thought platinum should look. It had a grey tinge to it, but when I took it out into the sun, I could see the silvery color that I mentally associated platinum with.
When looking at the packaging, you could tell this was something valuable because Rio Grand usually just puts the wire in a ziplock back or a spool if there’s a lot of wire. The packaging for this mere 6 inches of platinum was the Russian dolls of packing.
My neighbor and I had a few laughs as we tried to open it. I finally got into it and noted the description:
The wire is 95% platinum (.950) and 5% Ruthenium. This explains the grey tinge and upon researching ruthenium, I discovered that this isn’t just any type of metal. It’s also pretty rare so adds a bit of value as well. Its color reminded me of galena.
Wikipedia describes it as a rare transition metal that is a member of the platinum group of the periodic table. Its atomic number is 44 and it gets its name from the country it was found in: Russia. Ruthenia is the Latin name of Rus.
The thing that stood out to me about this particular metal was how easy it was to work with. The type of wire I had was round wire which, in general, is a great beginner type of wire (in copper or other base metals) to work with. I’d like to get my hands on some square wire (so I can give it that spiral look with a pin vise) and play around with it–but they only sold it by a certain amount and it was up in the hundreds for the smallest batch.
I definitely plan to include more platinum in my work and can’t wait to try the square wire some day. I only wish Daryl were still alive for me to show off this piece wrapped in platinum.