If you (and your spouse-to-be) are into white metals, platinum is as premium as you can get. We love it because it’s sleek and hypo-allergenic. So even if your beloved is sensitive to metals, they won’t react or get a rash from their platinum engagement ring. It’s a pricier option than white gold, but it’s worth that difference in cost. So what should you consider?
Start by picking the shape of the ring. You may have heard of standard/comfort fit (with a rounded shape that hugs the finger) or flush-fit (with a flat shape facing the finger). But you need to upgrade the outside too. It can be domed aka round/classic. It can be knife-edge aka triangle. It can be square with flour flat sides, both inside and outside. It can even be matte.
Platinum Engagement Rings Buying Guide
Platinum is denser than other metals. So it’s heavier and wears away slower. But it also scratches easily. That said, it costs more (than gold) because it’s rarer, denser, and needs expensive processing compared to gold. So let’s make sure you buy the right platinum!
Tip #1: Do NOT Try the Scratch Test!
First off, processed platinum can cost three times more than gold. Even though their raw price is the reverse, unrefined gold costing close to double per ounce. And visually, even the best jeweler can’t tell a platinum ring from a white gold one. So why pay more for 33%?
Well, the perceived value is higher (and the resale value too). But if you scrape or dent that display ring – which is annoyingly easy to do – you’ll be stuck paying for flawed jewelry. And it’s a hefty price. So shop with your eyes and if you must handle the ring, be gentle!
Tip #2: Think About Cloning
Platinum is sometimes described as a ‘soft-hard metal’. The top layers take longer to wear down. But the high polish leaves this metal susceptible to physical damage. So it’s not a ring your beloved will wear every day. Especially if their career keeps them out and about.
And since we’ve said white gold is cheaper (and visually identical), ask the jewelry to clone an identical ring (but in white gold) that your future spouse can show off every day. Leave the real platinum ring for special occasions. Your accountant and insurers will thank you.
Tip #3: Ask About After Sales Services
We’re going to talk about white gold a lot in this article because it’s the most common platinum clone. Or maybe it’s just the most affordable. Either way, white gold is often alloyed with palladium and nickel then electroplated with rhodium. And rhodium eventually ‘fades’.
But what really happens is the rhodium wears off so it needs fresh electroplating and polishing. Platinum retains its purity and tone over time, but it does get dull. So find a jeweler that will clean and polish the ring regularly as part of their platinum package.
Tip #4: Check What Your Fiancé(e) Wears
Because platinum is 11% heavier than yellow gold and 33% denser than white gold, it feels heftier and more solid on your finger. Men especially might like that weighty sensation. But your bride or groom-to-be may be the type that prefers slight, delicate jewelry on the daily.
Check that jewelry drawer. Are the rings thick and wide or are more of them slim and dainty? Remember, platinum is pricy, so there’s no point forking out for 6mm when your beloved would be happier wearing 1.5. Spend that extra cash on a higher carat gemstone.
Tip #5: Do a Hand Test
If your spouse-to-be is shopping with you, they can try the platinum engagement ring on their finger. In general, white metal looks more flattering on lighter skin tones, but the prestige of platinum outweighs that. And it outweighs white gold too – by as much as double.
So when the jeweler shows you a platinum ring, ask them for a white gold ring in the same style and thickness. It’ll probably be 18k, maybe 14k. Put the platinum and white gold ring in your palms to get a sense of their mass and feel. Platinum should feel significantly heavier.
Tip #6: Understand the Price Difference
You don’t want to walk into a jeweler and ask dumb questions. If they mark you as a newbie, they may overcharge you. So get familiar with platinum first. Raw platinum used to cost more than raw gold. Because platinum was a military metal and 30 times rarer than gold.
It was – and is – expensive to mine, meaning there’s less of it in the ground and we’re not bringing as much as we’d like because it costs too much. Platinum has a high melting point, so its processing is more labor-intensive. Plus it doesn’t fade to yellow as white gold does.
Tip #7: Don’t Bash the Rhodium
White gold rings might contain yellow gold, silver, nickel or palladium, and rhodium. The rings are mechanically electrolyzed in a rhodium solution. When the rhodium ‘rubs off’, the ring goes grey and yellow. But … platinum rings often have a rhodium electroplate as well.
