Author Topic: Question about the materials in ring settings  (Read 4216 times)

Offline Late Unicorn

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Question about the materials in ring settings
« on: March 30, 2012, 09:24:17 PM »
For a while now, I've had my heart set on platinum settings for my any rings I buy.  I like the smooth, sedate look of platinum, and I read that it's hypoallergenic.  But I've also just read that platinum rings are difficult to impossible to resize.  Is that...true?  The practical side of my personality balks at the idea of investing in something that can't be resized if necessary.

Offline DiamondsAreForever

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1623
Re: Question about the materials in ring settings
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 03:10:46 AM »
For a while now, I've had my heart set on platinum settings for my any rings I buy.  I like the smooth, sedate look of platinum, and I read that it's hypoallergenic.  But I've also just read that platinum rings are difficult to impossible to resize.  Is that...true?  The practical side of my personality balks at the idea of investing in something that can't be resized if necessary.
I've had two platinum rings resized. I don't know if it's difficult to do, but I think platinum has a higher melting point than gold. You cannot tell that they've been resized. The rings went from size 6 up to a size 9 which is usually pushing it for resizing but they're fine.

Oh, make that four rings. I forgot to include my ruby ring which is my icon and also my fancy light yellow Marquise.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 03:12:24 AM by DiamondsAreForever »

Offline Mrs Mitchell

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7847
Re: Question about the materials in ring settings
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 05:41:07 AM »
No, it isn't impossible to size platinum rings, not at all. In fact, I have recently done that very thing myself.

However, my have-a-go heroics aside, this is work that really needs to be done by someone skilled in working with platinum, and I'd prefer it done by laser than cut and solder, as you'd do with gold or silver.

If it has micropave on the shank, as many platinum rings do, it can be more difficult. There are sizing limitations to some designs, regardless of the metal they are made of.

Talk to us before you decide - we can go through the options and any associated limitations with you! Of course, one advantage to DBL rings is that we can do any necessary adjustments or repairs in-house. That means that the skill of the craftsman who works on them won't be in question, my biggest concern when I have sizing etc done.

Bottom line, the outcome of any work done to any piece, in any metal is down to the skill of the person who does that work.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 05:42:21 AM by Mrs Mitchell »
Customer Service Associate
jennifer@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline oldmancoyote

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4363
Re: Question about the materials in ring settings
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 06:22:53 AM »
You got the facts. Now for the geeks:

The legend about platinum not being resizable is due to the fact that gold is much easier to solder:

1. Typical temperature for gold solder flow is between 700 C and 900 C; true platinum solder has a minimum flow temp of 1300 C. This is not only harder to achieve; it presents real problems for thin parts and pieces with set gems or in mixed metals (pure gold melts at 1064 C; alloys usually lower).

2. Gold is relatively tolerant of "dirt"; platinum is not. It won't stick cleanly unless the environment is very clean.

3. Soldering technique on platinum is very different. Flux is often not used (another reason for wanting a very clean environment). Most metal-smithing training focuses on gold and silver, where the techniques are somewhat similar to each other.

4. Many "platinum" solders contain little or no platinum, and this can cause problems for colour matching and polishing (the solder is much softer than the platinum).

5. Laser welding is a common replacement technique for soldering for platinum repairs and alterations precisely because it avoids all of the problems above. But a good laser welder is still costing several $10,000, so not all shops will have or can afford one (never mind the training and expertise to use it properly).

Put all of this together, and you see why the legend arose... but as Jen and DAF have already said, it is perfectly feasible.

For those that want to know more about platinum solders, here is an interesting article - if slightly difficult to read because of the background; blast amateur site designers. It's about 10 years old, and no doubt things have improved since then, but physics is what it is, and the above problems will remain no matter what the evolution of metallurgy.

Offline Late Unicorn

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: Question about the materials in ring settings
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 12:45:06 AM »
Wow, thanks! All of that really makes me think twice about platinum settings after all.

Offline oldmancoyote

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4363
Re: Question about the materials in ring settings
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 03:43:18 AM »
LU, in what sense?

I wouldn't want my technical post as to why many people say "oh, platinum is a pain" to be read as "yes it is". I could write an equally convoluted one about gold, and white gold in particular, highlighting as many technical issues.

What I was trying to show is that there are reasons why platinum is seen as a pain by many jewellers, but these are not insurmountable. All it takes is know how. Then again, you are not getting your rings fixed by an electrician, or your car by a bricklayer, are you?

Offline Mrs Mitchell

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7847
Re: Question about the materials in ring settings
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 03:59:38 AM »
Yes, platinum can be sized - maybe I should have been clearer too. Sorry. There is no good reason not to have platinum, if it's what you want and like.

If it's platinum, a good, competent bench worker can size it, you just have to find one. On the other hand, if it's DBL platinum, we'll deal with that side of things and you'll never have to think about it again.

Either way, it's a great choice (my own rings are mostly platinum, and I never regretted it).

Customer Service Associate
jennifer@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline Late Unicorn

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: Question about the materials in ring settings
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 02:02:00 AM »
Quote
LU, in what sense?

Oh, I just meant that it does sound as if platinum set rings would be harder to resize, even if not impossibly so. Again, I'm a practically minded person, so the idea of having to go through an elaborate or difficult process to find a qualified resizer person is a little daunting.

However, in rereading this thread, I don't know if I'm really that much more likely to forgo the platinum. It is very pretty.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 02:02:36 AM by Late Unicorn »

Offline oldmancoyote

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4363
Re: Question about the materials in ring settings
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 02:19:56 AM »
It's not any more elaborate than finding a competent craftsman(woman) for any other task. Just don't assume that "any jeweler" will do - any more than "any jeweler" is a competent stone cutter, or stone setter, or gilder, or bench jeweler, or ...

You would have exactly the same problem (though related to different issues) with gold. It's a bit like going to a piano tuner and asking for help with your cello...

Offline clgwli

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4488
Re: Question about the materials in ring settings
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 08:21:18 AM »
I totally agree with OMC on this!  Finding a competent metal smith would be the hardest part no matter what.  I have had jewelers mess up gold items just as quick as anything else.  The right jeweler will have the tools and ability to fix or size a piece no matter what it is made out of.

Resizing platinum is not the same as resizing gold, but that isn't to say it is so much harder to find someone who can resize it well.  I like gold for some items and platinum for others.  I just know I will not let "just anyone" fix any of my jewelry no matter what.

Don't let this deter you.  Platinum is no where near "impossible" to resize.  Save that for other non-traditional metals that really are extremely hard if not impossible to resize like tungsten and titanium.  Platinum is not one of those :)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 08:22:01 AM by clgwli »
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline Trinkette

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7796
Re: Question about the materials in ring settings
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 11:45:22 AM »
I agree, I'd not call platinum more difficult to resize. Just as already expressed here, resizing platinum means finding a shop with access to appropriate equipment and skilled craftspeople. In fact, as a jewelry metal, I see white gold as more problematic than platinum... but, that's another story...