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Platinum is a dense, precious and highly un-reactive metal. While this might sound a bit dry, it’s the primary reason platinum is now the most popular metal for engagement rings.
Pure platinum is simply too hard to be used in jewelry. Instead, platinum is alloyed with other metals in order to retain the desirable properties, while making it easier to work with. Higher quality jewelry is made from 95% pure platinum; the other 5% most commonly consisting of iridium, ruthenium, or cobalt. While the iridium blend is common, it is also considered the lowest quality, as it is most likely to scratch or chip. Ruthenium and Cobalt alloys are the highest quality, being both durable and extremely bright. Every platinum engagement ring from Lumera is of these two varieties, and stamped PLAT.
The jewelry industry has worked long and hard to present platinum as a superior alternative to gold; often suggesting that platinum is twenty or thirty times rarer than gold, in order to justify the higher price. The fact is, platinum and gold are roughly equal in natural abundance. Two factors contribute to platinum’s higher price in jewelry. First, more gold is mined than platinum, making gold relatively more abundant in its finished state. Of the platinum that is mined, only about one third finds its way to the jewelry market (most platinum is used in industrial applications as a catalyst in chemical reactions). Second, it takes more platinum to produce a ring than it does gold. While a platinum ring is typically 95% pure platinum, a typical gold ring is only about 60% pure gold. For these reasons, the final price of a platinum ring is significantly higher than gold, even though the base prices for the metals are often similar.
Despite the higher cost, and the challenges in working with the metal, platinum continues to grow in popularity. Platinum is the strongest and most durable metal commonly used in jewelry; an excellent choice for wearers with an active lifestyle. Its strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion make platinum an ideal symbol of enduring love as well.
The strength of platinum makes it an ideal choice for engagement rings decorated with fine details, embellishments, or engravings. While these small details might wear away over time in a gold ring, they will tend to last a lifetime in platinum. That said, platinum is not indestructible; a platinum engagement ring will acquire tiny, shallow scratches with wear. Over time, these individual scratches form an even patina which adds luster to the ring. A rigorous polishing with a clean, soft cloth will restore some of the original shine, if desired.
Like white gold, platinum is an excellent choice when the featured diamond is colorless or near colorless. These white metals will not introduce color into the diamond, the way yellow or rose gold will. Unlike white gold, platinum engagement rings require little or no maintenance over time, and are hypoallergenic, which means there is no chance of a reaction with sensitive skin. Platinum is also a good choice for settings with diamonds of higher value, since the platinum prongs will be more secure.
The most common reason platinum is chosen over gold is durability. Platinum engagement rings and wedding bands will not scratch as easily as gold, or wear as quickly. In addition, platinum will hold diamonds and other gems more securely. Platinum will tend to last a lifetime with little to no maintenance.
Platinum is always the best choice for a diamond engagement ring when the wearer prefers the look of platinum over white (or any other) gold. In other cases, a platinum wedding ring may be the best choice for very intricate or delicate metal designs (since platinum is more durable), or when the ring will be subjected to a wearer's active lifestyle.
Showering, and any other routine activity, is perfectly safe for platinum jewelry. Water, hot or cold, will not affect platinum’s look or function. One caution; with platinum or any other precious metal, avoid harsh chemicals such as those found in household cleansers. These can be abrasive and dull the appearance of your diamond ring.
Yes, you can wear your platinum ring all day, every day. As with any piece of jewelry, care should be taken with harsh chemicals that could damage the piece, or activities that may be unsafe while wearing jewelry. Under normal conditions, a platinum engagement ring will last a lifetime, even with daily wear.
Platinum will not scratch as easily as gold, and for that reason platinum is a popular choice for diamond engagement rings. Over time, platinum will pick up tiny scratches, which will create a luster that some prize. However, if preferred, a mild buffing will restore platinum to its original appearance.
Platinum is superior to white gold in terms of durability and ease of maintenance. However, platinum is a bit heavier than gold (which can be a factor in larger engagement rings), and does increase the cost.
While being worn, platinum should not be exposed to harsh chemicals, or activities that might cause damage to a wedding band or other piece of jewelry. When not being worn, it is best to store platinum jewelry in a way that avoids metal touching metal (especially when prongs or other sharp surfaces can come into contact with smooth platinum). The same guidelines would apply to gold as well.
Platinum jewelry should retain its original color for life. Platinum is very resistant to tarnish or corrosion, and does not require any special type of polish or plating (as white gold eventually will).
While platinum is stronger than gold, it is not completely impervious to scratches. These scratches tend to be very shallow and very thin. To the eye, the accumulation of many micro scratches will appear as a dull luster. A platinum engagement ring will have less of a mirror finish as it ages. This is normal, and often prized. However, buffing the metal will remove most of these small scratches, if that is preferred.
Some of our most popular Platinum styles: