Platinum is indeed a noble metal, it is king of metals and the metal of kings. Platinum is superior to gold in almost every aspect. Its purity symbolizes marriage.
Platinum's neutral color is perfect for setting colorless diamonds. Nearly twice as dense as gold, a platinum ring has a pleasant heft and solid feel on the finger.
Platinum is so rare that all the platinum ever found can fit into a large room. In comparison, all the gold produced from the dawn of civilization can fill a 30-story building. Platinum jewelry is hypoallergenic.
White gold alloyed with nickel is toxic, but still used in cheap jewelry production. Platinum jewelry consists of 95% pure platinum and only 5% ruthenium.
White gold contains only 75%- 58.5% pure gold, the rest is mostly copper and silver. Platinum is much denser than white gold, and it has an invaluable solid feel. When it comes to bespoke production, platinum is the king.
Platinum has a high melting point and excellent malleability that makes it perfect for hand fabrication. Platinum alloyed with ruthenium has a superior hardness that allows for the highest level of precision and finish.
White gold is easy to cast, but it is difficult to forge by hand due to its low melting point, softness, oxidation, burning, marmiting, and solder porosity. A bespoke jewel usually requires a large number of parts soldered together.
Unfortunately, white gold solder quickly deteriorates when it is repeatedly heated. That in turn, prevents a jeweler from assembling as many elements as required by design. A platinum piece, on the other hand, can have an unlimited number of soldering joints.
Learn more about techniques for making jewelry.
White gold requires repeated "dipping" to stay white, but platinum is naturally white, so no plating is required. Platinum is self-burnishing, which means its surface compresses with age instead of shedding the top layer.
Unlike the battered appearance of worn gold jewelry, aged platinum has a dignified appearance. After its surface is evenly dented and punctuated by microscopic dings, it acquires a permanent and highly desirable patina. Old platinum pieces have a look similar to brightly polished vintage silverware, a unique glistening look best described as "shabby chic."
Created during the Second World War, when platinum use in jewelry was restricted, white gold became a cheap platinum substitute. The rich yellow color of pure gold is reduced to grey with a yellowish tint by adding palladium or nickel to gold. Palladium belongs to the platinum group of metals - a group of six noble metals with similar chemical and mechanical properties.
All these metals are non-reactive and do not oxidize.
Alloying gold with palladium rarely causes trouble. On the other hand, using nickel as a gold alloy may cause a severe skin allergy. Roughly 10% of the population has a sensitivity to nickel in white gold, which is the common cause of contact dermatitis.
Using nickel in jewelry was officially banned by the European Union in 2009, but is still widespread in the US, which can explain our low math scores.
Virtually all white gold jewelry and watches are coated with rhodium, a bright white metal similar to chromium in color. Rhodium plating gives white gold its unnaturally white finish. Eventually, the plating wears off, revealing the underlying surface's warm tint.
Despite all its advantages, the current platinum per-ounce price is significantly below the gold price. The gold prices began to overtake platinum prices right after the global financial crisis of 2008. Two identical rings, one platinum, one gold, will have different weights because platinum has a higher density. The gold ring, on the other hand, weighs less, so its cost is lower than the platinum ring.
18K gold ring weighs 15 grams. It has 11.3 grams of pure gold which has a net cost of $573 at the current price of $1,577 per ounce (February 2020). The same exact ring in platinum weighs 20 grams or 19 grams of pure platinum. Its net cost is $593 at the current platinum price of $970 per ounce. (February 2020).
Hand forging platinum is easier and less expensive than using white gold. Casting platinum is labor-intensive. It requires special equipment and skills which complicate production and affects its total cost. When a jeweler tells you that a platinum mounting costs more than gold, you can bet you are getting a piece of casting.
When it comes to custom benchwork without using CAD or molds, platinum work is less expensive. You pay slightly more for the metal, but the labor cost is significantly less.
Platinum allows a bench jeweler to achieve a higher degree of precision. Sharp edges, precise angles, well-defined curves, and clean joints are hallmarks of a hand-forged platinum piece. Working with platinum is a pleasant experience for a bench jeweler. The result is always far superior to anything crafted in white gold. A happy jeweler makes a beautiful ring, and a grumpy jeweler makes a clump of metal.
Metal hardness on the Vickers scale. The higher the number the harder the alloy. The chart does not specify the difference in hardness between casting and cold-forged metal.
|110||Platinum||5% Ir||Very soft, rarely used|
|135||Platinum||Cobalt 4.5%||Production, casting|
|190-216||White gold||18K Pd||Casting, limited bench work|
|150-210||Yellow gold||18K 17%Ag/8%Cu||Casting, bench work|
|220-230||Platinum||5.0% Ru||Bespoke work|
|220||White gold||18K Ni||Hard and toxic|
|350||White gold||14K Ni||Extremely hard|
Most fascinating facts about platinum:
How do you say "platinum" in other languages:
Albanian : Platini
Arabic : بلاتين
Armenian : Պլատին
Basque : Platino
Belarusian : Плаціна
Bengali : প্লাটিনাম
Bosnian : Platina
Bulgarian : Платина
Catalan : Platí
Chuvash : Платина
Corsican : Platinu
Croatian : Platina
Czech : Platina
Danish : Platin
Dutch : Platina
Haitian : Platin
Hebrew : פלטינה
Hungarian : Platina
Icelandic : Platína
Ido : Platino
Indonesian : Platina
Interlingua : Platino
Italian : Platino
Japanese : 自然白金
Korean : 백금
Kurdish (Latin Script) : Platîn
Latin : Platinum
Latvian : Platīns
Lithuanian : Platina
Lojban : jinmrplati
Low Saxon/Low German : Platin
Luxembourgish : Platin
Macedonian : Платина
Malayalam : പ്ലാറ്റിനം
Manx : Platinum
Norwegian : Platina
Norwegian (Nynorsk) : Platina
Occitan : Platin
Polish : Platyna
Portuguese : Platina
Quechua : Qullqiya
Romanian : Platină
Russian : Платина
Serbian : Платина
Serbo-Croatian : Platina
Sicilian : Plàtinu
Simplified Chinese : 自然铂
Slovak : Platina
Slovenian : Platina
Spanish : Platino
Swahili : Platini
Swedish : Platina
Tajik (Cyrillic Script) : Платина
Tamil : பிளாட்டினம்
Thai : แพลทินัม
Traditional Chinese : 自然白金
Turkish : Platin
Ukrainian : Платина
Vietnamese : Bạch kim