Sounds like an easy enough question, yet many retailers and industry members do not know the answer. To assist in finding the answer to this question, Platinum Guild International USA has launched a new initiative to educate the industry on the importance of understanding different platinum alloys and how they impact jewelry manufacturing.
Nearly all precious metal jewelry is made from alloys, a mixture of the primary precious metal and one or more other precious or base metals. While many may be aware that platinum is naturally white, ensuring it will not fade or change color over time; durable, meaning a customer will not lose metal as a result of normal wear and tear unlike other metals; and that it holds diamonds and gemstones most securely, retailers may not know the alloy composition of the platinum jewelry they currently sell. Other metals used in creating platinum jewelry alloys commonly include Ruthenium, Cobalt and Iridium, in various percentages.
These percentages are of utmost importance, as the alloy composition can significantly impact wear performance. Below is an easy-to-reference infographic summarizing the most commonly used platinum jewelry alloys in the US and their impact on jewelry manufacturing.
The PGI USA Platinum Alloys 101 infographic is available for download here via PlatinumLearning.com.
Most platinum jewelry in the US is made from alloys that are best for all manufacturing processes like casting, machining, die-striking and/or hand-fabricated designs. As the infographic shows, PGI USA has identified one alloy that should not be considered for casting jewelry or setting gemstones, as the resulting product may not meet long-term quality control standards. Posing the question ‘What’s in Your Platinum’ to manufacturers and retailers will help PGI USA to share important guidance to those companies using a problematic alloy. The goal is helping them switch to a better alternative that ensures optimal gemstone security, wear performance and customer satisfaction.
PGI USA has set up a dedicated web page, https://www.platinumlearning.com/alloys/, for retailers and manufacturers to provide information on the specific alloys being used in their platinum jewelry.