At thirty times more rare than gold and four times stronger, platinum has become synonymous with luxury and longevity.
Learn about the differences between platinum and white gold.
Platinum Versus Gold
Often heralded as just as beautiful as the gems it displays, platinum boasts a silvery-white luster that imparts unmistakable elegance and blends well with a variety of metals and stones. Four times stronger than gold, platinum is renowned for its hard-wearing properties, resistance to damage and wear, and its substantial heft.
At Brilliance, we're proud to offer a wide assortment of platinum settings for our finest jewelry pieces. All of our platinum consists of at least 95% pure platinum, with a maximum of 5% alloy metals. Nearly all of our solitaire and engagement rings have platinum prongs to keep diamonds securely in place.
Considered among the most pure and precious metals used in modern-day jewelry making, platinum has become synonymous with luxury and longevity. Because of its hardness and durability, pure platinum is often mixed with other metals to make it more malleable. The most common alloy metals paired with platinum are copper, palladium, rhodium, iridium, and titanium.
Although some alloys may be billed as platinum by jewelry sellers, there are stringent requirements for what constitutes a 'pure' platinum piece. Only metals marked with a 950 or 900 purity designation are considered high-grade platinum. Alloys containing a lower ratio are often used to make jewelry, but these pieces don't impart the same high standards of quality, longevity, or beauty. At Brilliance, we use only the purest platinum alloys to craft our fine jewelry.
Pieces marked with a 950 purity are a blend of 95% platinum and 5% alloy metals (usually copper, cobalt, iridium, rhodium, tungsten, or palladium).
Pieces marked with a 900 purity consist of 90% platinum and 10% alloy metals (usually palladium or iridium).
If you're examining a piece of jewelry forged from a precious metal, look for the hallmark as a way of indicating its purity. Pure platinum is often marked simply with the letters 'PLT', 'PLAT', or 'PLATINUM', which indicates that the piece consists of at least 95% platinum. If other alloys are added, such as copper or palladium, the hallmark will indicate the number of parts-per-thousand, such as '900PLAT' (900 parts of platinum out of 1000).
Although it is not a government-mandated law in the United States to stamp a piece of jewelry with its hallmark, Brilliance stamps each piece of our high quality platinum jewelry as a means of ensuring a confident, informed jewelry shopping experience.
While gold and other metals can be mined in many different locations, most platinum is derived from Russia and South Africa, making it a much rarer metal. Due to its rarity, density, and heft, platinum is much more expensive than the other metals used in the jewelry industry. In general, you can expect to pay approximately twice to four times as much for a platinum ring as you would for an 18-karat gold ring.
In recent years, palladium has gained in popularity as a comparable, more economic alternative to platinum. Hovering somewhere in between gold and platinum in terms of rarity and price, palladium weighs substantially less than platinum. Because jewelry price is determined largely by its mass, its lighter weight makes palladium significantly less expensive than platinum.
Many jewelers prefer palladium because it's softer and more malleable than pure platinum, making it easier to work with. Its dark grey coloring allows palladium to blend favorably with sterling silver pieces, and it retains its original shine longer than platinum (although it will eventually acquire the same dull, matte finish over time). Like white gold and platinum, palladium can be refinished to regain its original luster.
To maintain the beauty and shine of a piece of platinum jewelry, be sure to clean it periodically. It's safe to use the same cleaning methods you would use for gold'immerse it in a mild, non-abrasive jewelry cleaner and then gently rub the surface of the metal with a soft cloth. Every few months or so, have a professional jeweler perform a thorough cleaning and buff the surface free of any scratches. If you'd like, you can also ask the jeweler to polish the metal for a shinier look; otherwise, it will acquire a matte patina over time. At Brilliance, we offer complimentary cleaning and polishing services for every fine jewelry product we sell. Contact us to learn more about how your favorite platinum jewelry can look new again.
When you're not wearing your platinum jewelry, it's best to store it in its own cloth bag, sealable plastic bag, or lined box to keep it from coming into contact with other pieces, which can result in scratching.
Platinum is a metal with a rich and deep-rooted history. Mined in Russia and South Africa, it was first used in decorative applications in ancient Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. Preferred for its remarkable strength and longevity, the metal was used to adorn Egyptian coffins. The South American Inca Indians also made use of platinum to decorate their artifacts. With the Spanish conquest of South America, the metal's value was diminished, as the Spanish people considered it to be far inferior to silver. It wasn't until the 1800s that platinum began to reclaim its original status as a precious and treasured metal. Today, it's regarded as the premier choice for the setting of fine diamonds and other gemstones.