Why Does a Platinum Ring Dent?

by A. Scott Walton

Platinum is known for its strength and resistance to scratches.

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Platinum is considered one of the most precious metals found on Earth, and it also ranks high among the most durable minerals. Rings made of platinum are prized commodities because of their enduring shine and strength. Like gold and silver jewelry, platinum items may scratch -- but the surface material will not be displaced. Scratches on platinum may show up as dents, but the damage can be buffed away in the hands of a qualified jewelry repair firm.

Uniqueness

Platinum is 30 times more rare than gold, which makes it a high-priced commodity. Unlike other precious metals, it does not require chemical treatment to maintain its natural glow. It is highly resistant to tarnishing through contact with the skin or the atmosphere. The United States maintains standards of 90- to 95-percent purity for platinum products. Only two other elements -- the platinum-based metals Osmium and Iridium -- are more dense than the alloy that platinum rings are made from.

Durability

Platinum is so strong that scratches on its surface don't last for long, if they occur at all. The structural capacities of platinum result in abrasions showing up as dents in the metal rather than scratches. Platinum is such a dense metal that indentations are absorbed into the ring, rather than flaking away. Platinum rings can withstand harsh detergent agents with their natural sheen intact, but gemstone fixtures may be loosened by exposure to handiwork and cleaning regimens.

Maintenance

Consult a reputable jeweler for advice about repairing a noticeable dent in a platinum ring. Platinum rings can be cleaned with a simple rinse with soap and water and towel dried; the patina that accompanies years of wear and interaction with skin may persist. A trusted jewelry-repair shop can apply high heat to the ring to buff away any noticeable dents.

Safekeeping

To avoid dents and other damage to platinum rings, remove them whenever your hands will be in contact with hard or rough surfaces. Store platinum rings separately from other jewelry items that might compress the surface and cause dents. When traveling, store platinum rings in a secure location, such as a hotel safe.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

A. Scott Walton began his journalism career in 1985 at the "Nashville Tennessean." His reports have extended to radio, television and the Web and he has written extensively for the "Detroit Free Press," the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," the "Atlanta Voice" and many other publications. Walton holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Vanderbilt University.