The findings of an independent study, which proves the long-supported anecdotal evidence of platinum’s superiority in wear resistance and gem setting security versus that of gold jewellery, has been released by the Platinum Guild International (PGI).
The most recent phase of research represented the third in a series of platinum wear testing studies, spanning 2016 to 2020. Conducted by fem Research Institute Precious Metals + Metal Chemistry, in association with TechForm Advanced Casting Technology and PGI, the study aimed to characterise the underlying reasons for platinum’s reported wear superiority.
Key conclusions established by the study are two-fold, and state that platinum alloys demonstrate superior wear resistance over white gold alloys, with the absolute and relative volume losses of the platinum alloys demonstrating to be lower than that of the gold alloys, PGI notes.
It says bench jewellers will most often cite that platinum jewellery pieces that have long been in service are found to be in sound shape without extensive repairs being needed. Further, there is an infrequent need to re-tip platinum prongs versus gold prongs.
Platinum shanks, meanwhile, do not tend to wear thin and need replacement as often as gold shanks.
The PGI says the study was also conducted to measure the differences in performance of platinum alloys versus gold alloys in terms of prong wear.
Two platinum and four gold alloys were studied for the purpose of this research, and were analysed under five separate processes, including scratch testing, wear testing, corrosion testing, mechanical properties testing, and metallographic examination via optical and scanning electron microscopy.
“After years of testing, these comprehensive findings confirm significantly lower volume loss on platinum jewellery alloys versus common white gold jewellery alloys,” TechForm president Teresa Frye comments.
She added that, through the use of standardised testing designed for jewellery purposes, the company was able to successfully replicate observations of platinum’s superior wear resistance made by bench jewellers across the world.
PGI CEO Huw Daniel, meanwhile, notes that the research has provided conclusive evidence that platinum is “without doubt, the superior precious metal for fine jewellery”, adding that “its beauty is matched by performance characteristics that include better wear over time, and the securest setting for diamonds, good reasons to provide peace of mind to jewellers and consumers around the world”.
A final phase of research with additional alloys used across international markets is currently being conducted.