Platinum and Jewelry: A brief history
Platinum is an extremely rare precious metal that is commonly used in engagement rings, wedding bands, and other fine jewelry. It is quite common to see this lustrous white metal on the red carpet too!
A brief guide to Platinum Jewelry
Is it pure platinum?
Precious metals are too soft, when pure, to be used as jewelry, especially rings and wedding bands that are worn daily. Instead, we use alloys, a mixture of two or more elements. The other elements improve properties such as hardness, making jewelry more wear-resistant, durable, and shinier for longer.
Hallmarks and Stamps of Platinum
Like all jewelry, items are stamped or hallmarked by the manufacturer or an assay office to indicate the fineness – i.e., how much platinum is in the jewelry.
Platinum is typically sold at 950 or 850 fineness, meaning that 95% or 85% of the piece by weight is pure platinum. Platinum is usually alloyed with copper, cobalt, ruthenium, and sometimes a little bit of indium or gallium (to make it harder).
In the US, a stamp such as Pt950 or Plat 950 will be stamped on the jewelry to disclose the fineness. In the UK and Europe, there are a series of marks which you can learn about here.
We always recommend checking the hallmark or stamp when buying a piece of jewelry!
What are the advantages of platinum?
There are many advantages to platinum jewelry:
It is a stunning bright white!
Platinum jewelry, when polished, is extremely shiny and a beautiful bright white
It is hypoallergenic!
Unlike some jewelry metals, notably nickel-white golds, Platinum very rarely causes any skin irritation.
Nickel is often the cause of contact dermatitis from jewelry, and is absent from platinum jewelry.
It does not tarnish!
Platinum and its alloys do not react readily and so do not tarnish over time (or noticeably)
It is very durable!
Although they will scratch, platinum rings are extremely durable (the metal doesn't wear away) and will hold gemstones far better than gold or silver.
It forms a patina
Over time, wear and scratches will develop a matte "patina" on the surface.
If you don't want this then polishing at a jeweler will remove this and restore the original shine
Why is platinum jewelry expensive?
Despite pure platinum being cheaper to buy on trading markets, it is more expensive to buy platinum jewelry:
Platinum jewelry is typically 95% platinum by weight (950 fineness), whereas 18K Gold is only 75% Gold by weight.
Platinum is denser than gold, so the same-size ring requires more material.
Platinum is harder to work with than gold or silver. It has a higher melting point, and it is far harder to shape
For a comparison with White Gold jewelry, read here:
For more information about platinum jewelry, we highly recommend visiting the platinum guild website: