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Platinum metals

csloan1218

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
1
I'm new here and long time lurker. I have read quite a bit on these topics and never found much information on my question.

I have heard said that platinum metals don't "lose" metal, that it displaces material due to scratching. Outside of these marketing comparisons to silver and gold, I haven't found mention of this attribute elsewhere. Is there a specific name for this characteristic?

Forgive me if this isn't the proper board to ask this.

Ciao.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,630
Well, it's true! Most jewelers just don't give you that amount of information. Some people can't afford platinum so it's probably not a great idea to discourage people from gold! Gold does wear away over time, and I can tell you that from personal experience. I had to have my prongs retipped on my original e-ring because they do wear down over time as they rub against things. But if someone wants yellow or rose gold, I think it is fine. I just wouldn't do a white gold ring since platinum is better to me.

Great info here:

https://www.victorcanera.com/education/jewelry/platinum-vs-gold

If you are asking for a scientific explanation, you may have to go to another source!
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,378
Platinum can wear away very much like gold. Silver is likely to wear away faster than either gold or platinum. Both gold and platinum are very altered by differing alloys and percentage content. You can make very hard and durable platinum or gold with the correct alloys, but not every piece of jewelry is suitable to be made in the hardest of alloy configurations. If you make a ring in a very hard alloy form, you will have a very problematic time changing the finger size. Moderation in alloys usually leads to a middle of the road approach.

Platinum jewelry often does seem a little more durable, but it is not so much a wear factor as something about the inherent strength and bonding of the platinum to itself. Some vendors have had problems with certain platinum alloys becoming easily scratched or dinged. Just a little change in the chemistry fixes all of that. When you see a tension set ring, you are looking at one of the hardest and most durable forms of alloyed gold or platinum. Bending or scratching one of those rings is unusually difficult.

Many sellers really do not have a good grasp on what exact metal and alloy they are selling in their lines of jewelry. They hope it is the right one for the job, but not everyone goes into the minutiae of all of this. When I had platinum rings made for my wife, I used a middle of the road hardness of metal so that the rings could be altered in size. However, I used the fullest weight of metal which looked good in the design so they would last "forever". In the close to 20 years with these last major rings, my wife who is not easy on jewelry, has worn them every day and they still look like new. Nothing is wearing away. The extremely delicate rings of the past 10 years that so many people love will have problems sooner than later. Delicate items have less metal to loose before they become unstable in some respect. The "look" is great, but the "last" may not be in forever category. :naughty:
 

susief

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2011
Messages
225
Oldminer that is really interesting and helpful. Can I ask if polishing platinum (say once a year) will cause it to wear down significantly faster than if just left alone to patina? I have heard conflicting things - some saying that platinum does not wear down at all with polishing but just displaces, where others say it does wear down, just not as much as gold. My rings are not particularly delicate but over a lifetime of wear that might be 50 polishings in total; I wonder if this would thin the ring much more than just everyday wear...
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,630
susief|1464551051|4037829 said:
Shameless bump as I really want to know the answer :)
Susie, while you wait for a reply, I would encourage you to read Victor's article I linked above. Here is what he says about polishing:

"Platinum by its nature is more of a "chewy" metal as opposed to gold which is more brittle. Both metals scratch over time with everyday wear but with Platinum these scratches don't remove metal content from a jewel. Polishing or re-polishing of a platinum jewel will result in almost no loss of weight or metal content whereas with gold, a jewel might lose roughly 10% of its weight. Therefore a Platinum jewel can be re-polished much more safely than a gold piece. Gold pieces lose much more metal content after a re-polishing compared to Platinum. This could be vital in areas such as prongs or beading on a pave piece which after re-polishing could severely weaken these prongs. A Platinum piece therefore will better stand the test of time and will be more durable than a gold jewel."

I would not polish yearly. Is your platinum a soft alloy? Because I haven't had my ring polished in three years and it really doesn't need it yet. I am thinking maybe every 5 years I would consider a light polish.
 

susief

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2011
Messages
225
Thank you Diamondseeker! You are always so helpful :))

I didn't polish my original platinum wedding ring for over 5 years and you're right, it looked fine. It's just that I got it reshaped and polished to match my new e-ring, and do like the way it looks "new" - probably more of a psychological thing.

The Victor article is really interesting. The bit about polishing platinum tallies with what I've heard before - i.e. platinum can be polished more safely than gold - but how safe is "more safely"? I think your suggestion of a light polish ever 5 years sounds like a good compromise.
 
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