platinum ringEven in questionable economic times, people still invest in platinum jewelry, particularly when choosing wedding bands and engagement rings.  While there are many alternative and industrial metals that imitate the bright white color of platinum, nothing rivals the sheer brilliance of this rare metal.  More precious than gold, it was once defined as the only metal truly “fit for a king.”  Today, platinum is a popular metal for diamond engagement rings and wedding bands for men and women.  It’s natural durability and strength make it the perfect metal for everyday wear, and its beauty is unmistakable.

Like any other jewelry, it is important to learn as much as possible about platinum as possible before making a purchase.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a piece of platinum jewelry –

  • Look for markings on the inside of the ring that indicate the ring is made from pure platinum.  A marking of .950 indicates that the ring is made up of 950 parts per thousand of pure platinum and 50 parts of other metals.
  • Because platinum is a rare and precious metal, expect to pay more for it than you would for 18K white or yellow gold.
  • To prevent scratching, keep platinum jewelry in its own box and separated from other jewelry.
  • Platinum has a density that is about 60% greater than gold, and will therefore weigh about 60% more than a comparable gold ring.

How can you identify a platinum ring?

Using a magnifying glass, take a look at the inside of the ring and identify the jeweler’s hallmark. This simple engraving should tell you which metal the ring is made of. Platinum rings usually have a number indicating the number of platinum parts per thousand, followed by the word “Plat” or “PT.” The highest level of purity for platinum is marked at 950,while lower quality platinum alloys might be 750 or 850.

If you cannot find markings on the interior, the authenticity of a platinum ring can be confirmed by performing this simple test.  Simply place a drop of iodine on the ring with an eyedropper and wait for it to dry.  If the ring is pure platinum, the iodine will appear to be clear, but if it is really white gold or palladium, the iodine will be brown or black.  After the test, simply wipe off the iodine with a damp cloth.

In summary, platinum rings are beautiful, durable and hypoallergenic.  Platinum’s white color means it can be mistaken for sterling silver, white gold, and palladium. Protect your jewelry investment by identifying the quality of a platinum ring before you buy one.

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