Remember, it’s a soft hard metal, and the rhodium makes it a little harder to scratch. Difference being the platinum engagement ring will be just as white after the rhodium ‘washes off’. So you’re sure to look silly if you go demanding ‘zero rhodium content’.
Tip #8: Check the Grade
Gold is marked in karats, which might be branded on the inside of the ring. And the purest form is 24k. Platinum is measured in parts per thousand. These can equate to percentages. So a platinum ring marked 950 has 950 parts per thousand, which can be simplified to 95%.
The 50 ‘missing parts’ that make up the 5% could be Iridium, Cobalt, or Ruthenium. The cobalt-laced variant is the strongest, but cobalt can cause allergies and isn’t considered a precious metal. But any ring with a 950 hallmark is officially considered pure platinum. Another mark you might see is an orb with a cross inside a pentagon. It’s common in the UK.
Tip #9: Think About the Wedding Band
It’s increasingly common for brides (and modern grooms) to stack their rings. But metals of different kinds and karats will wear at different rates. Especially if you wear them both every day. Engagement and wedding rings should be the same metal color, grade, and quality.
So if you’re buying a platinum engagement ring – even if you add a cheaper costume ring twin – you’ll have to buy a platinum wedding band too. And even if you don’t both get rings for your engagement, you’ll both wear wedding rings. So that’s three platinum price tags …
Tip #10: Put Platinum in the Prongs
Mixing metals is a popular style, but you have to do it carefully to maintain taste and value. Platinum is the strongest of the white metals. But it’s also the most expensive. So if your budget is strained, consider getting a more affordable shank in white gold or silver. Then get a good diamond and use platinum prongs in the gemstone setting. It gives a firmer grasp.
Platinum will hold the diamond securely whether it’s in claw, basket, or bezel form. And you can use what you save on a full platinum shank to get a bigger gemstone or a whiter high-grade diamond. Alternatively, use white gold prongs on a platinum shank – rigid white gold is less prone to bending. So if the claw is pressed, it pushes back into place. Platinum doesn’t.
Tip #11: Baby Maybe?
This may seem silly, but I’m sure you and your beloved have talked kids. And that could lead to shifts in weight. Which can cause ice-cream wars and tears before you settle on resizing. This could also be a factor if your fiancée has a history of fluctuating weight for any reason.
Don’t bring it up – there’s no way that conversation ends well. But if you’ve been together long enough to propose, you know your lover’s body image issues. All this is to say platinum is the easiest metal to resize. It’s done by laser unless the metal is heavy on brittle palladium.
Tip #12: It May Need Thickening
White gold rings fade to yellowish-grey over time. This is fixed by adding a new layer of rhodium plating. But with platinum, the color doesn’t change even when the rhodium wears off. So your beloved may not notice once the rhodium is gone and now it’s platinum eroding.
Meaning s/he won’t know the ring has worn away until it starts to feel loose on their finger. But that means extra expense because now you have to thicken the ring. The jeweler will rework the ring to add more platinum and restore its bulk. And that process won’t be cheap…
Tip #13: Don’t Blame the Magnet
You’re shopping for platinum engagement rings online. So you’ve seen all those cute videos about spotting real gems from fake ones. If it’s metal being tested, a magnet is likely to be involved. The theory is precious metals (gold, silver, etc.) will not respond to magnets. So if your ‘pure metal’ jewelry reacts, it probably has traces of iron, nickel, cobalt, titanium.
Google says close to twenty existing metals are magnetic. And PT950 has at least 5% of those magnetic metals. Plus, platinum is paramagnetic. It may respond to magnets, but just barely, lifting slightly for a few seconds before dropping back down. And it’s not because platinum is heavy! So don’t rush to call the ring a fake when it leaned over for a briefly magnetic wink.
Tip #14: Try Channel and Pavé Styles
Platinum is so pricy that by the time you’re done with the band, you may not want to hear about diamonds! And while platinum rings retain their color, they quickly lose their shine. Polishing or re-plating (with rhodium) will solve this, but you’ll have to repeat the process.
