Jun 24

Why Platinum Rings Turn Dull so Fast, And What to do About it!

By Calla Gold

Scratches on This Platinum Set Represent Three Months of Wear

Scratches on This Dull Platinum Set Represent Three Months of Wear.

Platinum Can Let You Down in the Shine Department Big Time!

One of the biggest disappointments I’ve run into with couples as a wedding ring designer is finding someone who has dull plain platinum rings.

All they wanted was a plain and simple wedding band with an expanse of shiny platinum. Yummy. Only it doesn’t stay shiny for long. This is not what they signed up for!

Rhonda and Her Dull Platinum Ring

I was referred to Rhonda because of this dull platinum problem. Instead of a shiny platinum band, what she really had was a ring that looked like something someone made in metal shop to try make a quarter-sized circle to fool the soda machine. Dull, lackluster and boring looking is what she had.

Platinum Ring Missing Diamonds and Deeply Scratched

Platinum can Scratch More Deeply Than White Gold. Note the Slight Oval Deforming of the Ring.

Monthly Shinings Were Getting Old

Rhonda would take it in and get it shined by Jeweler A who made it in the first place and it would look great and shiny….. for about a month and then the dull crept in again!

Rhonda figured if she actually took it in monthly to be polished, which she didn’t have time for, she’d wear it down to nothing in time.

This dull look wasn’t working for her. She wanted beauty, sparkle and shine. This was NOT working out!

Dents and scratches on Platinum

Platinum Dents and Deforms When it Contacts Surfaces.

Rhonda Got Some Explanation About Platinum

Rhonda’s neighbor Justina called her over when I was there. I explained how the malleability of platinum allowed it to react with tiny microdents every time she touched a doorknob or something like that.

White gold on the other hand with its hardy alloys holds its shine much longer. This makes white gold a better metal choice for plain, shiny designs.

Am I Against Platinum?

I’m not saying don’t buy platinum, I love its malleability. It’s fun to work with for certain designs.

Scratched White Gold Band Ring

White Gold Ring Still Shining Even With Ridiculous Amount of Scratching.

It takes curves in hand engraving like a knife to butter. Beautifully.

I just personally think that if you are going for a platinum wedding ring choice, you should go for details in your design, as opposed to plain, flat and shiny.

Rhonda told me that she was on the point of chucking her platinum ring and finding another setting. Aggg, no, wait!

Don’t Chuck it, Change it!

Rhonda, with a nudge from Justina, asked for suggestions to change her platinum ring so she’d like its look better.

I suggested that hand engraving which adds interest, detail and differing levels of metal height would create sparkle and shiny areas on her ring.

Platinum Hand Engraved Wedding Set With Diamonds

After Dullness and Plain Finish Were Boring Her, I Had a Client’s Engagement Ring Hand Engraved. Then we Made a Diamond Wedding Band Engraved to Go With it.

Also a choice mentioned  was that setting some little sparkly diamonds in the platinum would liven it up nicely too.

She ended up having me do both. Rhonda loves her ring which she now gets compliments on. She told me “it sparkles like love when I look at it.”

That’s my kind of happy ending!

Calla Gold


44 thoughts on “Why Platinum Rings Turn Dull so Fast, And What to do About it!

    • Hi Nancy,
      Thank you for coming by and reading and enjoying my article about why platinum dulls so fast.
      Calla Gold

  1. I have a hand engraved platinum ring that I love but it sure is scratched and dull underneath. The engraved wedding set you designed is one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. You’ve inspired me to do something about my ring and bring back its beauty! I’ll be calling you Calla!

    • Hi Lori,
      I look forward to seeing your engraved platinum ring. Hopefully I can carefully polish your engraving and bring it back to that pretty look that makes you love it. I’ll sit by the phone! Well maybe not all the time!!
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  2. Calla, what a wonderful solution you came up with! I learned a lot in this article. I wouldn’t hesitate to refer anyone to you, who had a platinum ring that they were unhappy with. Actually, I wouldn’t hesitate to refer anyone with jewelry issues to you! Great article!


    • Hi Linda,
      Your words make my heart sing! Thank you so much. I’m glad you liked the solution to platinum’s little problem.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  3. FANTASTIC ARTICLE. I always learn so much about jewelry from Calla Gold. Thanks again, for educating us about the quirks of platinum.

