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With its lustrous, silver-colored tone, it's no wonder platinum is one of the most popular metals for fine jewelry. The metal started to be widely used in fine jewelry by designer Louis Cartier toward the end of the 19th century, and his innovative use of it brought out both its luster and strength. It became increasingly popular in the 20th century, and today, it's many couples' material of choice for rings.
What Is Platinum?
Platinum is a silvery-white premium precious metal that’s revered for its luster. Platinum is one of the most expensive jewelry metals due to its stunning appearance and superior durability.
Jeweler and designer Ryan Atlas says he's continually impressed by platinum's staying power when it comes to engagement rings and wedding bands. “Although different types of gold have risen and fallen in fashion over time, platinum has maintained a steady fan base for decades for its color, durability, and luster," he says.
Meet the Expert
Ryan Atlas is an experienced jeweler with Brilliant Earth. He is a creative design professional with extensive experience in the jewelry industry.
Curious if platinum is the best ring metal for you? Read on for everything you need to know about platinum engagement rings.
Pros and Cons of Platinum Rings
Platinum engagement rings are extremely durable. "It sustains small scratches more easily than other metals and may start to take on a matte appearance," Atlas says. "Like fine leather, these scratches actually make platinum jewelry more durable and beautiful."
Also, platinum is naturally hypoallergenic, making it safe for anyone with allergies or sensitive skin. "It’s a versatile choice that will accommodate a variety of metal sensitivities,” says Atlas. Platinum rings look especially lovely when set against sparkling diamonds. Add in its timelessness and it’s easy to see why it’s so in demand.
One drawback is its weight, as platinum is heavier than 14k or 18k gold. Platinum can also be more expensive than gold rings.
What to Look for in a Platinum Ring
Here are a few questions and answers you should know before purchasing a platinum ring.
• What type of certification should I look for in a platinum ring? A genuine platinum ring should have an imprint that certifies it is platinum, including the percentage of platinum composition.
• What are the levels of platinum purity? A platinum ring should list its platinum composition. If it's marked 950, that means it is 95 percent platinum, which is a high level of purity. If there is no mark, that means it has less than 50 percent platinum, or none at all. Some platinum rings are mixed with palladium. Palladium is slightly harder, making it more scratch-resistant but also more difficult to resize than platinum. It is also a bit darker in color, lacking the extra luster platinum offers.
• Do platinum rings maintain their color? Yes, platinum will maintain its color, unlike white gold, which periodically needs to be re-plated, Atlas says.
How to Care for a Platinum Ring
Platinum is very resistant to corrosion, making it a very low-maintenance metal. “Platinum’s beautiful silvery-white color coupled with its gorgeous shine is one of the reasons it’s so highly sought after. It will also maintain its color over time while other metals can lose theirs as they age,” Atlas says.
Platinum is easy to polish at home, which can save time and money since you don’t have to take it to a professional jeweler for cleaning. Use a gentle cleaner or mild dish soap and warm water to clean it.
Ahead, scroll through 20 platinum engagement rings and platinum wedding ring sets.
Brilliant Earth Three Stone Trellis Platinum Diamond Bridal Set
This antique-style platinum engagement ring and wedding band set is eye-catching and elegant. The engagement ring has a three-stone trellis setting with two round diamonds centering a larger diamond. The wedding band is designed with a curve to fit perfectly against the engagement ring.
Cartier Platinum Destinée Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring
Cartier is revered for its beautiful jewelry, and this platinum diamond engagement ring proves that point. It has a pear-shaped center diamond and brilliant-cut pavé diamonds surrounding the primary stone.
Bella Luce White Cubic Zirconia Platinum Over Sterling Silver Ring
If you are getting engaged on a limited budget, you may want to consider platinum over sterling silver for a glamorous look at a fraction of the price. This lovely Bella Luce ring features a marquise-shaped center stone of cubic zirconia and intricate metalwork on the sides.
Tiffany Bow Ribbon Engagement Ring in Platinum
This Tiffany & Co. bow ribbon platinum engagement ring is the perfect choice for glamorous brides. It has a stunning center diamond and loops of smaller diamonds set in platinum. The bow-shaped design is an homage to 17th-century France when such jewels symbolized love and marriage.
Brilliant Earth Platinum Luxe Viviana Diamond Bridal Set
This classic bridal set has a wedding band and engagement ring that mesh so well together one may at first think they are simply a double ring. The elegant, classic platinum engagement rings have scalloped pavé diamonds around three-quarters of the band and engagement ring.
1stDibs Platinum GIA Emerald-Cut 2-Carat Ring
Be prepared to make a statement with this conversation-starting, three-stone platinum engagement ring. One emerald-cut diamond in the center is flanked by a pair of smaller diamonds for a high-impact look.
Blue Nile Oval Sapphire and Diamond Ring
The contrast of the beautifully mounted sapphire and flanking diamonds in this platinum engagement ring is beyond stunning. Traditional brides won't be able to resist the timelessness of the oval cut.