Should You be Buying Pure Platinum as an Investment?
Platinum jewellery makes a captivating addition to anyone's jewellery collection. Often associated with the aristocracy, and highly coveted due to its exclusivity, platinum jewellery is more than deserving of a place within your fashion repertoire. Thankfully, platinum is no longer reserved just for the elite. In recent years, it’s made the leap into popular consumer culture – which has seen it become more accessible than ever.
Platinum is often paired with sparkling diamonds. This is in large part due to the fact that its own natural sheen and lustre add to the brilliance of a diamond, as well as the fact that its strength and non-reactive nature create the preferred metal setting for diamond jewellery. However, platinum also shines when it’s unadorned.
But outside of this precious metal’s general ability to look great against any skin tone, we’re sure there are plenty of you also wondering: is platinum a good investment?
What is platinum?
Time for a brief science lesson – are you sitting up straight? Platinum is a naturally occurring, lustrous, and rare metal. Represented within the Periodic Table by the symbol “Pt” and with the atomic number 78, it is one of the strongest and most resilient elements in nature. Due to platinum’s scarcity in the earth’s crust, just a few hundred tonnes of the metal are mined annually. This short supply enhances the metal’s prestige, which results in it being considered an extremely valuable and precious commodity. Platinum jewellery, however, is usually not comprised of pure platinum. Its expense and malleability mean that most jewellers prefer to combine with platinum group metals, such as palladium or rhodium, or other base metals, such as copper or cobalt. This results in a cheaper, harder alloy. Platinum is rarer than gold in the metal hierarchy, easily remembered through this simple rule: platinum over gold credit cards. Why should you buy platinum jewellery? Platinum is not just a favourite for wedding bands and engagement rings – it is the rare metal from which the finest jewellery ideas are made real. Some of the world’s hottest designers utilise platinum to create their jewellery. Due to mass demand, platinum jewellery is also appearing on everyone’s ‘must-have’ jewellery list. Thanks to this, platinum jewellery becoming more affordable and accessible for a wider audience of buyers looking at investing in platinum. Throughout modern history, those of royal lineage, the exclusive elite, and media A-listers have commissioned, bought, flaunted, and gifted platinum jewellery. These days, however, platinum jewellery has become a viable option for the rest of us looking at making a platinum investment. The truth is: it often does make for a fantastic investment, being precious and eternal, timelessly fashionable, and simultaneously good for regular, maintenance-free wear. Platinum effortlessly assumes the role of a true status symbol. Thanks to its timeless appeal, platinum has also managed to become a bridal essential. Recently, advertising gurus have successfully positioned platinum bands and rings as the holy grail for couples in the ‘man and wife’ stage of their lives. Platinum is more durable than any other metal on earth, which is an attribute every couple hopes to bring into their marriage. Branding and symbolism aside, platinum is simply great to wear and buy for the sake of fashion, as well as posterity.
Platinum vs gold vs silver
Platinum is a whopping 30 times rarer than gold (and certainly rarer than silver), making it more expensive and, ultimately, more desirable.
Silver, the cheapest of the three metals, is usually more brittle and tarnish-prone but still a winning choice for an antique, oxidised, and glamorous look. As precious as silver is (and it will always have a special place in our hearts), investing in jewellery usually comes down to a two-horse race.
Wondering whether to invest in gold, silver, or platinum? It basically comes down to whether gold or platinum is a better investment. Although gold certainly has its own ageless appeal, platinum is quickly gaining a prominent place in the cultural imagination. Due to this, women with a more urbane outlook have already begun to incorporate platinum jewellery as somewhat of a ‘pièce de résistance’ in their wardrobe. Although white gold may look like platinum to the naked eye, there is a world of difference separating them.
The fact is, 18-karat white gold is 75% gold which is mixed with nickel, zinc, or rhodium plating. 14-karat gold is only 58.3% gold which is mixed with other metals. Pure platinum jewellery, however, consists of a massive 95% pure platinum which is mixed with rhodium, other platinum metal groups, or silver. It is also denser than white gold, as white gold is more reliant on other metals for its durability.
Yellow gold, which comes in both 22-karat and 18-karat combinations, is mixed with other alloys such as nickel, copper, or silver. Rose gold on the other hand is always mixed solely with copper, which provides it with its famously romantic pink hue. The colour and affordability of rose gold often make it the preferred choice for young couples.
Yellow and rose gold which are alloyed with lesser metals can run the risk of causing unfortunate skin irritations to the wearer. This is because other metals (particularly nickel) are renowned skin irritators.
Pure platinum, on the other hand, is not dependent on these lesser metals for its durability. It is hypoallergenic, meaning potential buyers' minds can be alleviated where allergies or skin irritations are concerned.
How to care for platinum jewellery
Platinum jewellery’s most precious and treasured attribute is that it does not fade or lose its shine over time. Furthermore, it is an extremely hard-wearing and resistant metal, being 60% denser than gold. Due to this durability, it won’t damage or wear down as easily as other precious metals do, which means that it consistently maintains its original platinum weight. In other words, a frequently worn platinum ring made ten years ago will still contain the same original weight (and therefore the same platinum mass) today.
Over a long period, however, a thin, soft patina may set over the piece. Unlike other metal patinas, this is not a reaction with oxygen or other chemicals, but the result of small dents and scratches which remove the metal’s polished finish. This patina could slightly darken your platinum jewellery’s otherwise radiant glow.
There is also a chance of the prongs on your ring coming loose, as well as the possibility of hairline cracks occurring due to minor accidents.
The good news is that you can follow these steps below in order to protect your expensive platinum rings and jewellery from enduring damage:
Remove your platinum rings or bracelets before handling bleach or other abrasive chemicals, especially if your jewellery has gemstones in it (the chemicals won’t harm the platinum, but may cause damage, breakage, or discolouration to the gemstones).
Avoid operating heavy machinery or gardening tools whilst wearing your platinum jewellery.
Use a special jewellery cleaning solution (which is designed only for platinum jewellery) when cleaning your jewellery.
For regular cleaning, use mildly soapy water or dishwashing liquid, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub away grime from the intricate prong settings and crevices.
Always use warm water to rinse your platinum jewellery after you’ve cleaned it
Use a soft, lint-free cloth to dry it off.
If resizing or repairing is to be done, make sure your jeweller uses platinum for the process (if white gold is used, dark, patchy colouration may appear on the jewellery).
If you see the soft patina setting over your platinum jewellery and would prefer a more thorough and professional cleansing, take it to a trusted jeweller for polishing.
Apart from wedding bands or engagement rings, any platinum jewellery which you do not wear on a daily basis should be stored away separately from other jewellery pieces (in a jewellery box or pouch, concealed in a Ziploc bag or some soft fabric).
Platinum never fails to delight any jewellerista thanks to its boundless charm and sophisticated elegance. If you’ve not yet considered expanding your jewellery collection by adding some eternal pieces of platinum to it, it’s never been a better time to make that platinum leap.
Even if you’re not ready for platinum wedding rings, you can always start by exploring platinum bracelets, charms, necklaces, or pendants. These are guaranteed to leave you feeling classy and fabulous. If you feel you’re ready to venture into the stylish world of platinum jewellery, why not begin by checking out 7879’s exclusive Platinum Collection.