  4. Whenever Ive noticed a beautiful Platinum ring it gave me a bad case of the “envies,” but now that I know about the downside I’ve decided white gold will be my next goal. Meanwhile, Calla you are a master jeweler. I really love the ring you redesigned to help your customer fall in LOVE again with her misbehaving wedding ring. Such service and passion you put into to your work…you roar!

    • Linda,
      I’m thrilled to help tame the envies! You are pretty cute there my dear.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla Gold

  5. Hi Calla Gold,

    I’m not sure that I follow. Are you saying that platinum is softer (more malleable) than gold? I’m asking because that is patently not true. In fact, it’s the opposite. Where did you get your information?

    • Hello Christoffer,
      You are right that pure gold is more malleable than pure platinum.
      In this blog post I am saying that platinum rings are more malleable than most gold rings.Gold is heavily alloyed with harder metals to give it more strength and toughness. Platinum is much less alloyed when used in jewelry.
      It is this choice that causes the unintended effect of quicker dulling on a platinum ring than a gold one.
      In this blog post:
      I show graphs comparing the amount of pure gold vs alloys for jewelry making vs platinum.
      Pure gold is more malleable than platinum. My point in this blog post about platinum and its habit of dulling quickly, is to inform people of this platinum quirk and suggest ways to deal with it.
      I appreciate your writing and perhaps putting your finger on a part of my blog that was less than clear. I hope this clears that up.
      Calla Gold

    • Dear Emi,
      I think the textural look will make a nice difference in the look of your platinum band. The faceted textural look is a nice look.
      Platinum Jeweler,
      Calla Gold

  6. I had a platinum ring made but realised the width was too thin for my liking after it’s been made! It’s been set with tiny little diamonds halfway around the band. Now I’m wondering if it’s possible to have it re-made to become wider, or does that mean just buying a new ring altogether?

    • Hello Gem,
      I had a client with a too thin platinum band with diamonds and engraving. It was doing that muffin top thing on her hand. She’d chosen that thinner width so she could have platinum and there was a budget.
      Because it’d have been a waste of money to melt down her ring for credit, we made a matching ring and laser welded them together. I also accentuated the comfort fit underneath, that convex shape and that also helped make her finger not do the muffin top puffy look.
      It really worked out well.
      Since you have diamonds on your ring think if a second ring joined to it might just be the solution you seek.
      I’d love to hear in this comments section what you decide. I’ll help you if you need.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  7. Thanks for sharing the valuable information and i hope it helps many people. I too faced the same problem with my platinum ring. It was becoming very dull looking. I had to take it to the jeweler for polish work. Now I know a solution for it.

    • Hi David,
      I’m pleased that you liked the suggestions. So many people had mentioned this as a problem I felt it was time to write about it.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  8. Hi Calla,
    You sound very knowledgable about dull platnuim rings so I’m glad I found this article! Yesterday I took my engagement ring to get the prong repaired (same place as purchased). I brought my thin platnium band along with diamonds half way around and mention I no longer liked it bc the back looks like metal. I asked if he could do anything about that like add diamonds all the way around but he said it wasn’t worth it. He said he can smooth it out and it would look beautiful, essentially he would fix it for less than $75. I didn’t know any better & agreed. I like it, but my initial reaction was, “oh it’s clean.” not that he actually fixed anything. Was this way over priced?? how long before it tarnishes again and the back looks like an ugly piece of metal?
    Any suggestion to salvage this ring? I hate the back (non diamond part) but it’s so thin. Anything I can do? And should I complain?
    Thank you !

    • Hi Elise,
      My guess is that this jeweler polished your platinum ring and rhodium plated it to give it that nice shine. This will wear off. But to many wearers of plain platinum it is all they can do to make it look less like a fake nickel made in metal shop class.
      To salvage the ring and save it from dull boringness you could consider engraving on the plain part.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  9. Hi calla,
    Thank you. What is the price range for polish a band?

    Thank you!

  10. Is there a jewelry polish or anything that can be used to shine up a plain platinum wedding band? I go to the jewelry store every so often but would love to have something at home to use. I realize that any home shining/polishing would not be as good as a jewelry store. Thank you very much.

