Home » JEWELRY FASHION » Platinum Jewelry – Everything You Need to Know
One of the four precious metals, along with silver, palladium, and gold, platinum is expensive, prestigious, and durable. For much of history, it was always more expensive than gold, although this has changed in recent years.
In the past, platinum was only accessible to the rich, but today it is becoming more accessible to all shoppers and the demand for platinum is growing.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about platinum and why it is an excellent choice for jewelry.
What Is Platinum?
Platinum has been used since ancient times and can be traced back to ancient Egypt 5000 years ago. It was also used by Inca Indians in South America. In the mid-1800s, platinum usage increased, and it was eventually recognized as a precious metal.
Over 60% of the world’s platinum comes from South Africa. Compared to other precious metals, it’s extremely rare. The total amount of platinum that is mined annually is 15 times less than that of gold and 100 times less than that of silver. However, due to the low supply of platinum, as well as other factors, platinum pricing has dropped in recent years.
However, platinum is still one of the most sought-after choices for jewelry, especially for special pieces such as engagement and wedding rings. The metal doesn’t corrode, discolor, fade or lose shape with time and is one of the hardest metals, making it an excellent choice for jewelry.
In addition to jewelry, it’s increasingly used in manufacturing and electronics, with over half the annual platinum production being used in the automobile industry.
Platinum Purity and Identification
You will rarely find 100% pure platinum jewelry. Platinum is almost always mixed with other metals, but needless to say the higher the percentage of pure platinum the more expensive the metal. Copper, ruthenium, iridium, rhodium, palladium and cobalt are the most popular base metals used in platinum alloys.
To know how much platinum is in your alloy, you will need to look for the platinum hallmark. A hallmark is a small identification symbol that is stamped on the jewelry, indicating the level of purity of the metal.
Some common platinum hallmarks are:
- 950 Plat or 950 Pt. – The metal is at least 95% pure platinum and 5% alloy metals.
- 900 – 90% platinum purity and 10% alloy metals.
- 850 Plat or 850 Pt. – Platinum purity is 85% with the other 15% being other metals
- 800 Pt. 200 Pd. – Platinum purity is 80% while the other 20% is of palladium (another platinum-based metal).
- No platinum label – there is less than 50% pure platinum in the metal.
Most platinum jewelry generally contains high purity levels, with 85% to 95% platinum commonly used. To put this in perspective, 18-karat gold contains only 75% gold while 14-Karat gold only has 58% gold. In comparison, alloys with less than 80% platinum purity is not considered platinum.
There are lots of white metals on the market that look very similar to platinum. Let’s take a look at how platinum compares to some of these other white metals.
1. Platinum vs. White Gold
White gold looks similar to platinum, but there are several main differences between the two types of metal. in the past, platinum was always more expensive than gold, but now, you may find that white gold costs more.
Another difference between the two is that platinum is a natural metal, but white gold is an alloy consisting of yellow gold mixed commonly with copper or nickel. White gold is commonly only 58% pure.
Because the white gold alloy is plated with rhodium (which gives it its white luster), over time the rhodium plating wears off and the yellow tint starts to bleed through. This can make the white gold piece appear discolored.
This is why white gold requires re-plating frequently. While jewelers recommend replating every year, you may not find this necessary. Most people find that re-plating every 3-4 years or even longer does the job.
Platinum, on the other hand, does not change color or fade. It is also 4 times stronger than gold.Another main difference is that platinum is hypoallergenic whereas white gold can cause metal allergies due to potential nickel content.
For a durable everyday ring with minimal maintenance, platinum is best.
2. Platinum vs. Silver
Silver and platinum have a similar color, but silver is very soft and much less durable than platinum. Every piece of silver jewelry tarnishes over time, requiring regular maintenance to keep it sparkling. Silver also easily loses shape and is nowhere near as valuable as platinum.
The most attractive fact about silver is that it is very affordable. For costume jewelry or inexpensive items, silver is always a good option.
