Platinum is one of the most popular metals used in Diamond Engagement Rings and Wedding Rings. Over 80% of our customers opt for Platinum as opposed to gold. Platinum is a naturally 100% white metal, it will never fade in colour, it also helps improve the sparkle and vibrancy of any diamond set in it.
The purest metal
Platinum is usually hallmarked ‘950’. This stands for 95% pure platinum then the other 5% will be palladium, iridium, ruthenium and other alloys. These help the platinum bond together forming a sold item. If the metal was not alloyed with another type it would simply be too weak.
As well as being one of the purest metals it is also the rarest. It is over 30 times more so than gold. Making it even more of a special purchase.
Platinum is an extremely durable metal, the density makes it the most secure metal to set a diamond into. Over time it is common for platinum to develop what is known as a ‘patina’. This is where the metal starts to appear slightly misty, don’t worry this is a natural occurrence. The patina can be easily removed by having the item of jewellery re-polished.
Gold has been used in jewellery for thousands of years; it has been used as ornaments by kings, as currency and more recently in a wide range electronics. It has a distinct yellow colour and is also resistant to rust. Gold is extremely durable and can be hammered or pressed into any shape.
The colour of gold is determined by the type of metals it is alloyed with, for example if it is alloyed with a silver coloured metal it will appear more white in appearance.
Gold in its most basic form would be far too soft to wear every day. It is alloyed with a mixture of metals such as nickel, copper, zinc and silver to give it the strength to be worn every day. The purity of gold is graded by the ‘Karat’ it is. Not to be confused with carat weight used to measure diamonds. For example 18ct Gold is hallmarked ‘750’ meaning that it is 75% pure, this is then alloyed with other metals to give the strength. This applies to all types of gold.
Natural gold is saturated with coloured alloys to give the beautiful rich colour. The most common alloys gold is mixed with to give its beautiful yellow hue are silver with a green hue and copper with a red hue. These metals create its natural warm look.
Customers find white gold particularly appealing due to its white appearance and it’s slightly cheaper price as opposed to platinum. White gold is then mixed with a white alloy to give it a whiter finish. It is then rhodium plated to give it that beautiful clean white finish, this will wear off over time and despite the amount of white alloy added it will still have a yellow sheen when the plating wears off. This can be reapplied easily, by re-polishing the ring and re-doing the rhodium plating. The ring will then look just like the day you brought it.
The lovely pink hue that rose gold has is given by the copper alloy it is mixed with. This particular metal has seen a revival in the last year with many people deciding to have diamond engagement rings made in it. It gives the rings and jewellery a beautiful antique look and adds something different to your jewellery collection.
This metal is a relative newcomer to the industry. Despite being discovered in 1803 by William Wollaston it has only been used in jewellery since around 1939. It finally became a fully hallmarked metal in January. It is a member of the platinum family but is a lot more light weight, if you were to compare the two in visual appearance they would be pretty similar, however if you were to hold them in separate hands you would notice a difference. It wears the same as platinum, also developing a slight patina. It is also hallmarked ‘950’, the same as platinum. There will be a centurion style marking to denote that it is palladium.
Our commitment to hallmarking
When it comes to manufacturing jewellery, precious metals (palladium, gold and platinum) are rarely used in their purest form. Instead they are usually alloyed with lesser metals to achieve a desired strength, durability, and colour.
It is not possible to detect the precious metal content of an item by sight or by touch. It is, therefore, a legal requirement to have items consisting of palladium, gold or platinum independently tested and then hallmarked before they can be described as such. Items must bear a hallmark at point of sale, subject to the following weight exemptions:
Gold: mandatory for items above 1 gram; palladium: mandatory for items above 1 gram; platinum: mandatory for items above 0.5 grams.
Apex Jewellers Ltd T/A Diamond Heaven is registered with the Birmingham Assay Office ensuring our precious metal jewellery is compliant with the UK's hallmarking regulations. All stock is subject to an internal confirmation process to ensure it meets the UK's hallmarking regulations before it is dispatched to our customers.
For articles that are below the UK hallmarking Act's mandatory weight for hallmarking Apex Jewellers Ltd T/A Diamond Heaven operates a separate due diligence process which involves periodic voluntary testing of items that fall below the mandatory weight to ensure they meet the minimum fineness requirement.
We are an Assay Assured Jewellery Retailer. Assay Assured status is only given to retailers who have been independently audited and verified by Assay Assured which is run and overseen by the Edinburgh Assay Office, and ensures that all precious metal jewellery (except items exempt by weight) are independently tested and hallmarked.
Find out what a hallmark looks like here.