Shopping for Platinum Jewelry - Cleaning Platinum |

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Shopping for Platinum Jewelry - Cleaning Platinum

October 20th, 2011 Jewelry

Breaking Down the Components of a Platinum Ring

When purchasing a platinum ring, it's important to know the anatomy of the jewelry to help you make the most informed decision regarding your choice of metal. After all, rings are made of several different parts:

  • The stone, which is the most important portion of the ring. Diamonds are usually best with platinum, but other gemstones can shine with this metal as well. Popular choices include emeralds, rubies and sapphires are all great choices.
  • The setting is second most important, which is why a strong metal like platinum is ideal. This will hold your stone in place for a lifetime.
  • The band, which normally wears out over time because of constant wear and contact with everything that the hands touch. However, this is not a concern since platinum stays in tact for a lifetime.
  • The stamp, or marking, which tells you how pure the metal is and what kind of metals have been mixed together to form the ring.

Clean Platinum Jewelry Regularly

Similar to other metals, it is very important to regularly clean your platinum jewelry. Because it is such a durable metal, it does not require the kind of sensitive cleansing process you might have to do with other pieces. In fact, cleaning platinum simply consists of using a solution of mild soap and warm water. Scrub the jewelry with a soft-bristle brush to get off any dirt and as soon as your dry your jewelry with the soft cloth, it will look shiny and new again.

Have Platinum Jewelry Repaired by an Expert

One of the best aspects of platinum is its longevity. If you care for it properly, you should not ever have to repair it. There are times when you might need to resize a platinum ring or repair the claws on a platinum piece, but most platinum jewelry lasts a lifetime, if not more.

Should you need to have anything repaired on a piece of platinum jewelry, take it to an expert. Do not try to repair it yourself, as you might damage the setting and compromise the value of the piece. This is one area where you should spend the money to have your jewelry cleaned and repaired by a person who specializes in platinum jewelry repair.

Platinum By The Numbers

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sets the standards when it comes to marketing jewelry as platinum in this country. The amount of platinum content is expressed at the amount of pure platinum in any piece of jewelry per thousand. When shopping for platinum jewelry, keep this information in mind to know how much platinum is in any given piece.

  • Jewelry that has 950 parts per thousand of pure platinum is labeled as “Platinum.”
  • Jewelry with 850-950 parts per thousand of pure platinum is labeled as “Plat” or “Pt.”
  • Jewelry with at least 950 parts per thousand of metals from the platinum group, with at least 500 parts per thousand of pure platinum can also be marked as platinum, as long as the number of how much metal has been used in disclosed.
This information is particularly useful for those interested in investing in quality platinum jewelry. Because it can be a confusing numbers game, jot the percentage per thousand down on an index card or small piece of paper to have handy when jewelry shopping. If you are not sure what the various markings or numbers mean, a qualified jeweler should be able to explain it to you in laymen’s terms.

Platinum is a Rare Metal

Platinum is an expensive metal and rightfully so -- it is quite rare. Some jewelry experts estimate that if you were to take all of the platinum in the world and put it into an Olympic-sized pool, it would fill up just a foot or two at most.

This rarity is what gives platinum jewelry is exclusivity and makes it distinctive among other jewelry metals. Additionally, because platinum is a pure metal, it is good for those with sensitive skin who might not be able to wear other metals.

Platinum is Known for Durability

The most impressive aspect of platinum jewelry is its durability. In most other metals, a scratch or deep polishing means that a minute amount of metal is lost. In fact, gold can sometimes wear down to the point that you have to add more metal for safety purposes. This is not the case with platinum.

While the scratch may leave a mark, the metal remains intact and strong. In addition, while it develops a worn look after time, it can be easily polished by a qualified jeweler and bought back to its original shine. Additionally, daily buffing with a soft cloth will enable your jewelry to maintain a beautiful luster that will be noticed with every wearing.

Platinum is Preferred Setting for Diamonds

Platinum is a rare metal that is often used to create elegant, fine jewelry. It is quite heavy and durable and can hold gemstones firmly in places for many, many years, specifically when the setting for the stone is also made of platinum. One of the benefits of wearing platinum jewelry is that it holds up well under frequent wear, which is not found in other jewelry metals.

Many people prefer platinum as a jewelry setting for diamonds because the shiny white luster of the piece serves as a stunning background for diamond jewelry, and other light gemstones. The best selling point for platinum, however, is that surface scratches and imperfections take nothing from the metal itself, so no real volume is lost.

Platinum Jewelry Ideas Are Plentiful

Platinum jewelry ideas are plentiful thanks to a range of styles to suit just about any personality or occasion. Ideas include:

  • Platinum hoop earrings boast high shine and sophistication. They can be worn with the most elegant gown or paired with a t-shirt and jeans.
  • A stylish platinum necklace can be worn to dress up your favorite outfit.
  • A gemstone pendant can be added for pizazz.
  • Engagement rings aren't the only ring styles made of platinum. Many platinum rings are designed with strength and security to serve as family heirlooms to last through generations. Diamonds are the best stone for this idea.

Platinum Perfect for Jewelry Design

In addition to being quite popular with consumers, platinum is a very popular metal with jewelry designers. It is flexible and malleable and enables jewelers to have freedom with how they design their jewelry. It can be heated up or cooled down repeatedly with hardening the metal. While many designers traditionally gravitated towards gold for jewelry designing, the ease in which platinum can be manipulated has increased its value and visibility for many jewelry designers. In fact, one of the more popular jewelry designs is shown through the marriage of platinum and 18K gold.

Proper Care Important to Maintain Value of Platinum Jewelry

If you want to maintain the highest value on your platinum jewelry, the proper care is most important:

  • Store platinum jewelry separate from your other items in the jewelry box.
  • Make sure you have insurance on your platinum jewelry. If you are not sure about the value, have your pieces appraised by an independent jewelry.
  • If you have purchased pieces solely for investment purposes, keep them in a safe, secure location, such as a safety deposit box or safe.
  • Have your jewelry inspected at least twice a year by a qualified jeweler. Make sure they do any necessary adjustments, resizing, polishing and more.
  • Do not wear your jewelry when doing any housework or other manual labor. While platinum is hard to destroy, it is meant to be decorative jewelry.
  • Either take platinum jewelry off or wear gloves to protect it if you are using common household cleaners.

Shopping for Platinum Jewelry

When shopping for quality platinum jewelry, here are a few tips to ensure that you get the most for your money:

  • Always, always, always shop at a reputable jewelry store with a knowledgeable staff. This can contribute to making the purchasing process smooth and easy.
  • If you are purchasing an engagement, wedding or anniversary ring, platinum highlights the diamond stone in the best possible light. It also provides the most secure setting. You may find that there are a number of qualities to consider when it comes to the choice of diamond, but you will not have to compromise on the quality of the platinum setting.
  • Some stores are only allowed to show you so many pieces of platinum at any given time because of insurance restrictions, so be patient and allot enough time to carefully look at your platinum options.

Variety Among Metals in Platinum Family

There are certain metals that fall into the platinum metal group. These metals are interspersed with pure platinum to make stunning jewelry designs. They include:

  • Palladium: This is a rare, silvery soft metal. It is often alloyed with yellow gold to produce white gold.
  • Rhodium: Another silvery, white metal that used as a plating finish for most jewelry.
  • Ruthenium: A grayish metal with a high resistance to wear and is alloyed for various pieces of jewelry.
There are varieties of additional metals within the platinum group. Each is alloyed with pure platinum to make jewelry pieces even more durable, ensuring they will last a lifetime.