So if your fiancé(e) wants a glimmering ring, try adding more sparkle to the shank. Fit the platinum engagement ring’s band with smaller gemstones in brilliant cuts. This leaves less of the paling platinum visible. And if the gems are shiny enough, they overpower the patina.
Tip #15: Read the Label
We talked about UK hallmarks (PT/PL 950 etc). And you already know any 95% platinum ring is termed pure. But here’s the catch. In the US, you can only claim something is platinum if it has 95% or higher. If it drops to 93% or even 90%, its category shifts.
In such cases, the ring will be marked with its minor metal first. So it might be branded Irid/Plat or Cobalt/Plat even if that secondary metal is less than 4%. And this type of stamp can make the metal – and engagement ring – seem cheaper or less premium to your beloved.
Top 15 Platinum Engagement Rings
We’ve spoken a lot about these rings, but you might still be unsure of what to choose. Yes, it’s going to be a platinum ring, but what kind of ring, and how should you style it? If your beloved has sent clear specifications, you have a starting point. But in case you’re still floundering in the white metal aisle, check out these 15 platinum engagement rings we love.
1. Platinum Classic Verragio Engagement Ring
2. Platinum Art Deco Engagement Ring
Art deco is defined by geometry and architectural sensibilities. And this platinum ring fits right in. The cushion-cut center stone is flanked by half-moons and princess cuts in bezels.
3. Vintage Inspired Antique Platinum Ring
Genuine antique platinum is bound to look beaten up. So if you like the retro look with a modern shine, try this shield-shaped halo flanking a gemstone in white, black, or blue.
4. Platinum Enchanted Swirl Ring
White metals work beautifully with colored stones. On this platinum engagement ring, the central diamond is surrounded by whirls of swirling sapphires and shiny beaded prongs.
5. Platinum Open Lace Pavé Halo
Open backs allow a gemstone to sparkle brighter by letting extra light shine through. Thus ring has a hollow basket of crescent swirls that form a floral halo of arc and diamond fillings.
6. Platinum Pave Wave Ring
Who says that pavé sparkle has to be straight? For this platinum engagement ring, the jewel-clad split shank forms infinity signs (or 50 shades masks?) on either side of the center stone!
7. Platinum Blossom Engagement Ring
The reason you work with top jewelers is they can take your busy fantasies and form something simply beautiful. This ring has milgrain, floral engravings, plus orange blossoms!
8. Platinum Milgrain Navette Engagement Ring
Another reason you work with jewelry pros? They know these old industry terms. Those marquise milgrain beads arranged like aerial boat views with center stones? That’s navette.
9. Platinum Scroll Engagement Ring
Scroll rings are a beautiful hybrid. This platinum one has two rows of pavé ensconced in milgrain. It has a square shank with coiled filigree at the top and open sides for shine.
10. Platinum Paisley Engagement Ring
We love how these platinum engagement rings are seducing antique motifs into modern mindsets. Take paisley – the most baroque of shapes. And see how it shines in white metal!
11. Platinum Reverse Milgrain Ring
Sometimes you get an impossible brief. “I want milgrain. But inside out.” Tada! This platinum shank has smooth tapered edges and a beaded band that bows toward the middle.
12. Double Claw Split Shank Platinum Ring
Twin claws offer your gemstone additional protection. In this ring, one claw holds the crown. The second claw is a split-shank extension from the band, touching the stone at four points.
13. East-West Graduated Pavé Ring
This chunky ring feels simultaneously open and closed. It’s only a 2mm shank but the boxiness makes it seem wider. The lattice setting gets maximum shine from this emerald cut.
14. Twisted Pavé Kite Set Ring
When a square stone is set east-west, that’s called a kite setting. And this ring steps it up even further by twisting the pavé into four swirls that curl around the central kite diamond.
15. Split Shank Platinum Pave Ring
For our final ring design, the split shank is encrusted almost all the way around this double band. The two shanks are spread wider so that the princess cut diamond sits snugly between.
What style of platinum engagement rings has currently caught your eye? Show us samples!