Platinum jewelry is nothing new to our audience. For centuries, this precious metal has been the cause for the fabrication of extraordinary pieces that come with the best of allure, shine and brilliance, but most importantly, exceptional durability and purity. Hence, its well-deserved attribute ‘The King of Metals’.
Thanks to all of the aforementioned characteristics, our craftsmanship applies this metal mostly to the design of bands of promise, love and commitment. Obviously, we are talking about engagement and wedding rings that have been first-time seen in platinum style in the 1770s, largely crafted for the royalty and the aristocracy. This is how platinum rings started to build up their reputation in the jewelry world, reaching the point of representing one of today’s most expensive jewelry options that offer timeless look that will never go out of fashion. If you are also interested in buying a platinum ring for yourself, here is what you need to know before making the purchase.
AN INSIGHT INTO THE PLATINUM METAL
Being rare and shimmering as it is, platinum is a chemical element of the periodic table, categorized as a ‘transition metal’. It makes part of world’s precious metals with highest density, hence the reason why platinum is, undoubtedly, the heaviest metal used for crafting all types of rings.
Featuring outstanding levels of malleability, platinum is highly favored for manufacturing ultra-strong ring settings, made with the most out of fine filigree work. Just like all the others precious metals in existence, platinum needs to be alloyed with another metal to make it ready for work. For this purpose, it is usually mixed up with cobalt, iridium or ruthenium.
THE ADVANTAGES OF CHOOSING A PLATINUM RING
- UNMATCHED DURABILITY
As you already know, jewelry pieces made out of fine-quality platinum are impressively strong and durable. Apart from designing rings, this metal is also used in the creation of luxury watches, due to the fact that platinum is almost impossible to wear down.
Being nickel-free and commonly alloyed with iridium, this noble metal is hypoallergenic. This special feature allows jewelry enthusiasts to be stress-free when it comes to wearing platinum jewelry.
- TARNISH AND DAMAGE RESISTANT
Platinum jewelry tends to be highly resistant to tarnish and damage, particularly when it comes to damage that has been caused by chemical exposure, like hydrochloric acids and sulfuric.
By ‘style-friendly’, we refer to the broad selection of alluring platinum jewelry that can be found in many different styles, designs and shapes. Hence, the reason why complementing your look with a platinum jewel could never be a wrong choice.
THE POTENTIAL DRAWBACKS OF PLATINUM
- PRONE TO SCRATCHING
Due to its exceptional hardness, jewelry pieces carved out of platinum could scratch other objects. Good news is that these scratches can be efficiently removed with a good polish.
- A COSTLY JEWELRY OPTION
All of its quality properties make platinum jewelry high-priced, meaning that for many clients, it comes at not so easy-at-the-pocket prices. Another great reason for this phenomenon is that platinum is thirty times rarer than gold, leading to a situation where gold jewelry is much more cost-effective than the one made of platinum.
- ENVIRONMENTALLY HARMFUL
Unfortunately, platinum mines have a negative impact on the environment, so the best and the smartest alternative is to go for an eco-friendly platinum jewelry.
EXPLORING THE DIFFERENT GRADES AND ALLOYS OF THE PLATINUM RING
Generally, platinum is labeled according to the exact amount of platinum weight in the piece. Hence, the label ‘PT950’ signifies 95% of platinum presence (weight); the label ‘PT900’ – 90% of platinum presence; and the label ‘PT850’ – 85% of platinum presence in the jewel.
Regarding the U.S.A., all products labeled as ‘PL’ or ‘PLAT’ must be ‘PT950’. In other words, they must contain minimum 95% of platinum mass. Anything that comes with a platinum presence under 95 % must be labeled with the metal it is primarily alloyed with. For instance, the label ‘IRID/PLAT’ would be found on a product with 90% platinum mass and 10% iridium mass.
When it comes to wedding jewelry, the ideal platinum quantity used is 95% (PL950). Otherwise, jewelry made out of less than 95% platinum is prone to wear and it usually does not stand the test of time. In addition, take a look at the most commonly used labels in platinum jewelry:
This label is showcasing 95% platinum and 5% cobalt presence by weight. This special type of metal mixture cannot be considered a 100% precious one, but it is however a label of higher value when compared to other platinum grades.
A platinum ring with this label features 95% platinum by weight and 5% iridium. This jewel could be absolutely considered a precious piece, since iridium takes part of the ‘platinum-group metals’.
As indicated, this label goes to the mixture of 95% platinum and 5% ruthenium by weight. Given the fact that ruthenium is also part of the ‘platinum-group metals’, a jewel labeled ‘PL950/Ruthenium’ is a one of precious value.
… A WORD OR TWO FOR EACH OF THESE LABELS WHEN IT COMES TO WEDDING JEWELRY…
PL950/Cobalt wedding jewelry is appreciated as a platinum alloy of fine quality, mostly used in the creation of wedding bands for both men and women. The mixture of platinum and cobalt represents a powerful combo that makes durable and strong jewelry pieces, which can be further worked into various styles and designs. Another advantage of this type of jewelry is its attractive sparkle and brilliance.
PL950/Iridium wedding jewelry is broadly present on the market, although it is not the highest quality of platinum grades. A jewel crafted of platinum and iridium is prone to scratching, banding and pitting. Also, it might start looking dull with time, which is certainly not a desired property for a wedding ring.
PL950/Ruthenium wedding jewelry is showcasing a durable platinum grade and it is, fortunately, scratch resistant. Wedding rings of this type tend to have high polish, hence the reason why most of them are adorned with the popular ‘mirror effect’.
Written by: Liljana Tomova