3. Platinum vs. Palladium
Palladium is a relatively new metal on the market that many people haven’t heard of. It is the newest precious metal and is of the same family as platinum. Both these metals look near-identical, although platinum is about a shade whiter than palladium.
Both platinum and palladium share many similarities, including being hypoallergenic and rust and tarnish-free. Palladium jewelry also has purity levels equivalent to platinum.
Palladium is less dense than platinum and is more affordable. Because it is pliable and easy to craft, palladium is often preferred over platinum in the making of jewelry.
Platinum Engagement and Wedding Rings
For diamond engagement rings, a platinum setting has a twofold benefit: it enhances the beauty of the stone and keeps it protected.
The smooth white luster of a platinum setting complements diamonds, bringing out their sparkle and brilliance. You can achieve this look with white gold as well, however, white gold may require more maintenance.
The other factor to consider is strength and safety. Everyday rings, such as engagement and wedding rings, are exposed to a lot of rough wear, hard knocks, chemicals, and heat. Over time, a less durable metal will wear down requiring replacement of prongs.
This is not a common issue with platinum. Because of their extreme hardness and durability, platinum heads don’t wear thin or deteriorate with time. The prongs will continue to hold the diamond steadily in place, reducing the risk of the diamond falling out. A platinum head is the best way to secure the diamond in an engagement ring and keep it safely in its place.
Having said that, any jewelry that you wear on your hand will collect scratches and scuffs over time, regardless of the strength of the metal. Oftentimes, this can create a matte appearance on the surface of the metal, known as a patina. For many people, the patina is a desirable quality, and a welcomed feature. However, if this isn’t for you, a professional polish can easily smooth the tiny furrows caused by the scratches on the platinum band to regain its original luster and shine.
To avoid the patina, consider a platinum band with diamonds or engravings, rather than a smooth shiny surface. These can reduce and hide the appearance of wear.
On an abstract note, if symbolism is important to you, platinum is the perfect representation of a relationship. It is valued for its strength and signifies determination, resilience, and following your visions through to completion.
How to Take Care of Platinum Jewelry
Looking after your platinum jewelry will ensure that it maintains its beautiful sparkle and appearance.
When cleaning platinum jewelry, use a non-abrasive jewelry cleaner or a solution of warm soapy water, and use a soft-bristled brush or a soft cloth to gently rub the piece of jewelry. This will buff away the miniscule scratches on the surface of the metal. You can also safely use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for platinum jewelry.
Has platinum jewelry polished by a jeweler when required to free the jewelry of its patina and make it look new again?
When storing platinum jewelry, place it in a cloth bag or lined box, without contact with other jewelry items. This keeps it free from scratches. Also, platinum can scratch softer items so it’s best to store them alone.
Whether you buy platinum online or at a physical store, there are several factors to consider to ensure you get the best deal.
Buy from a reputable retailer. This may seem obvious, but often it can be difficult to tell whether someone is an established retailer. Check reviews, if possible, about the retailer. What are people saying about them? Ask questions prior to purchase and communicate with the seller.
Check for the hallmark to identify platinum. Ask the seller if you cannot find the hallmark. It may be that the item was too small to have one.
Check the after sales policies. Does the seller take responsibility for the sale? Are there returns policies, warranty, or free maintenance? If purchasing online, check the shipping policies.
To avoid getting ripped off, we recommend the following retailers, known for their commitment to quality and customer service.
Why:Superior diamond imaging, competitive prices, high quality, wide range
An online giant in the diamond space, James Allen has a stunning collection of high-quality diamonds and settings. The images and videos are unparalleled in quality and make shopping online similar, if not better, to shopping in-store.
Why:Competitive prices, wide range, great quality
Known for dominating the online diamond industry since the late 1990s, Blue Nile offers one of the largest online diamond inventories. Search diamonds and settings, as well as platinum jewelry, here at competitive prices, solid after-sales policies, and good customer service.
