Why platinum rings get boring so quickly and what you can do about it!

Why platinum rings get boring so shortly and what you are able to do about it!

Scratches on this platinum set represent three months of wear

Scratches on this dull platinum set represent three months of wear.

One of the biggest disappointments for newly wed couples is feeling overwhelmed by their now dull, simple platinum rings.

All they wanted was a simple wedding ring with a surface made of shiny platinum. Delicious. It just doesn’t stay shiny for long. They didn’t register for that!

In this blog, I’m going to be comparing white gold and platinum as the most often asked people to compare these two metals.

Three reasons platinum goes dull

1. Platinum is a malleable metal

2. Platinum is used in a purer form than white gold

3. Platinum is softer than white gold when making jewelry

Platinum vs. White gold on the MOH hardness scale

MOHS scale of gemstone hardness

Platinum is not a hard metal. It’s 4 – 4.5 on the MOH hardness scale. This means it can be scratched by something harder than it is. Diamond is ten on the MOH scale and can easily scratch platinum. Your amethyst is a seven on the MOH scale and can scratch your platinum.

For comparison: pure gold is 2.5 on the MOH scale. This is roughly the same hardness as your fingernail. That won’t work in jewelry making. When white gold is prepared for jewelry making by adding alloy metals, such as 14 kt or 58% pure gold, its hardness is increased to 3.5 to 4. It looks a lot like platinum. Correct? But it’s not just hardness that determines how your metal wears and looks over time. What the MOH scale doesn’t tell you is the way your chosen metal will react to tougher obstacles when they collide.

How density makes platinum strong. Why it wears differently than white gold

Platinum ring Missing diamonds and deeply scratched

Platinum can scratch deeper than white gold. It can also bend.

Platinum is denser than gold. The same amount of platinum weighs 60% more than gold. This is because, at the molecular level, more and more smaller molecules are packed in platinum in this small space. Because of the density of platinum, it can be used in a purer form than gold. This density leads to strength. But that doesn’t make it Superman. Or when it becomes Superman, its kryptonite is the daily bashing it gets. Platinum is a soft metal. If it gets a scratch or bump, it actually moves out of the way of the harder object it collides with.

Dents and scratches on the platinum band

Platinum buckles and deforms when it touches surfaces.

14k white gold, which has been alloyed with stronger metals to make jewelry and turning its normally yellow color white, has become a harder metal than platinum. For comparison we take two identical wedding rings. Each band is 6mm wide and 2mm deep and is highly polished. Then let’s say I slapped each band against the same three harder surfaces. The white gold can leave a small piece of itself on the harder surface and show a scratch on its surface. The scratch is very thin because the hard metal resists the harder surface. The platinum ribbon scratching against the same surface moves and its scratch may look a little deeper. This is because the metal is softer. His reaction to the surface is to give in, to get out of the way. But because of its density, it doesn’t leave a trace behind.

Scratched white gold band ring

White gold ring will still glow even with ridiculous scratches.

The final effect of this experiment is to show us that even though white gold has many fine scratches on it, it is still shiny and can be worn for quite a while, is beaten around and still shines. By gently yielding and maintaining micro-models, platinum reaches a state in which no part of the surface has moved. This makes platinum boring. This boredom happens faster than people like.

I give more detailed information on the behavior of platinum on my blog: white gold versus platinum, what is the difference?

Why buffing too much harms your platinum ring

Jewelery cleaning with a polishing wheel

Polish a ring

One of my new clients had been married for six months and went back and had her platinum wedding ring polished six times. Her little ribbon was initially thin and I explained that if she continued to buff it it would get too thin after a while.

Unlike the micro-dents and scratches that platinum gets when it’s hit or sanded against a harder surface, when we professionally polish your platinum ring, we need to level the surface to keep the high gloss. The buffing pad and technique will remove platinum from your ring.

Am i against platinum?

I’m not saying don’t buy platinum, I love its malleability. Certain designs are fun to work with.

It takes curves in hand engraving like a knife to butter. Nice.

In my opinion, if you are planning on going platinum for your wedding ring selection, you should include details in your design as opposed to plain, flat and shiny.

Matte platinum, the video

This video shows white gold and platinum side by side as I continue to discuss this issue.

Don’t throw the platinum ring, change it!

If you have a platinum ring that is constantly dull, you can consider making it look nicer.

You can add a hand engraving which will add interest and sparkle if the shape of your ring makes it a candidate. You can also add other details or textures. What makes the boredom look bad is when that’s all you see. I added a hammered finish to a man’s platinum band. When it broke for some reason it looked fine. The pounding changed the band’s visual expectation.

Design for the daily wear ring with platinum

When designing for platinum, think of varying heights in the design to generate interest, engrave designs, and add small diamonds to the band. These touches create sparkling and shiny areas on your ring.

Hand-engraved wedding set in platinum with diamonds

After the Dullness and Plain Finish were on her engagement ring, we added engraving. Now she loves it.

Do you have a platinum ring that looks boring? Something can be done about it.

Your personal jeweler,
Calla gold

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