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Platinum care – How to clean platinum
Platinum is a metal often chosen in fine jewellery for its uniquely durable properties and brilliant shine, offering a high standard of quality, and resistance to both fading and tarnishing. Nonetheless a platinum polish may be required from time to time in order to keep jewellery such as platinum engagement rings looking their best. The first step in how to clean platinum is understanding its unique properties.
Image Source: 1791Rings (Own work) via Creative Commons
Platinum jewellery will scratch with wear like all other precious metals. However, it will not change colour or fade in brilliance. When it is scratched, the metal is merely displaced rather than removed. Platinum’s molecular structure is so dense that it is very hard to wear down, allowing it to retain the same weight over time. Although the platinum itself may not change colour or gain a heavy patina with age, the piece may look darker than when first purchased. Some people prefer this soft change in colour which can be easily buffed away by a jeweller should you prefer.
To best prevent damage, platinum jewellery, and indeed any precious metals, should be removed during housework or cleaning using bleach or other abrasive materials. Avoid wearing your jewellery during manual labour, including basic gardening and cleaning. When not being worn, jewellery should be properly stored in its own compartment or jewellery bag in order to prevent scratching either against hard surfaces, other jewellery, or even rough materials such as the denim of a trouser pocket.
How to polish platinum – Step by step
- Dedicated Gold or platinum polish is available, but using a mild detergent such as washing up liquid will also suffice. A few drops in lukewarm water will be ample for soaking platinum jewellery.
- Scrub your metal with a soft toothbrush or gentle hand cloth, taking care not to apply too great an amount of pressure which can scratch the finish of your piece.
- Allow the ring to air dry before buffing it gently with a clean, lint-free cloth. Cloths such as those used for cleaning glasses are ideal.
If your piece has gemstones in addition to the platinum, you should check with your jeweller before subjecting it to home-soaking. Some gemstones will require even gentler care. However, in most cases, methods for how to clean platinum are identical to how you would any other piece of fine jewellery.
In addition to soaking or polishing, jewellery can be kept looking its best by a professional jeweller who can restore its original lustre if necessary. This can be achieved either through buffing or being plated with rhodium for an added reflective sheen to leave you with a smooth, brilliant finish.