When you're getting married, or looking to propose, there are a lot of decisions to make. Once you settled on the design and gemstone options for your ring, you will have to decide the type metal for your ring that you'll be wearing for years and years on your finger. Platinum rings are some of the most popular choices out there because they last forever and will never change in color.
What is platinum?
Platinum is a precious silvery-white metal that is mined mainly in Russia and South Africa. It is 30 times rarer than gold. It is usually used in very pure form in jewelry with platinum alloys containing 90% to 95% of that noble metal. In comparison a 14k gold ring has only 58% gold in it. The most common platinum alloy I use contains 95% Platinum and 5% Ruthenium or Cobalt.
But what are the pros and cons of platinum engagement rings and wedding bands?
Let's start with the pros:
- Platinum alloys are very pure and will not corrode, discolor or tarnish. It is naturally white so it won’t fade to a yellow or change color over time.
- It's neutral white color complements every diamond and gemstone color.
- Unlike white gold it does not require rhodium plating to maintain its whiteness. This saves money over time.
- Platinum is a low-maintenance metal, making it in the long run a better value despite the initial higher price
- Platinum’s purity makes it a hypoallergenic metal. It's the perfect choice for those with sensitive skin. You never have to worry about developing an allergy to it after years of wear.
- It has a greater wear resistance compared with white gold in terms of metal loss and is very durable. It does not get thinner over time like gold rings and prongs don't wear down. Platinum jewelry will weigh the same in 50 years as it does today - meaning your platinum ring could be worn by generations! It's ideal for heirloom jewelry.
- All precious metals will scratch, however, when platinum scratches, it tends to displace rather than lose metal weight. It will develop a beautiful patina like appearance with wear and can easily be re-polished by a jeweler to it's original shine if needed.
- Your platinum jewelry will outlast other precious metal jewelry and hold stones in place more securely.
- Platinum is the rarest precious metal, embodying timeless beauty and individuality.
But have you ever wondered what the drawbacks might be?
- Being one of the densest elements on earth, rings in platinum are heavier than gold, silver or palladium rings. It is about 60% heavier than 14K gold and 35% heavier than 18K gold. This means that a platinum piece of identical specifications as a gold or silver piece will be much heavier and as a result is usually more expensive.
- That extra weight will be more noticeable in wider rings like men's wedding bands than in narrow and delicate rings. If you don't like to feel the ring on your finger, that weight might bother you.
- Platinum alloys are a bit softer than most white gold alloys. With daily wear, a well-loved platinum ring sustains small scratches more easily, and may start to take on a matte appearance more quickly than for instance a rhodium plated white gold ring. All metals will scratch with time and wear, so in the end they all get theirs own patina until it gets re-polished.
- Platinum is harder to work with and will result in higher labor cost to make your jewelry, re-sizings and any eventual repairs later on.
His and hers platinum wedding bands with a half bezel set diamond
To sum up the pros and cons:
- Pros: very pure, hypo-allergenic, does not tarnish or react to most household chemicals or chlorine, much whiter than white gold alloys and no yellowing, does not wear down like white gold, best for stone settings
- Cons: slightly softer and scratches easier than white gold alloys, very heavy, more expensive than 14k gold
Platinum is a popular choice for engagement rings, wedding bands, and anniversary gifts. It is more durable than gold or silver while still maintaining the same luster of one of these precious metals. The downside - platinum prices are significantly higher than those of other metal types so it can get costly quickly!Have you considered all your options? What do you think? Will platinum be your go-to metal for jewelry?
Most of my made to order engagement rings and wedding bands can be ordered in platinum and gold alloys. If you want to read about all the other metal options I offer please read my precious metal info page.