    • Hi Raylene,
      The reason that platinum gets dull is because of the micro-scratching on the surface. Because of this, a cleaner or polisher can’t undue what is causing the dullness. Because the surface is no longer smooth that’s the cause of the dullness.
      I use a high RPM rouge wheel to buff it to a shiny surface. You could also try a silver polishing cloth.
      I don’t know a particular liquid polish that is effective for polishing the dullness from platinum.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  11. Calla,
    I have been married 1.5 years and my husband spent LOTS of money on a beautiful platinum ring set – very ornate, lots of channel set diamonds and one big one. I have several issues with it – but the biggest one, is that we are having to polish it every month or so even though it is very ornate already because it looks like gun metal when we don’t. I don’t want to upset my husband, but it is too much maintenance and I just want something shiny. I really didnt care about the cost or metal value. What can I do? Can you tell me if rhodium plating it would be a good idea? Thanks!

    • Hi Susanne,
      I feel your pain. Having seen clients upset by this very problem I really feel for you. I would absolutely have your ring rhodium plated. That will help keep that gunmetal color at bay. You’ll probably want to re-do it once a year or so.
      Let me know how it goes.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  12. Thanks for article. I have been wondering why my platinum ring looked so crappy soon after we bought it. It really looks more like a ring made out of tin. Maybe I’ll go back to gold!

    • Hello Be,
      I’ve seen some pretty sad looking plain platinum bands and heard from some upset people. No one told them how quickly it could go bad and dull. I’m sorry you have experienced that. Consider some hand engraving or ideas to sparkle it up.
      Or go with gold.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  13. The BEST way to polish platinum yourself is clean with dawn and warm water with a soft bristle toothbrush, rinse , then dry with cotton terry cloth!
    THEN! USE a POLISHING CLOTH!!! it will shine like new! All the deeper scratches will remain but this polising cloth will make it VERY SHINY!!!
    I guarantee you that!!!

    • Dear Jo,
      I have not tried your method, but I happily put it up here. If any of you readers out there try it comment back on how effective you found it.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  14. Hello, and help please!?!
    I found your article truly informative and helpful! I designed my own ring after my husband proposed with the center stone in platinum. It is an antique look, cathedral setting, with numerous pave diamonds set into the crown, top, and sides of the band. The band has millegrain edges that continue as far down as the top pave diamonds and the hand engraved filigree work do on its sides. I have had the ring for exactly 2yrs and 10days. The millegrain seems to be melting away quickly before my eyes and the hand engraved filigree is slowly losing some of it’s definition. What can I do??? I’m ok with the lack luster look after only a month before I must have it polished the patina actually gives it an added antique look to it. BUT I’m not a fan of the actual design of the ring what we paid for disappearing. Unfortunely I am very rough with jewelry due to my lack of spatial awareness and I know that doesn’t help. My jeweler is prepared to remake the entire ring again in a different metal if I so choose, but again I come back to the millegrain melting away before my eyes!
    Please, do you have any recommendations for me?

    • Hello Amber,
      The tiny milgrain detail is quite vulnerable with a malleable metal like platinum. You have a couple of options. One is to recast the ring in a mix of 85% platinum and 15% hardening alloys which gives more hardness to the platinum. Or have your design re-done in white gold which is much stiffer as a metal.
      Or know that every two years you’ll need to have the milgrain engraving re-done. After a while though your ring gets worn away.
      I’m a fan of the 85/15 platinum for my platinum loving clients.
      I wish you the best of luck.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  15. I have a vintage platinum ring . It’s beautiful, except the band. It is awful. Especially the inside. It is so dark and ugly. What do you suggest?

    • HI Linda,
      Polishing it may solve the problem. If it still looks a bit dark, try having it rhodium plated to brighten it and bring the shiny happy look we all love from platinum.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  16. I have my mothers 1.60 mm, platinum wedding ring and it is over 90 years old. Granted when she gave it to me, (she said because I liked jewelry you couldn’t see! lol) it was in the eighties and it was in a box in her dresser. But I have worn it almost 24/7 since and it is still shiny and still has the decorative notches, for a better word, on it. I got a white gold ring just like it in early two thousand so I could wear them on either side of whatever other ring I wanted to wear to make it look more like a designer accent. Since I couldn’t seem to take mom’s ring off to wear another! (because of sentimentality) My confusion is it has held it shine for so long and I have noticed new platinum does look like gun metal quickly. I worked in a jewelry store for a few years and I noticed the alloy is less than that in the store. Mine is marked 950 Platinum & 050 Iridium. I rave about the durability of my platinum. Am I wrong? Why would mine stay shiny and keep its decorate notches?

