Platinum

Platinum Rings
Photo: Selensergen / Adobe Stock
In our recent guides, we’ve discovered the truth behind diamond and gold, but what about platinum? For starters, what is platinum? In this guide, we’ll answer this question alongside the differences between this metal and white gold and how the purity of platinum makes it unique!

What is Platinum?

If we start our comparison between white gold and platinum early, the former is a combination of pure gold and white metal alloys (such as palladium and manganese). This is important, because platinum is naturally white. Compared to gold, it’s a harder metal and tends to have more weight. Due to the density and hardness, and the relative softness of gold, many jewelers and customers alike prefer platinum in a purer form.

For example, in our gold guide, we spoke about the debate between 14K and 18K gold. In this, we said that 14K is preferable for those worried about scratching and damage. If you didn’t know, 14K contains just over 58% pure gold. With platinum, it’s used in jewelry with 95% purity (and none of the same concerns that surround gold at this level).

As a result of this improved performance and with the rarity in mind, platinum and platinum jewelry is more expensive than gold.

Platinum vs White Gold

To continue with the differentiations, you might see platinum labelled as ‘scratch-proof’. While platinum won’t develop scratches in the traditional sense, it may develop ridges and bumps over a period of years. With general wear and tear, the metal gets pushed from side to side and ridging occurs. Of course, wedding and engagement rings are worn on a daily basis and this leads to what’s commonly referred to as the ‘patina of age’ (ridging).

When shopping the market for jewelry, you’ll notice that white gold is more affordable. On the flip side, white gold needs re-coating at least once a year. Although this service is quick and sometimes free, it’s inconvenient and also not nice to see the yellow gold starting to come through as the white coating rubs away.

With platinum, it requires more of an investment, and there’s no denying this fact. However, platinum is exactly this… an investment. With no re-coating, and the additional density and durability, you’re getting a purer ring and one that should last the test of time. For those buying engagement or wedding rings, these are two critical attributes for a ring that’s worn every single day.

Purity

We mentioned earlier the importance of purity with platinum, and this is one of the main selling points of the metal. Especially in jewelry, people like to know they have pure metal. With gold, it’s not a case of more is better. Unfortunately, gold is one of the softest metals which means that the higher purity levels lend themselves to scratching and other damage. With platinum, this isn’t the case due to the density and durability of the material.

When researching platinum jewelry, you can be confident that it has purity levels of either 90% or 95%. Platinum is mined from deep inside our beautiful planet and doesn’t need to be combined with other metals. It has durability, luster, and strength by itself. With purity of 950 parts per 1,000, platinum is always in demand and we don’t think this will ever change.

Platinum for Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

With everything we’ve discussed in this guide, it’s not surprising to hear that platinum is the metal of choice for engagement rings, wedding bands, and all other milestone jewelry. For example, it’s common to see a diamond set in platinum. We’ve mentioned the durability, but it’s hard to deny the beauty of these two materials working in unison. The diamond sparkles, the metal shows off its natural whiteness, and we’re left with a ring that encapsulates the beauty of the relationship with the person who gifted the ring in the first place.

A lesser-known benefit of choosing platinum is that it’s naturally hypoallergenic (again, thanks to the purity). With white and yellow gold, some people are allergic or hypersensitive to nickel and/or copper respectively. Since platinum doesn’t need metal alloys, this risk is alleviated.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you now understand the merits of platinum and why so many people choose the metal over gold. Around 10/11% denser than gold, it’s a durable metal that will shine brightly for many decades – the perfect testament to your relationship!