Platinum engagement rings

Platinum Engagement Ring -  Best place to buy

The best place to buy platinum engagement rings is Blue Nile.  They have an incredibly large selection of over 20,000 diamonds and they are all GIA certified.  They offer a wide variety of platinum settings for both engagement and wedding rings. 


Platinum engagement ring history

Platinum engagement rings are just a variation on the classic engagement ring.  The custom of engagement rings, or betrothal rings symbolizes a promise of marriage to a member of the opposite sex and is thought to have originated with the Romans. They are worn as symbols of betrothal and marital fidelity with pride.

Traditionally, engagement rings have been made out of gold, as it is visually pleasing and easily workable. Because it does not tarnish or corrode, it was one of the first metals to attract human attention nearly six thousand years ago. Platinum belongs to the same noble and precious metals family, as gold but is its much younger member. For its white brilliance, malleability, resistance to acids and its high melting point, platinum has been used in jewelry since only 19th century. So platinum engagement rings are fairly recent.

The Italian-French physician Julius Caesar Scaliger discovered Platinum in 1557. It was given the name platina del Pinto by the Spaniards for its resemblance to silver. To extract platinum in pure form, complex aqueous chemical processing is required. As these techniques became available only at the turn of the 19th century, platinum applications lagged behind silver and gold by thousands of years. In addition, the high melting point of the metal limited its applications until methods for consolidating and working platinum into useful forms were devised. Thus the fashioning of platinum into engagement rings had to wait till about 1900A.D.

Platinum properties as a metal for engagement rings

Platinum engagement ring metal is both precious and noble at the same time. It is precious not just because it is rare (for every 50,000 tones of Iron and 75 tones of Nickel in Earth's crust, only 0.005 tones of platinum exists - same as gold). A very heavy, silver-white metal, platinum is soft and ductile and has a high melting point and good resistance to corrosion and chemical attack. Though it readily dissolves in aqua regia, it is scarcely attacked by simple acids and its surface retains brightness even when it becomes white hot in air. Such a versatile metal soon became the choice not only for making platinum wedding rings but also for numerous sophisticated applications such as electrodes, electrical controls, spark plugs, resistance thermometers, and paradoxically as a catalyst.

Platinum satisfies the definition of nobility being highly resistant to formation of compounds with oxygen and water both at room temperature as well as elevated temperature though to a lesser degree compared to gold. These are the essential qualities platinum engagement rings possess and that is why these are desired by all. Rings made of other substances fade away with time and are discarded sooner or later to cupboards or safes dumping all sentiments associated with them.

All the platinum-group metals so also gold ores may be found in their metallic state. The ordinary variety of native platinum is called polyxene; it is 80 percent to 90 percent platinum, with 3 percent to 11 percent iron, plus the other platinum metals, and gold, copper, and nickel. So platinum rings can be pure to this extent only and the "impurities" may contain such rare metals like other platinum metals, gold, nickel besides copper and iron. However gold used in jewelry is usually alloyed with silver, copper, and a little zinc to produce various shades of yellow gold or with nickel, copper, and zinc to produce white gold.  The content of gold alloys is called karats; a 12-karat gold alloy is 50 percent gold, and 24-karat gold is pure.

Platinum versus Gold for engagement rings

Platinum engagement rings are trendy and have replaced, albeit partially and gradually, gold engagement rings. Thus a comparative evaluation between qualities of platinum and gold becomes unavoidable before picking up a platinum ring. Platinum is heavier (specific gravity: 21.4) than gold (specific gravity: 19.3). Platinum has a higher melting temperature compared to gold. Tensile strength and hardness of Platinum are also higher than gold thus making gold much more malleable. So far as resistance to acids is concerned, both platinum and gold have excellent capacity although gold performs better than platinum. But gold scores very high when it comes to resistance to oxidation in air and water both at room temperature and at elevated temperatures. That explains why gold glitters permanently and people who prefer platinum tend to overlook this aspect.    

Gold has carved out its niche by remaining universally acceptable for four thousand years as money in exchange for goods and services. All nations accept gold as a means of international payment. It would be extremely outrageous to consider any time the exchange value of platinum engagement rings but the plain truth is that gold engagement rings can come in handy at times. All the same any platinum jewelry is too fascinating and matchless in beauty to be judged by its monetary value alone.  It is altogether a different thing that modern jewelry has introduced even non-precious metals such as steel.

An asset like a platinum engagement ring needs care and attention it deserves especially for its symbolic and sentimental value. Although platinum possesses excellent qualities, it is advisable to follow a few simple steps to help to keep your platinum ring looking its best. You should avoid wearing it while doing manual work, at gym or playing sports or while working with abrasive substances. One ought to remember that platinum is scratch-resistant but not scratch proof. Similarly you should not wear it while handling strong acids. Store it in a fabric-lined box away from other pieces so that it does not get scratched. If required, it should be polished once in a way by the local jeweler to restore its new look.

A platinum engagement ring is not just a precious jewelry but also a constant companion of your mind and body. It electrifies your mood it magnifies your personality. It is a thing of beauty - it a joy for ever. So keep it very safe and clean.


Updated 9/17/04

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Other great jewelry sites:

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Italian Charms and Italian charm bracelets

Disney Italian Charms
JJ Kent Italian Charms

Engagement Rings Buyers Guide has info on various types of engagement rings, diamonds and their selection.