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Is my ring really platinum?

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I am recently married and we purchased what we thought was a platinum engagement ring. It had been sized and everything was fine. On the honeymoon I noticed the back of the ring was tarnished and yellow. We were confused as to why a platinum ring would tarnish. When we returned to the store we were told they made a mistake and the ring was really white gold. The offered to replace the band with a platinum band which we accepted. When we received the new ring, within a week the crown was bend and the back of the band looked like it had been hit several times with a hammer. When returned yet again and they admitted they did a poor job and fixed the ring. Now a month later the same thing has happened. Is it possible that the ring is not made out of platinum, but some kind of other metal?

Kim Cormack
- Brampton, Ontario, Canada


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Kim, if the only thing odd about the ring is that it doesn't stand up to lots of wear and tear, then it could very well be the platinum you wanted. Platinum is a soft metal, easily deformed. If you are getting tarnishing, or color change, then I would suspect that it wasn't platinum.

It's a bit of a long shot, but do you have any friends in a University or Commercial research lab? Should you know anyone with access to a scanning electron microscope, it's a piece of cake , about 5 minutes, to verify that the ring is platinum using the X ray analysis feature of that instrumentation. The best thing is that it is non-destructive, the downside is that it can only analyze the very outside surface of the jewelry. If it is rhodium plated, all I'd get are rhodium peaks. Yet since platinum rings should not be plated, it should be a superb test.

Should you have a friend with access to an SEM, don't hesitate to ask. I commonly do this sort of analysis for folks I work with and their friends, as do my compatriots in other companies.

Lee Gearhart
metallurgist
East Aurora, New York



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I bought a platinum wedding band.. It was sized to fit my finger. When It was given to me and I looked at the sizing job the back of the band looked awfully thin. I asked the sales person if it would bend. She replied that since it was platinum it would be fine. Well you probably guessed it but it bent. I took it to my jeweler and they informed me that they might have to cut it and put a new piece of platinum on it (costing me about$200.00 dollars). Is this normal. Should my Platinum ring have bent? Shout it not have been sized? Please help..

Ahinoam Bustamante
Teacher - Ocoee, Florida


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I am very confused about platinum. About a year and a half ago I purchased an antique nouveau eternity band in platinum. I chose this sort of ring, because I did not want to worry about the finish of white gold, and I had heard that platinum was a strong metal.

Very recently, I was wearing my ring (which I wore daily) and realized that one of my diamonds and the platinum that held it fell off of the ring. Should this have happened?

When I called the jeweler, they informed me that although platinum is heavy, it is actually very soft. If this is the case, then why do jewelers puff up the benefits of choosing platinum settings for diamond rings?

I am heart broken that this happened to my ring. I had hoped to pass it down as an heirloom to my daughter one day. Now I have to watch how I wear it, so a stone doesn't fall out?

Amy Hutcherson
- Bristow, Virginia, United States


July 10, 2008

I am getting a eczema kind of rash around my finger where my "platinum" wedding ring is. A friend said platinum would not do this.

Recently I had my ring cleaned, and the person cleaning it (not a jeweler) told me my ring may not be platinum, because it had a black tarnish rub off on the cloth?

Should I be concerned?

Heather Shea
general - Livermore, California, USA

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