While gold is still the “gold standard” of ring materials, platinum has become increasingly popular in recent years. Not only is it quite rare and valuable, but it has a unique natural color that can’t be found in any other precious metal. This can help any engagement ring truly stand out!
In today’s guide, we’re going to take a closer look at platinum rings and even help you find where to purchase (or sell) the best pre-owned platinum rings on the market. So, let’s get started!
What Is Platinum?
Platinum is a precious metal with a distinct white-silver color. In fact, the name “platinum” actually derives from the Spanish diminutive of “plata” (silver). Though platinum and silver may share similar colors (more on that later), they are still distinguishable by the naked eye.
Unless you’ve looked at the periodic table recently, you may not remember that platinum is a natural element with the symbol Pt and an atomic number of 78. It is considered somewhat rare, particularly when compared to other precious metals used in jewelry. And while you can find platinum in rings and other pieces of jewelry all over the world, more than three-quarters of all platinum is processed in South Africa.
In the earliest days of its discovery, sometime in the 16th century, European explorers and alchemists did not see much value in platinum. In fact, it was often thrown out during mining expeditions and there were even official decrees prohibiting jewelers from adding platinum to gold jewelry, as it was seen as an “impurity.”
After years of research, it was eventually discovered that platinum was not only rare, but also quite functional. Commercial mining companies often procured platinum from copper and nickel mining sites. Scientists began using platinum as a natural catalyst in experiments, while watchmakers started putting platinum into their products. The popularity and value of platinum soon skyrocketed. Today, it is one of the most prized precious metals used in jewelry and other valuable accessories.
What Color Is Platinum?
Platinum dances the line between silver and white. While there can be slight color variation between different samples of platinum, depending on a variety of factors like impurities or exposure to high levels of heat in a controlled environment, platinum jewelry is known for being able to maintain its color for the long term.
That said, platinum does have a unique feature that often appears after years or even months of regular use. Known as “patina,” this special kind of sheen can give platinum jewelry a more distinctive look over time. Fortunately, if you don’t like the patina look and want your platinum jewelry to look exactly as it did on the day you bought it, you can simply go to a jeweler and have it professionally polished.
Is Platinum Better Than Gold For Rings?
Naturally, saying that one precious metal is better than another is purely subjective. However, there are a few important factors to consider when purchasing a ring and deciding which kind of metal you want to wear. In any case, here are some of the differences that can make platinum “better” than gold for rings:
- Durability - While platinum is soft enough to be malleable for jewelry, it is naturally harder and more durable than gold. This means that it is less likely to experience damage or corrosion with regular use.
- White Coloration - Platinum has a unique white-silver color that does not require any kind of special plating or additives to maintain. Though gold has more color options, it does require rhodium plating to have a white appearance, and this plating must be periodically replaced to maintain the whiteness.
- Hypoallergenic Properties - Platinum is hypoallergenic and therefore unlikely to cause allergic reactions in most people. Gold, on the other hand, may contain varying amounts of nickel, which is far more likely to cause an allergic reaction.
- Weight - Platinum is heavier and more dense than gold, which can make it feel more substantial to the wearer. Gold is relatively light, and this light feeling can make it seem cheap or small when worn. That said, preference for light or heavy ring materials can vary from person to person.
- Rarity - Platinum is roughly 30 times rarer than gold. Rarity is often intrinsically linked to value when it comes to natural elements, particularly precious metals, which means that platinum is treated as a more valuable material for rings.
Can Platinum Rings Be Resized?
The short answer is yes — platinum rings can be resized. However, the truth is that a platinum ring is very difficult to resize due to the natural density of the material. You will often need to seek out a specialist and the cost and time needed to resize platinum rings is much greater than it would be for gold rings or rings made of other precious metals. This is partially because platinum has a very high melting point and requires a lot of heat to be molded. While you could spend as little as $30 to resize a gold ring, you might have to spend as much as $300 (or more) to resize a platinum ring.
How To Clean Platinum Rings
- Cleaning a platinum ring is pretty straightforward, and the process is largely the same as it would be for other precious metals. To clean a platinum ring, just follow these steps:
- Fill a bowl with warm water
- Put a few drops of mild dish soap in the water (some people add in a bit of ammonia to enhance the solution’s cleaning properties, but this is optional)
- Set your platinum ring in the water solution for about 10 to 15 minutes to loosen any dirt or other particles that may be stuck in tiny crevices
- Remove the ring from the water and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush the ring
- As you brush, continue to put the platinum ring in the soapy water for a few seconds at a time to wash away any built-up dirt or oils
- Rinse off any remaining soap residue with warm water
- Pat the ring dry with a soft towel or dishcloth
How Much Is A Platinum Ring Worth?
It’s difficult to say how much a platinum ring will be worth, as there are so many factors to consider. That said, you can generally expect a platinum ring to cost more than a gold ring with similar gemstones and designs. Depending on the brand, gemstone(s), and style, you can expect to pay at least $1,000 for a platinum engagement ring, and potentially less for a platinum wedding band. In any case, you can get an approximation of the cost and value of the platinum ring you want using HYSTR’s engagement ring price calculator.
How To Buy Or Sell A Pre-Owned Platinum Ring For The Very Best Price
If you want to buy or sell a pre-owned platinum ring and get the best price on the market, you can’t go wrong with Have You Seen the Ring. At HYSTR, we verify the authenticity of every ring and allow buyers and sellers to negotiate a fair price. We then work to make sure that both parties are satisfied with the transaction and can receive their ring and payment as quickly as possible!
We hope you enjoyed our platinum ring guide! Are you currently trying to buy or sell a used engagement ring? If so, be sure to contact HYSTR today!