View Full Version : How to Choose a Platinum Ring

14th November 2012, 02:40 PM
Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-a-Platinum-Ring


Know the purity content of your platinum ring. As with all precious metals, platinum must be alloyed with other metals in order to achieve the hardness required for jewelry. A ring that is alloyed with 80% Platinum and 20% other metals is worth a lot less than a ring that is 95% pure platinum.
Check the hallmark on the inside of the ring. Federal regulations require all platinum bands to bear a stamp or "hallmark" on the inside of the band. If it says "IridPlat", or ".90Plat/Ir" then the ring is only 90% pure platinum, and you should pay less for it than a ring that is 95% pure platinum. If the hallmark says "Plat" or ".95 Plat", then the ring is considered pure platinum and commands a premium price.
Ask your jeweler about the alloy used in your platinum ring. If you are buying a pure platinum ring (95% platinum), then it should be alloyed with either Cobalt or Ruthenium. These alloys produce a harder platinum that can hold a mirror bright polish and resist years of daily wear. Many .95 pure platinum rings are alloyed with the less expensive metal Iridium, but these rings are softer and will become scratched and dull within a year of daily wear.
Seek a master platinumsmith. Find an ultra-specialist focused on designing and handcrafting jewelry in platinum. Working in platinum is very difficult. The metal doesn’t melt until it reaches 3223º, unlike gold that melts at a mere 1700º. The tools needed to work in platinum are completely different as well. Given these challenges, there are but a few talented master platinumsmiths who have the expertise to make high-quality platinum rings. While some mass producers choose to outsource their platinum “artistry” to China to cut costs, the handful of masters trained in the finer art of platinumsmithing are in the US and Europe.
Look for quality handcrafting in the engraving, filigree, pavé or other fine details. Platinum rings today come in thousands of designs with differing details to suit personal tastes. These details may include engraving, or deep cuts in the platinum that form a design. Some jewelry manufacturers choose to imitate hand engraving by embedding a design into the ring’s casting. This prefabricated engraving will eventually wear off and lose its luster. Therefore, look for deep and intricate hand engraving, which typically lasts for generations. Filigree is another design element reminiscent of the Art Deco period. Again, to save costs, many jewelers prefabricate filigree in the casting process. The result is chunky filigree that lacks elegance and finesse. True artistry from the Art Deco period calls for filigree that is created from hand-drawn wires and sculpted then soldered into a piece. For the best quality, ensure that any filigree in the platinum ring is handcrafted. Bezel set with pavé is another extremely popular platinum ring option. Bezel set refers to a border of metal, often set with small diamonds that accent the center stone – and can make it appear larger. Bezel setting with pavé in platinum requires very specific expertise. Proper setting ensures that the focus is on the sparkle of the diamonds, not the platinum prongs holding in the stones. Noticing these fine points today will ensure the right choice for years to come.
Consider custom rings for a one-of-a-kind heirloom piece. For those who wish to express their individualism and own a statement ring that will become a family heirloom, custom is the only way to go. Many big jewelry houses scorn custom work. If you don’t like one of their limited design choices, then you have too much imagination. Custom-made rings allow you to work with the designer to create the ultimate reflection of your tastes. The “build your own ring” online tools are a fun gimmick, but far from the true custom craftsmanship associated with a quality ring. Work with a knowledgeable, personal jeweler who can guide you in the process.
Match your ring to your lifestyle. If high style and glamour are priorities in your life, go for a showstopper that’s loaded with exquisite hand artistry and a large center stone. If mountain climbing on Mount Kilimanjaro is your priority, forgo the delicate pavé work and opt for a platinum design with a low silhouette, that is, one that doesn’t elevate the center stone so that it won’t get banged around on rocks. Or, look at substantial platinum bands with unique engraving that look fashionable, yet are very practical. While most women fall somewhere in the middle, the point is that your ring needs to fit into your life. Some may feel more comfortable in a beautiful platinum band with an intricate floral design while others will gravitate toward a classic piece with a single center stone and filigree or the popular three-stone look with engraving. Nevertheless, since this purchase will likely be worn for ages to come, avoid the trendy, ultra-modern designs that promise to look dated in a few years.
Choose a style that looks best on your hand. Now that you’ve eliminated certain designs based on your lifestyle, figure out what looks best on your hand. a) Match the size of your ring to the size of your hand. If you are large-framed with large, angular hands, don’t choose a dainty piece that fades away. Rather look at bolder designs with a thicker platinum band or consider stacking several rings. If you are petite, choose more delicate pieces and plenty of details. b) Don’t be obsessed with the size of the center stone. It’s irrelevant that your best friend has a three carat. If it was set in white gold or poor-grade platinum, lacks style and its diamond has visible flaws, this is not a ring to covet. Think quality and substance in the design, the workmanship, the platinum alloy and the precious gems you select. c) Try on many ring styles to be sure. Some women are sure that they want a certain style of ring until it’s on their finger. What’s right for a cousin is not likely what’s perfect for you. This is similar to clothing shopping. Trying on a piece is essential to know that it suits your fingers and hand size, that the ring doesn’t twist or become off-centered easily or that it doesn’t look good when stacked with a wedding band.
Ask your jeweler for a wax mold or silver replica of your ring. If you have chosen a custom ring, you can ask your jeweler for a wax mold of your ring to ensure that the design meets your expectations before it is cast into platinum. Today, the best shops use computer-aided design (CAD) to create a three-dimensional image of your ring. Then, the jeweler creates a wax mold of the piece and the artisans refine its dimensions with extreme precision. Find out if your jeweler offers this service, which can eliminate any disappointment that your custom ring is not what you dreamed of. A few jewelers create a sterling silver and cubic zirconia version of a client’s custom ring before casting it in platinum to ensure that the ring is exactly what the client wants.

Edit Tips

It's worth educating yourself on the finer points of choosing a platinum engagement rings to ensure that your testament to love - and investment in an important family heirloom - is the right choice.
Check out a large variety of platinum designer rings at various Websites.
When it comes to .95 pure platinum, the secret to a brighter platinum ring is the alloy.

If you are interested in buying an antique platinum ring, it will probably bear the hallmark "IridPlat" or ".90Plat/Ir" on the inside of the band. It is only in the past 15 years that .95 pure platinum has been popular in North America.
If your platinum ring needs to be repaired, be sure to take it to a master platinumsmith. Most jewelers do not have the capability to properly repair platinum rings and your ring could be ruined if improper tools or the wrong platinum alloy is used to repair it.

14th November 2012, 03:47 PM
interesting. I found a platinum ring once. I suspect it might be a lesser alloyed form of platinum. hallmarked from memory. Might try and see if I can locate it.

14th November 2012, 04:06 PM
I wouldn't trust a hallmark 100% I once bought a 18K gold Tiffany ring from my brick and mortar because he was out of anything interesting. I brought it back months later to swap for silver. He tested it out of habit and it wasn't 18K. He did honor the price as if it was 18K since I bought it from him, but we both learned a lesson.