Platinum rings are wonderful pieces of jewelry; the metal is lustrous and beautiful, without a tendency to turn yellow like white gold. So why is it so difficult and pricey to get them resized? Here’s the full rundown on platinum ring resizing.
What is Platinum?
Platinum is an silvery-white precious metal that is corrosion-resistant and hefty. Out of the four precious jewelry metals (silver, gold, palladium, and platinum) it is the most dense.
Because of its rarity and heavy weight, platinum is quite expensive. In addition, commercial-grade platinum alloys must contain at least 85% platinum, as opposed to gold, which can be sold at 41.6% purity or 10 karat gold. This means that you’re paying for a good amount of platinum within your ring, which increases the price.
Why Is Platinum Difficult to Resize?
Resizing platinum rings can be tricky. Compared to the other precious metals, platinum requires a higher heating point and the labor is more intensive and time-consuming. Heat travels relatively faster through platinum, increasing the risk of damaging stones in the sizing process. It also tends to develop porosity, or little holes from air in the metal during work.
As a result of these qualities, jewelers have to spend more time working on platinum rings than other rings made from gold or silver.
Sizing Platinum Rings
When a jeweler works on a platinum ring resizing, there are a few things they need to do.
- Stone removal: Because of platinum’s fast heat transference, and need for high temperatures, the jeweler will usually remove any stones set in the ring before working with the metal. This is to avoid any kind of damage to the stone, especially if it’s a fragile gem such as emerald or opal.
- Sizing: Once the ring is properly prepared, the jeweler proceeds to size the ring. Ring sizing involves cutting the ring’s shank open to either remove or add metal. While this procedure can involve a torch, it’s recommended to use a laser machine for platinum ring resizing because it is far more precise and even in terms of heat. Once the jeweler successfully cuts and opens the ring, they use platinum wire instead of solder to fuse the ring back together. All of these steps in combination will prevent the creation of any visible sizing lines or porosity at the area of work if done correctly.
- Stone setting: After the ring is sized, the jeweler proceeds to reset all of the stones that were initially removed. It’s actually easier to set stones back into platinum than gold and silver, because of the malleability of the metal.
- Polishing and cleaning: The final step in the process is polishing and cleaning. The polisher will either polish the ring to a high finish, or a matte/brushed finish that helps to disguise platinum’s tendency to scratch. The ring is then cleaned in steam or an ultrasonic tank to remove any debris from the work.
Platinum rings are wonderful pieces to have as heirlooms, but make sure you’re well-informed on their characteristics and how to take care of them! Now that you’re up-to-date on how they’re resized, make sure you send them to someone who knows how to properly size the metal (like us!) Get started with your platinum ring resizing with the services below.