Saturday, June 23, 2007

Platinum Wedding Bands

All e- Wedding Bands platinum bands are SOLID (not hollow) 95% pure platinum and 5% ruthenium. This particular platinum/ruthenium alloy combination -- generally referred to as PLAT or PT950 -- is the highest purity available in platinum bands. Platinum wedding bands made with ruthenium are harder and more durable than platinum wedding bands made with iridium. In addition, all of our platinum bands are made from the highest quality seamless tubing with the exception of a few of our Unique and hand-woven or braided styles.

All of our Platinum Wedding Bands are stamped with either PLAT or PT950, both of which indicate pure PT950 quality as required by the FTC. We strictly follow guidelines set by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Title 16, sec. 23.7 which states: (1) "The following abbreviations...may be used for quality marks on articles: "Plat." or "Pt." for Platinum. (2) An industry product consisting of at least 950 parts per thousand platinum may be marked or described as "Platinum." We want you to be 100% confident in ordering from us and knowing that you are receiving true PT950 platinum!

When deciding on the best precious metal for your wedding band, we would like to give you some information regarding different types of metals. We have received valuable feedback from our customers in the past and we would like to share that feedback with you.

How does Platinum differ from White Gold?
Unlike white gold, which is pure yellow gold mixed with alloys that overpower the yellow color and create an almost white color, Platinum is naturally white. Platinum is very durable and typically outlasts gold by many years. Platinum is also one of the heaviest metals, weighing almost 60% more than 14K gold. This property gives platinum jewelry the substantial feel that many people prefer. However, care and maintenance of Platinum is a bit more demanding than gold is. Read more about the maintenance of Platinum below. The Platinum offered by e- Wedding Bands is 95% (PT950) pure. White Gold is 75% pure (18K) or 58.3% pure (14K) and is combined with nickel and copper alloys.

How durable is Platinum and why does e-Wedding bands sell 95% pure Platinum (marked PLAT or PT950) and not 100% pure Platinum?
Platinum in its pure form is relatively soft. When alloyed with Ruthenium, however, it is extremely strong and malleable. If we were to offer 100% pure Platinum, your ring would bend and scratch far more easily than PT950 Platinum does. The stamp of PLAT* or PT950 on your ring is your guarantee that it is truly 95% pure. Some jewelers offer PT900 platinum which is no stronger and contains less platinum. We encourage you to be careful with PT900 as some jewelers use it to increase their profit by selling a customer inferior metal, and thus providing a lower value.

Why is Platinum more expensive than Gold?
Platinum is mined primarily in Russia where the unstable political and economic climate has led Russia to restrict the export of Platinum. As a result, prices are typically higher than gold. Platinum is a rare metal that today requires the processing of nearly 10 tons of ore for one ounce of Platinum. In comparison, Gold requires only 3-4 tons of raw rock for the same yield. There are also fewer Platinum mines. For every 10 Gold mines there is only one Platinum mine.

How do I care for and maintain Platinum?
No jewelry is completely resistant to scratches, and Platinum is no exception. Often times Platinum loses its new look a bit more rapidly than gold, but with proper care can retain its new look. Unlike Gold which is easily restored to a like-new appearance with just a few minutes of polishing and cleaning, Platinum is more difficult to polish and refinish than gold. The result is that Platinum is very beautiful when maintained, but maintaining it can be a bit more time-consuming and costly than gold.

A brief history of Platinum
The first Platinum processing techniques date to Ancient Egypt in 700 BC. Platinum was not widely used in jewelry design until the 18th century. From 1901-1940 Platinum was the metal of choice, lending its unique luster to classic Deco and Art Nouveau designs. In 1940, during World War II, Platinum was placed on the strategic metals list. This prohibited its use in jewelry fabrication and White Gold became the white metal of choice. After its removal from the restricted metals list, Platinum found widespread use in the electronics and automobile industries. By the late 1980s Platinum had begun its resurgence in fine jewelry.

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