Platinum 101: Does Platinum Tarnish and Other Questions.

The cool, elegant look of platinum for engagement rings and other jewelry is especially popular today and with good reason: it is the strongest, most pure metal. Platinum is more rare than gold and will last a lifetime, resisting chipping and tarnishing.

Platinum Frequently Asked Questions

Is purity important?

Is platinum hypoallergenic?

Yes. Platinum is hypoallergenic and rarely tarnishes, making it easy for sensitive people to wear. Also, platinums purity makes it one of the strongest, most durable metals in the world. So for the people that wonder does platinum tarnish the answer is seldom.

Is platinum similar to white gold?

Only in color. To make white gold, yellow gold is alloyed with copper and silver and with small amounts of nickel and zinc to create a white look. Therefore, it doesn't have the same purity, strength, durability, or the unique natural white luster of platinum. White gold often has a faint yellow tinge. Another difference lies in weight. Platinum weighs 60% more than 14k gold -- a pretty big difference! The difference between white gold and platinum is that platinum does not tarnish, it dulls.

How do I care for platinum jewelry?

Treat it with the same respect you afford other fine jewelry. You can use a pre-packed jewelry cleaner or take your pieces in and have your jeweler clean it. Store pieces with care, separating them with soft cloth. Following these simple steps will never bring the question as to will platinum tarnish.

Can I wear platinum with gold jewelry?

Yes. Many platinum designs combine karat gold. The color combination is beautiful and adds variety to your jewelry wardrobe.

What is "the platinum standard"?

Platinum bars

The platinum standard is based on parts per thousand, where 1000 parts = 100%. All platinum alloys are derived from this standard. The two most common platinum alloys:

95% Platinum: This alloy is 950 parts per 1000 and 50 parts other metals. Common quality marks are: Platinum, Plat, Pt, Pt950, 950Pt, 950Plat and Plat950.

90% Platinum: This alloy is 900 parts per 1000 and 100 parts other metals. Common quality marks are: 900Pt, Pt900, and 900Plat.

Why is platinum so expensive?

The best always costs more and, in this case, its well worth it. Platinum is more pure than gold or silver. It also is 30 times more rare, precious, and heavier than gold.

Does platinum scratch?

Like all precious metals platinum can scratch, though its properties offers protection. Unlike most precious metals, platinum loses hardly any metal when scratched. Instead, platinum displaces, or separates and "gives way" for the scratch. Over time, a natural patina develops, a matte luster, giving it a desirable and distinctive look.

Is it difficult to size platinum rings?

Like other metals, platinum can be sized and adjusted by a qualified jeweler.

What other metals are related to platinum?

Six metals make up the platinum group metals family: platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, palladium, iridium and osmium.

Platinum Facts