Does Platinum scratch?
Does Platinum scratch easily? Every day, buyers ask the Serendipity Diamonds team about the durability of Platinum for everyday wear. Consequently, I decided to write this article to help answer this frequently asked question.
The appearance of a brand new Platinum ring
Brand spanking and newly polished, the surface of Platinum is mirror-like in appearance. This reflective quality should be apparent in all precious metal jewellery unless specifically finished with a textured or patterned effect.
The image below shows the appearance, typical of both Platinum and Palladium, appearing here with flush set diamonds.
The appearance of small scratches on Platinum
There is only one way to avoid scratching a Platinum ring. Don’t wear it. This is impractical advice, I know. While most Platinum owners express surprise when their jewellery picks up small marks and scratches, this is part of everyday wear.
Scratches, marks and scuffs will start to appear over time. Furthermore, they are more noticeable at first against the pristine look of a brand new ring. Hence, wear gradually builds over time, resulting in a natural patina over the surface of the ring. It is noteworthy that Platinum won’t wear away when marked or scuffed. As a result, metal is merely displaced and never lost.
The process of polishing Platinum is straightforward work for a polisher. Most professional jewellers use a dedicated finisher to achieve the final mirror-like polish.
The process of re-finishing flats the metal and restores the high shine. 950 Platinum includes 5% metal alloys. Either Cobalt or Ruthenium are used within the Platinum alloy. Such metals benefit the jewellery with attributes including greater surface hardness. (The 95% purity is assured by the stamped 950 hallmark.)
Example of Heavy Wear on Platinum
The image on the left shows a wedding ring with fairly heavy wear. You will see a combination of knocks, dents and scrapes over the surface. This damage is consistent with heavy wear. Contact with abrasive surfaces reduces the polish, resulting in a duller appearance.
Smaller scratches build to a consistent appearance – fairly typical of light wear.
Showing New or Refinished Platinum
The first step towards removing heavy wear starts on the jeweller’s bench. First of all, the polisher removes deep gouges and dents by filing the metal. Next, the Platinum ring is polished. Using a motorised machine, abrasive rouge is applied to pads. Spinning at high speed, the surface of the ring is polished.
While light wear requires a less intensive treatment, small scratches polish out fairly easily. The regular process of re-finishing the ring restores the shine to an as-new condition. Unlike 18ct White Gold, there is no Rhodium coating added to the ring. This is due to the natural whiteness of Platinum which does not require Rhodium plating.
Should you worry about Platinum wearing?
The important thing to remember is not to worry about the presence of small scratches or marks on a ring. Almost all re-polishing work is routine for most jewellers. Most noteworthy, pay special attention to small claws appearing worn around precious gemstones. The single most common cause for lost diamonds comes from worn claws. Since inspection is an important part of our own service, we routinely check claws as part of the refinishing process. As a result we are able to advise our clients if there appears to be any risk in gemstone settings.
Cleaning Platinum jewellery at home
The shine of Platinum can be restored to a great extent using specialist cleaning materials. A great way to get Platinum shining again is by using the Connoisseur beauty wipes. We highly recommend the beauty wipes, which will restore the shine on Platinum and Palladium. Each pack includes 25 re-usable dry wipes . They contain a dry compound which removes tarnishes and dirt, fills small scratches and they never dry out.
Care with fine Platinum detail
Finally, delicate detail on Platinum jewellery demands specialist attention. An example is milgrain detail found around the edges of some vintage style rings. While many Platinum rings appear chunky, other include fine, delicate detail. Professional jewellers exercise care when re-furbishing milgrain detailed jewellery. In conclusion, get more help and guidance from our expert team, fire any questions across and we’ll be happy to guide you ahead of any purchase.
Platinum vs Rhodium plated white Gold
Rhodium plating, applied to white gold tends to be more scratch resistant than Platinum. However, the slow and gradual wear of Rhodium reveals the tinted true colour of white gold. For this reason, many buyers favour Platinum for its true colour—choosing to have their jewellery re-polished from time to time.
What to do if your brand new ring shows small scratches
Sometimes, despite great care, your brand new engagement ring reveals small scratches and wear. Please don’t despair. It is normal for most rings to show wear within a very short time of putting the item on. Owing to the pristine, even surface, small marks are more visible. Don’t think that your ring will remain mirror polished forever—especially where the ring makes contact with other objects.
There is a simple solution to improving the appearance from small scratches—using the Dazzlestik or Beauty Wipes (see above). Alternatively the ring can be sent back to your jeweller to remove any small scratches. But be prepared for additional scratches to appear once you have the ring back.