You’ve probably heard that platinum is long-lasting, and maybe you’ve thought of buying some jewelry, but you’re not convinced if it’s the metal for you. In this guide, we’re sharing important facts about platinum, the pros and cons, essential care tips, and where to buy the best platinum jewelry.
What is platinum?
Platinum is a metal found deep within the earth’s crust. It’s a precious metal, along with gold, palladium, and silver. Precious metals are rare, highly valuable, and have high economic value. The name “platinum” comes from Platina (Spanish word that means “little silver”), because of its gray-white silver color. Platinum is also malleable and soft.
Where is platinum found?
We can find 80% of the world’s platinum in South Africa, 10% in Russia and the rest comes from smaller reserves in Canada, Zimbabwe, the United States, and Australia.
How much is platinum jewelry worth?
The price of platinum fluctuates, however, a 95% platinum wedding band at a reputable store will cost you around $800.
Is platinum worth more than gold?
Yes, platinum is worth more than gold. And that’s because platinum is 30 times rarer than gold, according to Jenny Luker, president of Platinum Guild International USA (PGI), a marketing organization for the platinum jewelry industry.
About 80 tons of platinum are mined annually compared to 2700 tons of gold. Platinum is also denser, more durable, and purer than gold.
What’s so special about platinum jewelry?
Platinum jewelry is hypoallergenic, making it an excellent choice for wearers with sensitive skin. It’s also corrosion-resistant. But the most remarkable aspect about it is that it lasts forever. You can have your jewelry for decades and even pass it on to your children and grandchildren.
Does platinum have resale value?
While some sources claim that platinum has a good resale value because of its amazing properties like durablility, other sources believe it has a poor resale value because few shops are willing to buy it back.
Pros and cons of platinum jewelry
Now that we know what platinum is and its worth, let’s look at its advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of platinum jewelry
- Its neutral silver color complements any diamond or gemstone color.
- Platinum alloys are pure and will not discolor, tarnish or corrode over time.
- Platinum is hypoallergenic which makes it perfect for sensitive skin.
- Platinum requires little maintenance making it worth its high initial cost.
- Platinum is highly durable. Unlike gold, platinum doesn’t wear or get thinner over time. Platinum jewelry will last and will weigh the same in 50 years as it does today, making it ideal for heirloom jewelry.
Cons of platinum jewelry
- Platinum is more difficult to work with, and it will cost more to make, resize, and repair it later on.
- It’s one of the densest elements on earth, making it heavy. A piece of platinum jewelry of identical specifications to a silver or gold piece will be much heavier and, as a result, more expensive.
- Platinum alloys are softer than many white gold alloys. A platinum ring worn daily will sustain small scratches easily and may take on a matte appearance faster than a rhodium plated white gold ring.
How can you tell real platinum?
Due to its rarity and physical similarity to other white metals like silver and white gold, it’s advisable to know how platinum looks. Let’s look at two ways to identify real platinum.
Use an acid scratch test
If your metal has no clear markings, purchase an acid scratch test kit online. The test kit contains a scratch stone and different kinds of acids.
Here’s how to perform the test:
- Scratch the metal on an inconspicuous spot.
- Wear gloves to protect your skin from any effects of the acid.
- Using a dropper, pour a drop of acid on the scratch.
- If the metal dissolves, it’s not platinum. If it doesn’t dissolve, it’s platinum.
Use a magnet
Platinum is not magnetic, so when you put a magnet to it there will be no magnetic pull.
If there’s a magnetic pull, then it’s not real platinum. If there’s a slight pull, it’s most probably white gold mixed with a bit of nickel.
What is the symbol for platinum in jewelry?
Any platinum alloy that contains at least 950 parts per thousand (ppt) will have a stamp reading “Platinum,” “PT,” or “PLAT.” For any other platinum alloys between 850 and 950 ppt, “Platinum” must be accompanied by the purity content. For example, a piece of jewelry with 85% Platinum and 15% iridium must have the stamp “Platinum 850”.