Why:Superior cut quality, exclusive range, stunning designs
Whiteflashhas earned an international reputation for the elite quality of their precision cut diamonds, and for their impeccable collection of designer engagement rings and settings. Check out their stunning range of platinum jewelry and engagement rings.
Why:Impeccable quality, superior cut, small but exclusive inventory
Brian Gavin is a renowned expert in diamond cut – and it shows in their superior diamond quality. For the very best in diamonds as well as exquisite platinum settings, search their inventory of designer diamond jewelry and loose diamonds.
Is platinum jewelry worth buying? ›
“Platinum is the natural choice for milestone jewellery, such as engagement rings and wedding bands, because it holds significant gemstones better than any other precious metal. Being 40 per cent denser than gold, platinum holds diamonds better than any other precious metal. Platinum is extremely durable.What is the disadvantage of platinum? ›
The downside of Platinum is that it tends to lose its high polish and sharp edges fairly quickly. This is not because they are being worn away but, more accurately, they are being moulded like clay around the surface of the ring.Why do people choose platinum? ›
Jewelry Experts & Designers Share Why They Love Platinum
Platinum is a quiet luxury, not flashy or obvious. The weight of it makes it feel substantial, but it's preciousness can be your own little secret. Its color, the most neutral of the precious metals, makes it perfect to set off both diamonds and color gemstones.
A hallmark identifies the type and purity of the metal. Different countries have their own symbols for platinum hallmark. In India, platinum jewellery is stamped with a Pt950 mark. It denotes 95% purity.Can you wear platinum everyday? ›
Platinum is extremely durable and strong making it ideal for jewellery that's worn on a daily basis. It's highly resistant to stress and withstands both extreme heat and extreme cold, which means platinum jewellery will retain its good looks better than any other metal.Why is platinum not as popular as gold? ›
More than 1,000 tons of gold are mined every year, but only a little over 150 tons of platinum are mined in a year. This scarcity makes platinum more expensive than gold most of the time.Does platinum hold its value? ›
Approximately 88 tons of platinum are used to make jewelry every year compared to 2,700 tons of gold. Because of its rarity, platinum is valuable and will hold its value as the years pass.Does platinum lose its shine? ›
Yes, platinum loses its shine and dulls up faster than other precious metals.Why choose platinum over white gold? ›
Platinum is easier to maintain over time than white gold. Platinum is also the most hypoallergenic of all metals, because of its purity. Platinum is made of 95% pure platinum, where white gold is made out of 75% pure gold, and 25% other metals.Is it better to go gold or platinum? ›
Platinum is more robust and heavier than gold because of its high density. It will last longer and is less likely to break down. For this reason, it's a better option than gold as the setting of a diamond ring.
Is it better to buy platinum or gold? ›
Some investors may want to prioritize stability and long-term investing. In that case, gold is likely the better option. The precious metal has a longstanding history of reliable demand which often spikes during economic downturns. On the other hand, platinum usually performs better during times of economic growth.Does platinum tarnish? ›
Neither platinum nor pure gold tarnish, corrode, rust, or change colour. 18 karat yellow gold does have some other metals mixed into the alloy, and while these metals could tarnish a little over time, it is very unlikely.What is the best quality platinum? ›
The most popular grade of platinum is 95%, which means that 95% of the metal in the ring is pure platinum.What is the best purity of platinum? ›
Platinum, is the purest of all the precious metals used for the fabrication of premium jewellery and is commonly alloyed into a purity of 95%. Platinum has an very bright and white luster, particularly when alloyed with ruthenium.What are the different types of platinum? ›
Natural platinum is a mixture of six isotopes: platinum-190 (0.012 percent), platinum-192 (0.782 percent), platinum-194 (32.86 percent), platinum-195 (33.78 percent), platinum-196 (25.21 percent), and platinum-198 (7.36 percent). All are stable except platinum-190, which has been reported as a long-lived alpha emitter.When should you not wear a platinum ring? ›
While using a hot tub or swimming pool. Chlorine can damage and discolor metals such as gold and platinum, and can slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones. While gardening. Dirt and small rocks are abrasive to jewelry.Can you shower with platinum jewelry? ›
Can you wear platinum in the shower? A similar scenario to gold, you should refrain from wearing your platinum jewelry in the shower as it will reduce its shine and luster. Water itself will not harm the platinum, but it well affect the overall look of it down the road.Why is platinum so cheap now? ›
The Supply of Platinum is Down
If we look at how much platinum was mined over the last 11 years, we can see that the supply of platinum is decreasing. In recent years, only 180 metric tons of platinum were mined, that's nearly a 10% drop in mining production compared to the peak (over the last 11 years).
