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Platinum Patina – What You Need to Know

Platinum wedding rings on a leaf

When it comes to engagement and wedding bands, platinum is one of the top choices for most people. Known for its durability, luster and hue, platinum is arguably the most prestigious metal there is.

But there’s one main issue with platinum and that is platinum patina.

While some people love the look of platinum patina, others find it off-putting. Let’s take a look at what platinum patina is and how to deal with it.

What is Platinum Patina?

platinum engagement ring with patina

Platinum Ring with Patina

Shiny platinum engagement ring

Lustrous Platinum Ring

When you buy a new platinum ring, it tends to be smooth, lustrous and shiny. But over time, with daily wear and tear, the surface of platinum starts to change and develops a patina. This results in a loss of luster, a different texture on the ring and a worn, aged appearance.

What makes platinum different to a metal like gold is that, as it gets scratched platinum doesn’t lose the scratched portion. Instead, the scratched bit of metal simply moves, accommodating the dent. Think of it like a ring made of playdoh – if you scratch it with a pin, the playdoh just moves around, it isn’t lost.

So why is this important?

This means that the ring can regain its former luster if the metal is polished. It also means that over time you won’t lose any of the weight of your platinum as it only displaces and doesn’t come off. This means that a platinum ring can last for generations and still essentially remain the same.

This video by Blue Nile shows how a platinum ring is polished to remove the patina.

Do All Platinum Rings Get a Patina?

Platinum patina is common and it’s highly likely that your platinum ring will show some signs of patina over time. Platinum bands tend to patina around 12 months into wearing your ring but this can greatly vary.

Having said that, whether your ring patinas depends on a number of factors, such as how often you wear the ring and how much exposure it receives. Generally, the lower portion of a platinum ring tends to start acquiring a patina before the upper parts of the ring.

Is Platinum Patina Good or Bad?

platinum ring with no patina

Whether the platinum patina is good or bad depends on how you view it. There’s no right or wrong answer here, as it’s very subjective.

Some people love the look of the patina, preferring a worn appearance over a new, shiny one. They also like the contrast it can give to diamonds. The marked surface can look more interesting than a lustrous, new band and gives an antique look to the ring. For the romantic, the patina tells a story of the ring’s journey and if passed down to the next generation, it continues this story.  

On the other hand, some people find that the patina makes their ring look aged and beaten up. A diamond may appear too brilliant and beautiful next to the platinum band which may suffer by contrast.

Here’s what some of our readers said when asked if platinum patina was good or bad:

Moira: I polish my engagement and wedding bands every year not because I don’t like the patina per se, but I just love how shiny the rings get once they’re polished. They just stand out more.

Samira: I like how heavy and substantial platinum rings feel on my finger. The patina is just a bonus.

Greta: Personally, I don’t like how antique the patina makes my ring look. I prefer a shiny ring, because that’s the look I’ve always wanted from my rings which was why I chose white gold.

Removing Platinum Patina

Polishing platinum patina

If you decide that you don’t like the look of the patina, you can easily have the patina removed. Here are two ways to do it:

  • The easiest and most foolproof way is to take the ring to a professional and have them polish or buff it up for you. This will remove the dents by redistributing the platinum and make the surface smooth and lustrous again. Once restored, the platinum can remain shiny for up to a year depending on how its worn.
  • Use a polishing cloth, like this one which comes highly recommended, to buff the ring and restore its luster. While this may not remove all the patina, it can come very close.
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