How to clean platinum jewelry
Dirt will not harm your platinum jewelry. However, the metal will look dull after wearing it for a while. We recommend cleaning your jewelry at least once a fortnight to keep it looking good.
- A diluted detergent solution
- A toothbrush with soft bristles
- Clean water
- A lint-free cloth
- Soak your platinum jewelry in the diluted detergent solution for a few minutes to eliminate grime and dirt (This applies to platinum jewelry without any stone embellishments). Using the toothbrush, clean the crevices and intricate elements of your jewelry.
- Rinse your jewelry in clean water.
- Dry the platinum jewelry with a lint-free cloth.
💡 Warning: If your jewelry has gemstones, be careful not to soak it for too long. The water strips some gems of their exterior coating, which keeps them shiny. For example, topaz is a hard gem, but when exposed to water for long periods, it will look dull and develop cracks.
How to polish platinum jewelry at home
Platinum is highly durable but susceptible to scratches. Here’s how to polish your jewelry to keep it shiny:
- Warm water
- Dishwashing liquid
- Ammonia-based housecleaner
- A toothbrush with soft bristles
- Regular cloth or paper towel
- Mix 1 cup of warm water with one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid.
- Add half a teaspoon of ammonia-based housecleaner.
- Soak your platinum jewelry in the solution for about 5 minutes.
- Scrub it gently with a soft toothbrush.
- Rinse it with warm water.
- Dry the jewelry with a regular cloth or paper towel in a circular motion.
Alternatively, purchase a specialized platinum polishing kit and follow the instructions.
Frequently asked questions
If you still want to know more about this precious metal, we’ve answered some questions people often ask.
When was platinum first used in jewelry
Platinum was first used to make jewelry between 1200 and 700 BC along the border between Ecuador and Colombia, which was rich in platinum deposits. The natives, La Tolita Indians, used platinum to make jewelry like nose rings and earrings.
How do I know if jewelry is plated with platinum or rhodium?
Perform the light test. Look at the underside of your ring or other jewelry under a bright light. If the jewelry is rhodium-coated, the yellow gold will show through slightly.
Also, rhodium plating lasts a short time (three months to a year). You’ll notice the yellow gold glimmering through the plating. On the other hand, platinum remains the same for several years.
Is platinum toxic to humans?
Yes, it can be harmful when ingested. Platinum can cause issues like DNA alterations and allergic reactions. It can also damage your kidney, intestines, and hearing ability.
Is wearing platinum good for health?
Besides the fact that it’s hypoallergenic and doesn’t cause allergic reactions on the skin, there’s no scientific proof that wearing platinum jewelry benefits your health.
Can you shower with a platinum ring?
No, you can’t. Although platinum doesn’t react to water, regular exposure will make it dull and less alluring.
Is platinum jewelry worth buying?
Yes. Platinum jewelry is one of the most durable metals and can last many decades. It doesn’t discolor, tarnish, or corrode even when exposed to water and air. Also, its silver-white appearance makes it compatible with many gemstones.
Where to buy platinum jewelry
You might be wondering where to buy genuine jewelry. We’ve listed three online sources for your consideration.
Amazon offers a wide range of platinum jewelry, such as earrings, rings, and necklaces. The platinum pieces contain various gemstones like aquamarine, emerald, and diamonds.
Brilliant Earth has a good reputation for selling authentic precious metals and gemstones. You’ll find a vast collection of platinum jewelry that includes rings, necklaces, and bracelets like the one above.
Zales has a wide selection of platinum jewelry ranging from rings to earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
A forever metal
Platinum jewelry is mostly popular for its durability and corrosion resistance qualities. In addition, its hypoallergenicity makes it a perfect choice for sensitive skin. Platinum is for you if you’re looking for the perfect heirloom piece to hand to future generations.
💎 You should know: We use affiliate links throughout our site. This means we may earn a cent or two when you make a purchase on our site. Thanks for adding to our shine.