For beginners, silver or gold may be the best place to start. Once you have at least some of each in your portfolio, many investors start integrating lesser-known metals like platinum, palladium, or copper. By diversifying with precious metals, you can make your asset portfolio less risky.What is more valuable than platinum? ›
Palladium is the most expensive of the four major precious metals – gold, silver and platinum being the others. It is rarer than platinum, and is used in larger quantities for catalytic converters.
Is platinum a good investment 2023? ›
Investment demand is expected to improve significantly in 2023. Platinum bar and coin demand is forecast to jump by 100% to 450 koz in 2023, a three-year high, reflecting improved product availability in North America and Europe and net disinvestment in Japan swinging to net investment.Is wearing platinum good for health? ›
Platinum is considered a biologically compatible metal because it is non-toxic and stable, so it does not react with, or negatively affect body tissues. Recent research has also shown platinum to inhibit the growth of certain cancerous cells. 2.Does platinum turn yellow over time? ›
To be considered platinum, a piece must contain 95% or more of the metal, making it one of the purest precious metals you can buy. Over time, platinum will fade in a different way. It won't turn yellow, like yellow gold; but, it will begin to lose its shiny finish and build a natural patina (more on this in a bit).Does platinum turn black over time? ›
Platinum does not fade, tarnish, or turn color. However, with age, it does take on a patina and show slight scratches.Why is my platinum ring turning black? ›
Platinum usually tarnishes when exposed to certain chemicals such as chlorine, the ingredients in lotions, and the oils on the skin. You can remove tarnish from platinum at home using ammonia, but for severe tarnishing, hire a professional to clean the platinum.Will platinum wear away white gold? ›
If you have a platinum engagement ring and are considering a white gold wedding band, just be aware that the white gold will yellow slightly over time and you will need to maintain it to keep it that same white.Is platinum prettier than white gold? ›
Yes. Platinum and white gold are nearly equal in terms of shine, but platinum is slightly shinier because it's whiter, and white is the color that reflects the most light. However, keep in mind that polished metals shine more than unpolished metals.How long does platinum last? ›
Platinum is more rare than gold and will last a lifetime, resisting chipping and tarnishing.Is platinum more luxurious than gold? ›
Platinum is generally valued higher than gold. This is because platinum is rarer than gold, has a higher density and is purer. Platinum rings require more platinum than gold rings require gold, which can increase the overall cost.Is 14K gold or platinum better? ›
Additionally, platinum rings are usually 95% pure platinum, while 14k gold is only 58.5% gold. Therefore, platinum rings are more expensive. Platinum is a strong and sturdy metal however, it does scratch a bit more easily than 14K White Gold and will develop a matte finish over time.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of platinum? ›
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!Is buying platinum a good investment? ›
On the other hand, platinum usually performs better during times of economic growth. When manufacturing and industrial industries boom, platinum prices often do, too. Thus, it is a valuable short-term investment that usually comes with greater, immediate returns compared to gold.Is it hard to sell platinum? ›
Platinum Tends to Have a Poor Resale Value
The main reason is because a relatively small number of people are willing to buy it. This doesn't mean you can't find a reputable buyer, but you'll need to do some searching as you explore your options.
