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The Benefits and Pitfalls of Platinum Jewelry

Sep 4, 2008
Today like no other time in history the choices in metals that can be used to make jewelry especially engagement rings and wedding rings is almost over whelming.

A metal that may be new to many people is platinum, however it does have a rich history with its use in decorative pieces dating back to the 7th century and ancient Egypt. The use in jewelry and decor began its rise in Europe in the 18th century however it was not obtainable to those who were not royalty or extremely wealthy. In 1930's during the time of the great depression and WWII platinum became a controlled substance therefore its use in jewelry making was almost unheard of.

It has only been in the last ten years that platinum has made a real resurgence. This metal has gained popularity in recent years among the general population however the price makes it an unrealistic choice for most of us. A platinum ring generally costs double the amount of its white gold counterpart therefore it still viewed by many as a symbol of wealth and status.

Platinum is a white metal that is appreciated for not only its beauty but its strength and long wear ability. This is one of reasons many skilled jewelers especially those making high end items like to use platinum prongs in order to set diamonds and gems in their pieces. It is also a desirable choice because it does not oxidize and is hypoallergenic. Another characteristic that makes platinum stand out from the competition is that when it does sustain a scratch this will not cause further damage to your ring, where as if a gold ring is scratched the gold will continue to breakdown in that area.

Unlike gold, high quality platinum has a purity of 95% and is often alloyed with metals such as titanium, copper, rhodium, palladium, iridium, osmium, and ruthenium. Platinum is rated by a 1000 count, with platinum of 950 parts per thousand being used to make high quality jewelry. It is recommended that if you are going to pay the money for a quality platinum piece that you do not buy anything below 850 parts per 1000. High quality platinum will have a mark stating what its count is and it should be and combination of the number such as 950 and the lettering Pt or Plat.

If you ever decided to purchase or even try a platinum ring on the first thing you will notice is the weight of it. Platinum is a very dense metal therefore a platinum ring will weigh approximately 60% more than the same ring made from 18kt gold. As well platinum has a much higher melting temperature then gold, and can be heated over and over again allowing very small intricate pieces to made. Platinum allows a jeweler the flexibility to make pieces that are very elaborate and detailed without losing strength or durability.

Platinum rings may not be for everyone however if the price is out of reach then an option may be to purchase a ring that has its diamonds or stones secured with platinum prongs. Other options can be to go to a simpler design with the added security that your ring will last or do to a ring with a mix of metals.
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