    • Dear Laura,
      Platinum and iridium are a great mix. However these days that mix does tend to go in a gun metal grey direction. I cannot explain why this is. I certainly have observed older platinum rings that still show their engraving. It is one of the mysteries. The fact that it holds its shine is very unusual. That is not something I see in older platinum rings. Your little invisible ring sounds charming.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  17. I’m adding this to this very old thread because it’s one of the few forums that had a good fit in suitability for my recent experience. Ok so I purchased a 6 mm classic men’s plain wedding band in 95% Platinum. After wearing it for only a few days I noticed many scratches, scuffs and a couple deeper pit type dings. I was tempted to just return it since my preference is for the mirror look but wound up throwing caution to the wind and set about to DIY finish restoration but how was the question. S let me just say that in the end I did it and have decided to keep the ring because now with very little effort I can maintain the beautiful mirror like finish. The way I managed to accomplish this was by using my Dremel and two very amazing 3M products. The first is the 3M Rubbing Compound and the second was the 3M machine polishing compound. So all that was required was to apply a small amount of the rubbing compound to a white cotton Dremel buffing wheel and then carefully went around the ring on the Dremel’s highest speed. The ring will heat up a bit but I found no need to hold it with anything other than my fingers on the opposite side. The polishing compound on a second new clean cotton buffing wheel just brought it back up to perfection. So if anyone out there is considering doing this themselves all I can say is it is well worth the minimal time and effort and I am sure that my ring will be maintained in all of its glorious luster for many years to come.

    • Hello Cool Breeze,
      Thank you for sharing your DIY platinum polishing solution. 3M products are pretty amazing. I have a client who likes a satin finish which is fine lines creating a sheen not a shine and he re-ups it regularly with a 3M thing he showed me. His ring is also platinum.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  18. Hello Calla Gold,

    I have a platinum wedding set that just went in for some major repair work, previously had been sized up and co. used white gold instead of platinum so I paid good money to a different jeweler to have it all removed and redone with supposedly platinum. After 2 weeks of wear I have noticed a blackish tarnish color in the inside of ring itself against my finger I assume a spot where the repair came together. It is a small spot but would like to know why it has done that. Do you know what has caused this? I would like to take it back in to jeweler and question that but afraid he will lie to me about it so if you know I would like to have an idea before going in to see him… Thanks in advance…., 🙂

    • Hi Kat,
      It is possible that you have a thermal burn on your platinum which is where your platinum discolors in response to the heat of repair work using the open flame solder method. It had happened to me in the past a couple of times. I now use laser with my platinum repair work and haven’t had that problem. One other thing it could be is a contamination mark. If a tool used with platinum has previously been used on gold or silver the platinum can discolor due to that being there. This is a rare response, but having experienced it personally I thought I’m mention that it can happen.
      Not being there I don’t know what it looks like and couldn’t tell from looking at it what it was. I wish you luck with your sweet ring.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  19. Hi again,

    Just noticed you are in my old stomping grounds I am from Ventura/Camarillo. Used to work in SB. I miss the area but we moved to AZ. due to many reasons…. 🙂

    • Hi Kat,
      I’m glad you found me. I work long distance regularly if you’d love to reconnect with the area through your jewelry!
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  20. Hello – I know this is an old thread but you are the only company I can find that is writing about platinum and how to maintain it. My question is – I was wondering about platinum finishes on antique hand engraved rings with milligrain details. I don’t like having a shiny finish to the hand engraving when it is done. I have one ring that has the more gun metal description that is described and the hand engraving in the platinum looks very aged (it came like that). I have another set that is very shiny and this is not my favorite look. Is the only way to get this non-shiny, aged look to platinum is to black rhodium plate the ring? Or is there some kind of treatment that can be added after the fact to almost oxidize it? I can’t seem to find any explanation about finishing choices for women’s hand engraved platium rings. When trying to look this up, there are only answers about finishes on men’s bands.

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