- Does platinum turn your finger green? No, a high-quality platinum will never turn your finger green. The skin turns green when a ring contains copper.Does platinum jewelry turn green? ›
Platinum-Plated Jewelry Can Tarnish and “Turn Your Skin Green” It is a myth that anything coated with platinum cannot tarnish. If the layer of platinum is too thin, it can wear away and expose the metal underneath.Can you wear platinum jewelry in water? ›
A: Durable materials like platinum and fine gold should be fine as long as you take them off before going in the water. It's the same with diamonds or precious stones because they're harder materials. No damage can come to a diamond ring at the beach.What is a good price for platinum? ›
|Platinum Spot Prices||Today||Change|
|Platinum Prices Per Ounce||$938.00||-23.00|
|Platinum Prices Per Gram||$30.16||-0.74|
|Platinum Prices Per Kilo||$30,156.70||-739.45|
950 is the highest grade of platinum available for jewelry. The other 5% are various alloys such as iridium or ruthenium that are necessary to make platinum jewelry.Is platinum better than Sterling? ›
The difference in durability is really no contest between platinum and silver. Silver is a soft metal that wears down quickly and tarnishes easily. One of the biggest advantages of platinum is its high melting point, making it hard enough to not require any alloys.How do I know if platinum is real? ›
Answer. The simplest tests are heating and discoloration. If the item is heated, for example, in a Bunsen flame, platinum will be more difficult or impossible to melt and the platinum will not discolour. The effect of acid is another basic test.
What color is pure platinum? ›
Diagnostic properties: Platinum is a metallic white to silver-gray colour. Its streak is a shiny silver-gray.Does platinum scratch easily? ›
Platinum is not a hard metal. It is 4 – 4.5 on the MOHs scale of hardness. This means it can be scratched by anything harder than it is. Diamond is ten on the MOHs scale and can easily scratch platinum.Why is my platinum ring magnetic? ›
The main reason why your platinum jewelry is sticking to magnets is probably because of the alloys used. Your platinum jewelry may have been combined with magnetic alloys or other magnetic or corrosive metals. Platinum is very soft, around 4-5 in the Mohs scale of hardness (only slightly harder than gold).What are 3 interesting facts about platinum? ›
- Meteorites and our moon contain a higher percentage of platinum than can be found on the Earth.
- The melting point of platinum is 3,215 °F (1,768.4 °C) and the boiling point is 6,917 °F (3,825 °C).
- Typically 95% pure, platinum is one of the purest precious metals.
Even the most well-polished silver alloys can't compare to the luster of platinum. Additionally, platinum is durable and more likely to retain its good looks than the softer metal.Is it better to invest in gold or platinum? ›
Some investors may want to prioritize stability and long-term investing. In that case, gold is likely the better option. The precious metal has a longstanding history of reliable demand which often spikes during economic downturns. On the other hand, platinum usually performs better during times of economic growth.How long does platinum jewelry last? ›
Platinum is more rare than gold and will last a lifetime, resisting chipping and tarnishing.Will platinum go up 2023? ›
The report said industrial demand for platinum is expected to increase in 2023, up by 12% year-on-year to 2.505 million tonnes, which is 26,000t below the level in 2021, the strongest year on record. Platinum investment demand could improve significantly in 2023.Does platinum have a future? ›
Platinum Forecast 2022
Simply put, the prices of platinum are expected to rise, especially when compared to last year's market prices.
Does it tarnish? Platinum does not fade, tarnish, or turn color. However, with age, it does take on a patina and show slight scratches.
Is platinum jewelry out of style? ›
Demand is certainly growing. In the U.S., platinum jewelry consumption is in its eighth year of consecutive growth, according to Platinum Guild International (PGI). “Platinum jewelry demand has undergone unprecedented growth in 2021,” says Jenny Luker, president of PGI.