When shopping for any type of fine quality jewelry, one of the decisions you will need make is which type of metal to choose. Although some jewelers have begun offering Palladium Engagement Rings as an option, most still do not. This means that in many cases, your choices will be limited to Platinum or Gold.
Although Gold is available in many varieties, many people still desire something better and Platinum may be the answer. Although many wedding bands today, particularly men’s wedding bands, are made from very affordable and durable materials such as Stainless Steel or Titanium. However most fine quality jewelry is still created from Gold or Platinum, especially when it comes to something special like a diamond engagement ring. If you are buying an engagement ring or wedding band, you probably want it to last forever.
Gold can offer a lifetime of dependability, but Platinum just about guarantees it. When comparing the 2 types of precious metals, Platinum comes out on top in almost every measure.
Interesting Platinum Fact
In regards to the “heaviness” of Platinum: If you are buying a petite or thin engagement ring, Gold can “feel a little cheap” because it is relatively light in this case. Definitely consider Platinum for petite, or thin ring bands. The extra durability and strength will be a huge advantage for long lasting beauty.
Is Platinum more expensive than Gold?
Platinum jewelry and platinum engagement rings are usually more expensive than Gold. Traditionally, pure platinum was more expensive to buy on the Precious Metals market than pure gold, making it a more expensive option. However this has changed in recent years, with the rising cost of gold. Today, the additional cost of Platinum jewelry can almost solely be attributed to the fact that Platinum jewelry and Platinum engagement rings are created with higher purity. As high as 95% pure in many cases. Higher purity equals more platinum, which means a higher cost. If you tried to create an engagement ring out of 95% pure gold, it would bend and flatten extremely easily and would not be able to hold diamonds or semi-precious gemstones securely.
How Much Gold & Platinum
is in the World?
If you took all the world’s gold, ever mined, it would all fit into two olympic sized swimming pools.
If you took all the world’s platinum, ever mined, it would all fit very nicely into a modern day American living room. That’s why these two metals are so expensive, and prized. They are very rare!
What is so special about Platinum?
The thing that makes Platinum such a good option for earrings or unique engagement rings, is the fact that it is truly a “forever” metal. It is extremely resistant to cracking, fracturing and corrosion. Platinum’s unique ability to withstand the rigors of everyday wear and tear are due to it’s extreme density, and can not be matched by Gold. This is also why any piece of platinum jewelry will be heavier than it’s comparable Gold counterpart. Many new brides prefer the “heaviness” of Platinum, as they believe that it exhibits quality and dependability. Although the heaviness of Platinum is often preferred, it can also be very heavy if you purchase a thicker style engagement ring band and may take some “getting use to”.
Are there other advantages to Platinum?
Yes, there are additional benefits to Platinum. Another very important feature of Platinum is the fact that it is Hypo-Allergenic. This makes it one of the safest metals to wear if you have sensitive skin or allergies, particularly to Nickel. Because of its extreme strength, Platinum can be used to make jewelry that is 95% pure Platinum. Jewelers can not do that with gold because it is too soft. Additional metals are required to be mixed in with Gold, in order for Gold to hold up to every day “wear and tear”. The highest Gold purity rating you will find in the USA for engagement rings is 18 karat Gold, which is 75% pure Gold. 14 karat Gold has a 58% purity rating and is commonly used for engagement rings and jewelry as well. “Platinum is the strongest of all precious metals used for the design and creation of fine quality jewelry.
So Platinum will last a lifetime, is hypo-allergenic, and can be made 95% pure. What else does Platinum offer?
Platinum is a naturally white metal, and does not require the rhodium coating that white gold engagement rings do. One drawback to white gold rings is the fact that they will turn yellow over time. This is because a white gold ring, is really a yellow gold ring underneath. (in fact, there’s no such thing a true white gold) Rhodium Coating is what turns a yellow gold ring, into a White Gold ring. When this Rhodium Coating begins to wear off over time, the yellow gold will begin to show through. This can happen in as little as a year, and will require that you send your ring in to get it re-rhodium plated. This never happens with Platinum.
Drawbacks of Platinum
Everyday scratches will give a platinum engagement ring a grayish tone over an extended period of time. Typically the scratches can be polished out with special rouges and buffers.
It is likely that a typical mall jewelry store will not carry the specialized equipment required to maintain Platinum jewelry. This means that they may not employ qualified experts that know how to work with platinum. This can lead to additional maintenance costs and inconvenience, in some cases.
The Brilliance (shine) of Platinum
Although Platinum engagement rings can be more difficult to re-polish, they will typically come out looking more lustrous than a gold ring will. Platinum shines brighter than any other precious metal, due to the denseness of its molecules. However, white gold with its many alloys holds its shine much longer.
More Interesting Facts
- Platinum’s name is derived from the Spanish term platina, which literally translates into “little silver”
- The metal has an excellent resistance to corrosion and high temperature and has stable electrical properties. Platinum does not oxidize at any temperature. All of these characteristics have been used for industrial applications.
- Platinum’s resistance to wear and tarnish is well suited for making fine jewelry.
- As a pure metal, platinum is silvery-white, lustrous, ductile, and malleable. Platinum is more ductile than gold, silver and copper, thus being the most ductile of pure metals, but gold is still more malleable than platinum.
Care and Maintenance Of Platinum
Although a Platinum ring can be more difficult to re-polish than a Gold Ring, it is still extremely durable and relatively easy to care for. As with any engagement ring or fine piece of jewelry, avoid wearing it when performing housework or other types of activities that can lead to premature wear or damage.
With any type of diamond engagement ring, consider exercising a little extra caution. Although diamonds are the strongest substance on earth known to man, they are still a natural crystal. What does that mean? It means that it can chip or crack if you hit it against a sharp or hard object.
All engagement rings regardless of the metal, should be examined every 6 months by a qualified professional jeweler. Have the jeweler check for scratches, cracks, loose stones and other risk factors. Have the jeweler buff out and re-polish the ring as often as desired.
Consider cleaning your jewelry on weekly basis by placing it into a bottle of jewelry cleaner for 15-20 minutes and rinsing it off with warm water. Never clean it over a sink or toilet, as you could drop it in to the drain or toilet bowl.