Platinum is a precious metal that is considered one of the best white metals used in jewelry making. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of people opting for platinum jewelry, which really makes sense.
The natural allure and luster associated with platinum make it a highly desirable choice for many people, but you may be wondering if platinum jewelry is a good option for you or not. And more importantly, does platinum jewelry tarnish, or is it different from the rest of the white metals like silver?
Keep reading to know more about platinum and what makes it different from other metals used in jewelry making.
Understanding the jewelry metal – Platinum
Platinum is regarded as one of the top-rated white metals, but what you need to know is that for a white metal to be considered platinum, the piece of metal in question must have at least 95% of platinum. As a result, platinum is regarded as one of the purest precious metals on the scene. The catch, however, is that platinum will fade after some time, but unlike other metals in jewelry making, platinum doesn’t fade in the same way as other metals, meaning that tarnishing will not turn platinum yellow. When it loses its shine and fades, platinum will develop a white patina.
Besides the highest percentage of the metallic element, platinum is also one of the strongest heavy metals, which means that you get to decide if you’d like to wear jewelry made of one of the heavier metals over lighter metals such as white gold. This is because platinum is one of the densest metals used in jewelry making, which is why it’s also an expensive precious metal. Platinum is also one of the strongest, purest, and also most durable metals, which is resistant to tarnishing and chipping.
The platinum standard – for platinum, its standard is based on a thousand parts, which equals 100%. However, the common identification or authenticity marks for two of the main platinum alloys are as follows:
95% – This represents 950 parts for 1000 parts of pure platinum, and the 50 parts remaining are made of the other common metals. This platinum alloy is hallmarked as Platinum, Pt950, Plat, Pt, 950Pt, 950Plat, or Plat950.
90% Platinum – this is the other platinum alloy, and it contains 900 out of 1000 parts pure platinum. The remaining 100 parts are made of common metals. This version of platinum is identified using the following hallmark signs – 900Pt, 900Plat, or Pt900.
Does pure platinum tarnish like silver or rust or overtime?
Platinum and silver are precious metals that date back to 3000BC. Platinum is a rare precious metal that is resistant to corrosion, fading, or discoloration, which means that even after years of use, platinum will always look a lot like it did when it was first purchased. Platinum is produced in South Africa, and though it’s a great alternative to silver (and also a cheaper alternative), there is as much as 100 times less platinum than silver in the world mines.
In terms of durability, platinum is more durable than silver as it is regarded as the strongest metal that is used in jewelry making. It boasts a rather high melting point, which means that it’s a great option and metal of choice for engagement rings, especially because it allows for easy setting of valuable gemstones like diamonds. Notably, platinum jewelry does not wear down with time, which means a lower risk of the precious gemstones falling out.
It’s worth noting, however, that despite platinum’s tarnish resistance, this metal develops a patina, a textured matte finish that alters the appearance of the platinum jewelry, meaning that it will look a little different than it did while still new. This patina is, fortunately, nothing undesirable. To retain the original, lustrous, and shiny finish of platinum, you’d have to get the platinum jewelry polished professionally.
Silver jewelry, on the other hand, is less durable, and in addition to losing its shape or thinning out, it’s prone to tarnishing. When it tarnishes, the silver jewelry forms black specks – this often happens when the silver jewelry is exposed to pollutants and water. So, if you are looking for valuable jewelry made of durable and tarnish-resistant materials, we’d recommend platinum jewelry rather than sterling silver.
Does pure platinum turn yellow?
No, platinum doesn’t turn yellow over time. Although it develops a patina that gives it a matte finish, your platinum jewelry will not have much of a change in terms of color. It is corrosion and tarnish-resistant, and as the patina formed only gives it a greyish, matte finish, but nothing yellow.
Does platinum tarnish in chlorine?
No. As mentioned above, this precious metal used in jewelry making is corrosion-resistant and also non-reactive, thanks to the high purity of platinum that ranges from 95 – 98%.
It’s also quite durable, and thanks to its durability, it will not tarnish when exposed to chlorine.
However, it is a good idea to exercise caution and take care of your fine jewelry, and it is advisable that you remove the platinum jewelry before you go out for a swim.
Does platinum tarnish in saltwater?
While it’s not advisable to wear jewelry when going out to the ocean, there are metals that generally safe to keep on, even in salty water. Platinum is one such metal.
Metals like sterling silver, pewter, and copper would be greatly damaged in the ocean or when exposed to sweat from working out, but platinum is much more durable, and it will not tarnish in saltwater.
That said, you should wash the platinum jewelry as soon as you get home. And store them appropriately – this also applies to jewelry made of white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold.
Does platinum plated jewelry tarnish?
Yes, despite the durability of platinum, this precious metal would still tarnish when it’s used to plate/ coat other metals.
Tarnishing will not happen overnight, though, and unless the layer of platinum is too thin, then it will wear away after some months, exposing the base metals.
Although platinum is scratch-resistant and it offers protection to the base metal when it’s used to plate the base metal, it will give way to and for the scratching, exposing the metal underneath.
In cases where the platinum coating is too thin, the platinum wears out, and the exposed base metal will turn the skin green. This means that if you have a platinum-plated piece of jewelry, it will tarnish, change color, or even irritate the skin eventually.
Does platinum-plated silver tarnish?
Sterling silver jewelry is quite soft; it tarnishes easily and also gets scratched fast. Platinum, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of sterling silver, and it’s resistant to oxidation, scratching, and rusting or tarnishing.
So, a plated layer of platinum on silver will lend the protective features of platinum to the sterling silver, making it more durable and tarnish-resistant. But this plated piece will not be tarnish-resistant forever.
Thanks to the extremely thin layer of platinum used to plate the sterling silver, and the platinum will eventually wear out. So, it may eventually tarnish.
Does platinum plated copper tarnish?
Though noble and extremely durable, platinum and other platinum-group metals that offer great protection to the metals they are bonded with through electroplating don’t last forever.
Platinum plating enhances the durability of the copper and also increases its hardness and even corrosion/ tarnish resistance. But there is a catch, and after some time, the layer of platinum might start to wear out, exposing the metal underneath.
So, after some months or years, the copper would be exposed. In other words, the platinum is exposed or lightly scratched, and still, there is nothing protective under the platinum; the piece will eventually tarnish.
If you are not sure about buying platinum jewelry or if you wanted to know if the jewelry is really worth your money, you now know that platinum would easily be the best metals to invest in today.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.