Back to the beginning
 
     
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
-- Advertisement --

 

Platinum Settings

Platinum is a soft metal by nature, at only 50 HV. Some jewellers sell pure Platinum (PT1000) jewellery and wedding bands. Avoid these jewellery unless you want your precious wedding bands to warp, or your diamonds to fall out of your proposal rings. Platinum needs to be alloyed with another metal to give it hardness, and it is the other metal that determines the hardness of the alloy.

Most shops in Singapore sell PT900 platinum jewellery. So, we know that the alloy is 90% platinum. The sales people actually do not know what the other 10% is, when it is acutally the other 10% that determines the hardness of the alloy. However, one can safely assume that the other alloy is Iridium, simply because it is the cheapest alloy amongst the lot. This gives the alloy a hardness of 115 HV, which is an acceptable hardness.

I have a chart of the most common commercial platinum mixes below. None of the normal commercial mixes are bad, just very different, and they serve different purposes.

 

Plat vs Other Metal %
Fineness
Melt/C
Hardness (HV)
Pure Platinum, No Alloy Added
999
1773
50
5% Copper
950
1725
120
5% Cobalt
950
1750
135
3Cobalt/7% Palladium
900
1730
125
5% Cobalt / 10% Palladium
850
1710
150
1.5% Indium /3%Gallium
950
1550
225
5% Iridium
950
1780
80
10% Iridium
900
1780
115
5% Palladium
950
1755
60
10% Palladium
900
1750
80
15% Palladium
850
1730
90
5% Ruthenium
950
1780
135+
5% Tungsten
950
1830
135
 
 

To make things really simple for you, I am not aware of any other mix being used by jewellers in Singapore, except for Iridium (probably because it is the cheapest). I am sure that you can request for your preferred mix from some fine jewellers, but it will be expensive to bring in a block of platinum alloy just for you. Hence you will have to be prepared for the high price. If you can afford to pay, a 5% Ruthenium mix is a good option.

Important

Since most Platinum jewellery in Singapore are made with the Platininum/Iridium alloy, we have to be careful with the hardness.

If you buy a ring from a chain store or regular jeweller, it is likely to be die cast; simply because It is more cost effective to die cast and reproduce many similar rings. That is why their jewellery can be priced so low. The drawback of die casting is that the ring will not benefit from work hardening. Therefore, please make sure that the ring is PT900 so that it will at least be 115 HV. This is hard enough for a diamond ring or a wedding band.

Most custom jewellery are made with PT950 Platinum because the alloy is softer (80 HV) and easier to work with. It takes considerably more effort to custom make a PT900 ring, which will probably increase the labour cost. Of course, you may insist on PT900, but do not expect to pay less even though the alloy has less Platinum content.

PT950 is acceptable for custom work because the alloy will benefit from work hardening. Usually, after being die struck (when making the ring) and annealed (during setting), the alloy can attain an acceptable hardness beyond 100 HV.

Price

Expect to pay about S$700 to S$1500 for a good custom platinum setting, depending on the workmanship and the weight of Platinum used.

 
     

Next: White Gold Settings...