When buying a diamond ring, in addition to choosing its style, the material of the setting is also another item to consider. The color and characteristics of the metal directly affect the appearance and safety of the ring. Among them, the most well-known and popular materials are platinum (PT) and 18K gold.
Platinum is an extremely precious metal, its abbreviation is PT. As platinum has a high density as well as purity, and it is rarer than gold, it is often used as a material for wedding rings. The origins of platinum is limited, including mainly Russia and South Africa.
Color：Natural Silver White
Platinum 950: Refers to jewelry containing 95.0% of pure platinum, of which 5% is alloy. It is mostly used for mounting jewelry, engraved with "Pt950". Platinum 900: Refers to jewelry containing 90.0% pure platinum, of which 10% is alloy. It is mostly used for mounting jewelry, engraved with "Pt900".
Pros：Production is scarce and very precious. It is extremely pure, non-allergic, suitable for people who are prone to allergies. And it is not easy to fade over a very long time.
Cons：The texture is soft and easily damaged. The price is more expensive than 18K gold.
2) 18K Gold
18K Gold, also known as AU750, AU is the chemical symbol of Gold. The "K" in 18K gold comes from "KARAT", which is used to measure the purity of gold. 18K gold refers to a gold content of up to 75% and a mixture of 25% other metals, including silver, palladium, platinum, nickel, etc.
Color：Mixing different metal alloys will make karat gold appear different hues after electroplating, including 18K white gold, 18K yellow gold and 18K rose gold. 18K white gold is the most common and popular color, 18K yellow gold suits better with yellow diamonds, and 18K rose gold suits better with pink diamonds or low-color grade diamonds.
Pros：High hardness, relatively wear-resistant and secure, not easy to damage.
Cons：Lightweight, fades with prolonged wear.
3) Comparison of Platinum and Karat Gold
Which one is better, platinum or 18K gold? The two have their own advantages in different aspects. For an engagement ring mounted with a diamond, which is high in value, we generally prefer 18K gold as the setting material for the following reasons:
18K Gold has high hardness to hold the diamond in place more securely, while platinum is comparably softer with higher purity.
Compared to platinum, the hardness and wear resistance of 18K gold are better, less prone to wear. And from an aesthetic point of view, the scratches left on platinum are more conspicuous than those on 18K gold, and are more visible to the naked eye.
- Variety of Styles
Since platinum has less output and lower hardness than 18K gold, it is less suitable for mounting luxury style jewelry. While 18k gold has good ductility, high strength and low melting point, so it is easier to cast and mold. In addition, the color of 18K gold varies more. So, 18K is more desirable for making a broader variety of jewelry styles.
When to Choose Platinum?
Mainly in these two situations：
1. Wedding Ring
As mentioned above, platinum will not fade, symbolizing the purity and eternity of love. It is of special significance in the purchase of wedding rings. And wedding rings are usually mounted with no or just tiny diamonds, so the safety of diamonds are not a great concern.
2. Hyperallergic Skin
Platinum is very suitable for people with skin allergies, it is hypoallergenic. As for 18K gold, although it is not as hypoallergenic as platinum, it is still much better than silver/copper jewelry in the market.
4) Which Setting Method Is Suitable for Platinum and 18K Gold on a Diamond Ring?
Prong setting is the most popular and classic setting method. It can be categorized into four prong and six prong settings：
Four Prong Setting
Standard Four Prongs︰ The four prongs on the diamond are set according to the directions of 2, 4, 8, and 10 o'clock, it is close to a square image;
Diagonal Four Prongs︰ The four prongs on the diamond are set according to the four directions of north, east, south and west. It has an visual effect of enlarging the diamond, which is suitable for those who want to highlight the center stone.
Pros： The design is more concise, effectively highlighting the main diamond.
Cons： Comparatively less secure than size prongs setting
Six Prong Setting
More suitable for diamonds larger than one carat. The six-prong setting is designed to effectively set diamonds more firmly and securely.
Pros： The most classic and durable setting method, with high security
Cons： As there are more number of prongs, the diamond may be slightly blocked.
The Three Main Setting Methods
All in all, considering the safety factor, if you want to choose platinum, it is best to choose six prongs setting. While 18K gold is already quite safe as a setting material, four prongs or six prongs method depends on the customer's personal preference.