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Platinum vs Gold

JaymeC

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
54
Hey all I realize this may be a rudimentary question, but I am looking for some clarity. I have had mixed information from local jewellers. I am hoping to lay it all out and have you clear it up. I have asked many jewellers why I would choose platinum vs white gold. I understand the cosmetic difference (patina on platinum, rhodium plating and yellowing on white gold). What I am most unclear about is the structural/durability issues. I have had jewellers tell me that gold is stronger and others mention the platinum is stronger. I understand that the surface is of platinum is more prone to surface scratching and developing patina, but I have had a jeweller tell me that I shouldn't get platinum because in my size (6.5) the whole ring will warp due to the softness of the platinum. Can someone clarify this for me? I always thought that platinum was more durable (less the surface softness). Anyone that could shed some light on this for me would be appreciated as the "experts" are giving me conflicting info. Thanks a million!
-J
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,817
Just a little more info in addition to what Victor said.....

Platinum is not 100% platinum. It has an alloy with it. As you could see, Victor uses 90% plat/10% iridium. So do Mark Morrell and Maytal Hannah. The other best platinum alloy is 95%plat/5% ruthenium. It is used by Leon Mege and Tiffany. Both of these are harder and show scratches less than the softer 95%plat/5%irid.

It is a mistake to make super thin rings out of any metal, including platinum. Try to go for 1.8-2.0mm minimum and it will be less likely to become out of round.
 

CharmyPoo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
7,007
From personal experience, I wear a sz 2.75 and have ultra thin platinum rings (1.5 mm). I wear my e-ring daily and it hasn't gone out of shape at all.
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,418
Platinum is very useful in the production of complex assembled components into a piece of jewelry. When the components are heated in order to join them to one another, no oxidation takes place on the parts causing a problem for re-polishing and removing oxidation as the parts all come together. The item comes out whole with very little needing to be touched up. Gold and Silver are far more difficult to work with when it comes to complex assemblies and final finishing because of oxidation in assembly heating.

In simple items, such as rather plain engagement rings, there is no special reason to use platinum over gold. Depending on the alloy process both materials can be just as hard, durable, malleable etc as one another. WIthout complex assembly requirements, both metals can be equally as well finished. In most cases it would be easier to hand engrave design work on platinum than white gold, but yellow gold is about the same as platinum in this regard. Millegrain design work can be done on gold as well as platinum. What passes as millegrain today is often a gross exaggeraion of the original delicate beaded edges placed there by diamond setters on vintage items, but styles do change and the fashion of the day is what is commonly purchased.

Gold or Platinum can be alloyed to be highly durable or a bit softer and a bit less long lasting, but easier to work with in the manufacturing and setting stages. Sometimes a bit softer material used where a colored gemstone is set and then attached to hard material used for the shank of the ring. Choice of alloy and hardness is a part of the art of jewelry making. Different artists will naturally choose differently.

Platinum is a heavery material than gold, especially when used at a 90%+ purity and gold is used most often in a 58% or 75% purity. This won't mean much in a ring or pendant, but can make earrings more likely to droop or bend the ear lobe due to the added heft of platinum.
 

JaymeC

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
54
Thanks for all the helpful replies. This definitely helps to clear things up.
 
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