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Last updated on September 20th, 2022 at 01:10 pm
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Engagement rings are usually made of precious metal, including pure gold, white gold, and platinum. Historically speaking, metals such as silver and gold were once used as currency. Though their use as jewelry dates back to 4,000 BC, it wasn’t until the 19th century that gold became available in shops. Today, these metals are treated as valuable investments
The point of telling you this is that when buying jewelry for your partner, search for the trending metals and then make your decision.
If you are opting for platinum, you should know a few things.
Although platinum is a strong metal, it is malleable. So, to answer your question: Does platinum bend easily? Yes, it does. However, the good news is that thanks to its molecular structure, it can be brought back into shape.
This does not mean that platinum is indestructible! Despite its durability, platinum is prone to wear and tear. It gets damaged more easily than gold. Now that you know there’s a little risk involved with buying jewelry made from this metal, let’s take a look at the matter in detail:
To see the most popular platinum jewelry just click here.
All About Platinum
Like gold, platinum does not rust, corrode, tarnish or change color. It is mostly used in making jewelry because it’s a pure metal.
When comparing weight, platinum is around 50% heavier than gold. Of course, the karat weight factors in here as well. Platinum is malleable (moves easily), which is both a good and bad thing, dense, and very strong.
Again, its strength does not protect it from scratches. If your platinum jewelry rubs against a hard surface, it will develop a dull finish that’s referred to as patina. Some people like this aged finish, while others get their jewelry polished.
Platinum is malleable yet strong because a piece of jewelry, such as a ring made from this metal contains 90% platinum and 10% allows, making it hypoallergenic. To achieve the right temperature and bend, jewelers use a different set of tools and gases.
Platinum vs. White Gold
Often people are confused between buying white gold and platinum. The former is not exactly a true metal. It’s a mixture of yellow gold and alloys that gives it a greenish-orange color. The metal is mixed with other white metals such as silver, palladium, nickel, etc. Later, the finished product is dipped in rhodium to give it a shine. This protective layer gives white gold a glowing look.
The rhodium plating can fade away depending on how frequently your wear your white gold jewelry and wear. Usually, people get their white gold jewelry re-plated after a year.
When white gold gets scratched, it does not lose its shiny appearance. In fact, it maintains its form longer than platinum.
So, does this make white gold a better choice.
No! Moving on to its alloys, white gold contains nickel, which can cause an allergic reaction, such as a rash on your skin. Since the ratio of alloys in white gold is more than platinum, the finished product is not hypoallergenic. As long as the rhodium plating stays, your jewelry will shine for a year or three.
Why Platinum Costs More
The density of platinum is higher than gold. So, a platinum ring having the same dimensions (volume) as a gold ring will be more expensive because it is heavier.
When you buy a platinum ring, you are paying for 95% of pure metal. In comparison, a gold ring in 14K contains only 58% pure gold. The cost of gemstones added to the ring and labor adds a few hundred dollars more. The price of the metal alone is high, which is doubled by these other two factors.
Since platinum is molded with different tools and requires a special gas at a high temperature to be able to work with, it requires more expertise. As a result, labor will cost you extra compared to the hard work it takes to mold white gold and yellow gold.
Other Factors to Consider
Platinum is great for daily wear, as it loses very little weight, unlike white gold which when gets scratched, loses some of its metal. With a little polishing and care, platinum will last forever. The same can be said for white gold if the ring has been made by a professional and is of the karat the jeweler mentions.
Serviceability refers to the metal’s malleability. Can the jeweler repair and resize it? Platinum has a higher melting point, which is why it should be handled with care when diamonds and gemstones are involved in the mix. The high temperature might burn the precious stones. So, a laser welder should only handle the service of platinum.
“White gold is slightly yellow and therefore, requires more maintenance.”
This is a myth!
White gold is not yellow. Once different alloys are mixed with yellow gold and the end product has been plated in rhodium, you will see the white shine on the surface. The yellow tinge is usually a result of low-quality white gold that has more nickel in it.
Platinum’s Chemical Composition
Platinum contains either cobalt or iridium as an alloy. The combination of platinum and cobalt was introduced more than 20 years ago and it became wildly popular in Japanese and European markets. Since cobalt produces better castings and fluidity, has fewer porosity issues, higher yield, and offers a smoother cast surface, it is a favorite of clients and manufacturers. Porosity refers to small bubbles that are often seen on low-quality jewelry. When cobalt is involved in the mix, you don’t need to worry about this.
Platinum Hardness Level
Compared to 18K white gold, platinum is not that hard, which is why the metal scratches easily. Since it is somewhat malleable, it is great for setting diamonds. The more the ration of alloy in platinum, the more rigid it will be. This will create difficulties in bending it. On the other hand, 18K gold does not scratch that easily because of its hard surface.
Platinum is a denser material and, therefore, will not lose much metal over the years. Moreover, it can be re-polished to bring back its original shine. So what if it scratches easily?