The Platinum Engagement Rings Buyers Guide
The following information was put together from the questions and answers gathered in over 20 years of jewellery guidance. Clients approach us, not only for jewellery, but for accurate, informative advice. This ensures they make the correct purchase to suit their own circumstances. Our end section (FAQ) provides a few answers to many questions we have been asked, not specifically relating to our jewellery, but to provide some general guidance.
What is Platinum?
Platinum is a dense, malleable, ductile, highly unreactive, precious, gray-white transition metal. It's name originates from the Spanish for Silver "Platina". The Periodic table Symbol is Pt. Discovered by Antonio de Ulloa in 1735, it is a transition metal, used in multiple industries, but prized within the jewellery sector for several specific reasons.
A Little More About Platinum
Platinum is naturally a hypoallergenic metal and always remains white.
Scratches and wear will only displace the precious metal, making it extremely hard wearing and durable. Scratches and wear will produce a natural even finish to the ring. To bring it back to 'as new' condition, it will merely need to be re-polished. A good idea is to have this done at the same time as buying your wedding rings so that both engagement ring and wedding rings are pristine for your wedding day.
A ring in platinum will be approximately 40% heavier than the equivalent ring in 18ct gold. Due to its hardness platinum will always provide excellent protection for a diamond.
Platinum settings provide the best security for a diamond. Platinum will also retain the natural white colouration, making it an ideal choice. However the weight of Platinum and the subsequent cost can mean that consideration and budgeting is required for any engaged couple considering Platinum wedding rings as their first choice.
Platinum Hallmarks (UK)
The following image shows some of the marks associated with UK hallmarks for Platinum. Symbols to the left represent the compulsory markings. The symbol for 'Maker' will not necessarily be the retailer name, but the organisation / sponsor responsible for hallmarking the ring.
Why Platinum Over Gold or Palladium?
In our experience, many clients choose Platinum above 18ct gold for their engagement ring due to the following 2 reasons.
1. Platinum is naturally silver in colour : white gold by comparison (usually) requires Rhodium plating. Most 18ct white gold (due to its 75% gold content has a slight tint to the metal colour. The final finishing process adds a hard white metal plating (Rhodium). This eventually wears to reveal the natural off-white colour of the gold underneath.
2. Easier to size : Many would argue that Palladium has similar properties. But Platinum engagement rings can be re-sized seamlessly by laser, whereas Palladium is prone to embrittlement when heated. Platinum is far more accommodating when it comes to sizing work.
Common Platinum Questions
Why does my Platinum ring scratch so easily? A Platinum ring will scratch. The first scratches will appear more noticeable in contrast with the even polished surface. These will eventually build to a more consistent finish. Over time Platinum develops a natural Patina which some people prefer. Platinum can be easily re-polished at an affordable cost.
How often will I need my Platinum ring re-polishing? This depends entirely on how much wear the ring picks up, and how particular you are about the pristine mirror polish. Parts of the ring will dull quicker than others (such as the underside of the band).
Is a Platinum engagement ring more expensive? Platinum tends to be more expensive than 18ct gold. Since Platinum weighs approx. 1/3 heavier than 18ct gold, even when the gold price rose above the price of a Platinum ring remained more expensive.
Does a Platinum engagement ring cost more than gold to re-polish? No. The cost to re-finish a Platinum ring will be the same as most other metals.
My Platinum engagement ring has diamonds and Platinum. Will it last forever? Platinum will wear. It certainly will not wear away. Platinum can be abraded by other jewellery rubbing. Or by a loose diamond moving in the setting. Parts of a ring might wear quickly, thin and become weaker. This damage depends on the wear.
Why has my Platinum ring got thinner? A fine engagement ring band, re-sized many times can become thinner. Eventually the band might need to be built up, or replaced. The same can be said about gold rings.
Why is my Platinum ring magnetic? Platinum is paramagnetic. It will show magnetic properties when exposed to a magnet. This magnetism will not last.Can Platinum be satin finished? Yes. The same finishes can be applied to Platinum as other metals.
Do I need a Platinum wedding ring for my Platinum engagement ring? It is advisable to keep to the same metal for your wedding ring. For reasons of metal colour and wear. When the cost of Platinum has been too great for some clients, we have produced alternative wedding rings in 950 Palladium that match well.
Why has my Platinum engagement ring ring bent out of shape? Platinum is malleable and ductile. Although less malleable than gold, it will bend. Slimmer engagement ring bands, and pressure can result in the shank being bent out of shape.
Why has my Platinum ring cracked? Platinum is more brittle than gold. Platinum is favoured for this less malleable property, since claws remain strong, and rigid surrounding diamonds. Damage to a Platinum ring can however result in cracking. This is sometimes seen between adjoined settings and shanks, or across the band, where resizing work has been carried out.
Is it possible to re-size a Platinum engagement ring? Yes. Most of our Platinum rings are sized down by laser, ensuring a seamless result. The surfaces of the ring are literally 'welded' together by laser. Size increases are usually achieved by stretching the ring under heat.
Can Platinum be engraved? Yes. Laser engraving produces a lighter engraving, owing to the high purity of Platinum.
How can I tell if my engagement ring is Platinum? Look for a hallmark. A stamp usually on the inside of the band. The number 950 will appear, but do not confuse this with 950 for Palladium.
Why does my Platinum ring have no hallmark? Missing hallmarks can sometimes be the result of loss. Sizing or re-polishing can cause this. Hallmarks can be re-applied by stamp or by laser.
My Platinum ring has small holes in the metal. You are most likely seeing small traces of porosity. This can present itself in the form of small microscopic holes. Contact your retailer to discuss this matter if you can readily see this detail.