Platinum jewellery stands out for its clarity and class. (Stock photo)

Seeking purity and class: The golden rules of buying platinum jewellery

Rarity and durability make the true white metal appealing to people searching for understated class

Namrata Kohli | New Delhi

Resilient, beautiful and pure: platinum is all these, giving it an appeal that jewellery made of gold, silver and diamonds lacks.

Platinum jewelry pieces are classy and exclusive. The metal is hypoallergenic, meaning virtually no one has an allergic reaction to it. Platinum is widely known for its ability to withstand daily wear without thinning. This noble metal, one of the strongest, natural materials on the planet, is also one of the longest-lasting. Platinum jewelry is almost entirely pure, at 95% purity even when it’s set with diamonds makes platinum one of the finest metals available on the market today. The metal is naturally white, versus white gold which is made with the addition of alloys, often nickel, that can cause allergic reactions. Very high on resilience, most 50+ year old antique engagement rings that are in good shape are platinum. Platinum has a very strong molecular bond, so even after decades of daily wear, very little metal actually rubs off.

According to a spokesperson from Platinum Guild International (PGI), an apex body for Platinum jewellery in India, “Platinum is the natural choice for milestone jewelry, such as engagement rings and wedding bands, because it holds significant gemstones better than any other precious metal. Being 40% denser than gold, platinum holds diamonds better than any other precious metal. Platinum is extremely durable. And unlike other white metal, which retains its whiteness only by being plated with rhodium, platinum jewellery does not need to be plated.” PGI conducted a study with NeilsenIQ soon after covid and found about 79% of consumers intend to purchase precious jewellery for themselves. The study revealed that the platinum brands present the ideal choice for self-purchase, as male and female consumers look to platinum jewellery to mark significant personal and professional achievements.”

Why should anyone buy platinum? Explains Rohan Sharma, Managing Director of RK Jewellers South Ex-2, “Platinum is a modern-era elegant jewel, with the rare qualities of uniqueness and rarity, asserts to be the most desired metal in comparison to gold, diamond, and silver. There are several reasons why, in comparison to the other metals present, Platinum is naturally denser which precisely makes it costlier as well, which results in it as to be the purest and most precious metal in jewelry. In terms of acceptability and beauty, when someone carries platinum, it showcases the grandeur of grace of the person, adorning the jewellery pieces. Platinum tends to be a level pricier than the other pieces, yet in contrast to the other precious metals, Platinum has a lower resale value, which makes it a one-time investment in the market.”

But why has platinum not got that kind of acceptability and marketability that gold and diamond have got in India. The fact is that the Indian consumer still prefers the yellow gold or even silver more than the white platinum. Jewellers candidly confess that we require more platinum to make a platinum ring as compared to gold, so platinum often costs 40-50% more than gold. Also, Indians do have an inclination towards yellow gold and we have seen it doing better than platinum or even white gold. In terms of scratches, platinum scratches more readily than 14k gold as platinum is softer. 14k gold has a 58.3% gold composition that makes it hard to scratch or l from dent.”

Platinum Purity

The jewellery making is more expensive with platinum. Platinum bears a higher melting point, and therefore, platinum jewellery is usually made in factories and not by bare hands. The jewellery manufacturing process is intricate and requires setting up expensive machinery and employing skilled workers. The making charges are therefore proportionately high for platinum jewellery.

The jewellery-making charges equate to the labour cost involved in creating the jewellery piece. These usually come to a specific percentage of the current price of platinum in the market. This is generally higher than the gold price.

What kind of budget should one keep for Platinum Jewellery?

Platinum Rings budget usually depends on how much platinum has been used in the ring and the diamond. Says Pawan Gupta, PP Jewellers by Pawan Gupta, “The diamond cost is determined by the color, clarity, cut and carat weight. It varies if stone is precious or semi precious.The price of a Platinum is determined by the purity of platinum that is measured on a scale ranging from 850 to 999 (or 85% to 99% pure).”

What about resale value of platinum pieces? For gold it is easy but how is it computed for platinum? Platinum jewellery is properly tested in an assaying lab for purity. The lab will provide a test report which will state the accurate weight of the sample & its purity in percentage or karats.

Value of Platinum in the sample = (Weight of Platinum x Purity of Platinum x Rate of Platinum today) / 100

For a precious metal like platinum, purity is imperative. Hallmarking the jewellery indicates its purity and type. This grading influences the price of the metal as well. In India, the hallmark symbol of platinum jewellery is ‘Pt950’. This classification denotes purity of 95 per cent. One can identify platinum jewellery by a unique number that also reveals the jewellery maker.

How to find real from fake Platinum. Use a magnifying glass or a jeweler’s loupe to study the markings on the Platinum jewellery. For example Look on the inner shank of the ring for any detailed letters or numbers. If the shank has a visible, “PT 950” symbol, reads “PT 950” markings, then the ring is definitely platinum. If the ring shows a 9K, 10K, 14K, 18K, 22K, with or without a series of three numbers, then the ring is not platinum. If the inside shank reads GF, GE, HGE, RGP or GP, the ring is not platinum.

Place the ring over heat. Use an oven mitt, and place the ring in a metal spoon. Hold the spoon over a gas stove flame. Watch to see if the spoon and the ring change colors. If the spoon changes colors and the piece of jewelry does not, it is probable that the ring is made of platinum. Platinum has a very high melting point and will not change colors when it is exposed to heat like other metals.

Take the ring to a jeweler. Allow a professional jeweler to examine and weigh the ring. In general, a professional jeweler will be able to correctly assess the ring without having to run extensive tests. For most professional jewelers, platinum will be visually recognizable and identifiable by weight. For an added fee, a jeweler will be able to run chemical tests to determine with 100 percent accuracy whether the ring is platinum. Also the simple fact is Platinum jewellery aren’t magnetic.

Maintaining Platinum

How should one maintain platinum jewelry, store it and maintain it? Explains Rohan Sharma, Managing Director of RK Jewellers South Ex-2, “Platinum is a high-end, luxury product that does not need much deep cleansing, instead, it requires much-needed care after the purchase. The purity of Platinum ensures that it doesn’t need much cleaning in comparison to other precious metals like gold, diamond, and silver, although avoiding a few actions can keep it evergreen. Ensuring to keep the platinum separately is important to avoid any scratches, taking the platinum to the jeweler in case of any damage, and for better cleaning, it can be done by the formulated cleanser for the jewelry. However, Platinum is an investment that works for its own beauty and purity.”

Price Chart

Whether rings, earrings or bracelets, there are a wide variety of platinum pieces that you can own

Jewellery Price (In Rs)
Platinum Chain 6.09g 28,000
Platinum Chain 22 inches 78 g 3.5 lakhs
Platinum Kada 63 g 2.82 lakhs
Luminate Platinum Swarovski® Zirconia Earrings 16,087- 51,204
Platinum And Rose Gold Bracelet
Platinum Bracelet 23.85g 1.06 lakhs
Platinum Ring 5.53g 73,374
Platinum And Rose Gold Diamond Necklace 16-inch 24.2 g 1.46 lakhs

Source: Candere, Kalyan Jewellers

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