While shopping for jewelry, you’re bound to come across a diamond set in platinum – among many other types of settings. These materials are famous for their bling and a lifetime of wear.
Given that both diamond and platinum are harder to come by, which of these two is the better material?
Diamond vs. platinum, which one has better characteristics?
The problem with comparing these two is that they have utterly different internal structures – given that one is a mineral and the other is metal.
But while it’s a somewhat unusual comparison, we’ll do our best to give you some answers.
In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about these two materials and why they’re such a good combination in jewelry.
What Is A Diamond?
Diamonds are made deep below the Earth’s crust. Carbon atoms are exposed to extremely high temperatures and high pressures, making the crystalline structure we all know and recognize as diamonds.
Diamonds are generally similar to coal or graphite since all these elements are constructed out of carbon atoms. However, the difference is the way these carbon atoms are sorted.
Plus, diamonds have the most concentrated form of carbon atoms.
These unique molecular structures give the diamond its notable characteristics and properties – and they’re what makes a diamond so durable, unlike any other stone on this planet.
General Use Of Diamonds
Apart from their use in jewelry, diamonds are heavily used by big industries such as the military, locomotive, and mining industries – all due to their properties.
Diamond pieces are added to saws and drills to make them more powerful and effective when cutting through rigid material.
In the medical field, small diamond particles known as nanodiamonds are utilized to monitor cell reactions to cancer medications. The diamond’s reflective properties allow doctors to view how the human body functions internally.
Furthermore, diamonds have been signed out as feasible agents for making bionic eye implants to fix visually impaired patients in the medical field.
Diamonds have also seen use in the beauty industry – with the new technology unveiling facial exfoliating masks. A diamond-based powder is used to reduce and minimize the appearance of skin imperfections and blemishes.
Also, sound professionals in the entertainment industry have turned to diamond usage in their speaker domes since they don’t damage the sound’s quality at higher vibrations.
For example, DJ equipment and recording players that use diamond needles in their systems produce high-end content.
Learn More: What Are Diamonds Used For Other Than Jewelry?
Let’s Talk About Platinum
Platinum is a naturally occurring precious metal with a white and silver color. It’s usually found uncombined in alluvial deposits.
Unlike gold – which requires alloying with other metals to make it stronger – platinum is used in a more pure form, generally around 95% platinum and 5% metal alloys such as palladium iridium or ruthenium, which are, by the way, all hypoallergenic.
Platinum is known not to tarnish like other metals, such as gold. Instead, platinum develops a shade of color at its surface called patina.
Interestingly enough, many people appreciate this shade in their rings since it reminds them of how long the relationship lasted – and shows that the owner was very fond of it.
Learn More: Platinum: Everything You Need to Know and More
A Brief History Of Platinum
While platinum and gold are similar in rarity, far less platinum is used in the minting bullion. The desirability of platinum comes from its gorgeous luster, strength, and its resistance to tarnishing.
These characteristics are what make platinum very popular in jewelry, too.
Platinum has been integrated into human lives since the ancient Egyptians – still, people started grasping the true qualities of this metal only centuries later.
Here, you’ll find a brief history of this beautiful white metal.
The earliest discoveries of platinum date back to the period of the ancient Egyptians. More specifically, the Casket of Thebes was discovered to be adorned with not only gold and silver but with platinum, as well.
In addition, indigenous South American people incorporated platinum into their necklaces and nose rings, often used as ceremonial jewelry.
These ancient uses of platinum likely didn’t consist of pure platinum, though. Instead, they used commonly found platinum mixtures that included iridium or palladium.
When the first Spanish explorers arrived in the New World, they discovered platinum alongside the gold. However, these 16th-century Conquistadors didn’t view platinum as luxurious as it is today.
Since explorers thought this white metal was a nuisance, much of the newly found platinum was discarded. By the way, the Spanish called this precious white metal “Platina,” a term derived from the word for silver – “Plata.”
Platinum’s credited discoverer was a Spanish explorer Antonio de Ulloa. He returned to Spain in 1746 with platinum – and news of this metal’s strange characteristics. Platinum was finally recognized as its own element in 1751 when it was successfully melted down for the first time.
In the following years, platinum’s melting point was determined, along with its resistance to corrosion and lack of flexibility. At this time, platinum was primarily used for decoration and laboratory instruments.
Also, around this time, platinum began to grab the attention of jewelers and other metalworkers. The goldsmith to Louis XVI, Marc Janety, started to use platinum to fashion chains and buttons for clothing, expensive cutlery, and other luxury pieces.
Platinum wasn’t used for jewelry until the evolution of jewelry torches that could reach higher temperatures required to manipulate the metal.
Louis Cartier was the first to produce jewelry items using platinum – and he was able to bring platinum’s luster and durability to light in this way. Cartier’s platinum jewelry pieces were widely popular, and he was considered the jeweler of kings – and the king of jewelers.
New Platinum Sources
While the usage of platinum started to gain popularity, its supply was somewhat limited. Until the early 1820s, Columbia was the only major platinum producer – and unfortunately, it has stopped exporting platinum around that time.
Luckily enough, soon after, platinum was discovered in the Ural Mountains in Russia, where it was mined and produced into roubles.
Russia would remain the leading producer of platinum for years to come.
In the 1880s, platinum was found in Ontario, after which Canada became the world’s biggest platinum producer and supplier following World War I.
Also, South Africa became a significant supplier of platinum at the beginning of the 1920s when a farmer discovered it in a riverbed. South Africa remains one of the world leaders in platinum production today.
20th Century Platinum Bullion
The Arab Oil Embargo caused an increase in the precious metals prices in the 1970s. That also included platinum.
It was around this time that platinum bars were introduced for individual purchase. This practice began in Japan but soon spread to the United States and Europe with the constant rise in prices. The 1980s also brought the manufacturing of platinum coinage.
The Isle of Man first manufactured a one-ounce platinum bullion coin, and its popularity caused other mints to follow the trend.
Canada’s Platinum Maple Leaf and Australia’s Platinum Koala coins were both released in 1988 – both were received with high demand. Along with the famous American Platinum Eagle, these coins brought the investment market of platinum to new heights.
In the modern age, platinum has numerous usages – and platinum jewelry remains the popular choice because of its resistance to tarnish, unlike silver and gold.
Platinum is mainly used in industrial processes as a catalytic converter in engines. You see, platinum is effective for converting harmful emissions from engines into less-harmful waste.
Platinum catalytic properties are also utilized within the oil industry – it extracts gasoline from crude oil.
Also, this metal is widely used to produce hard disks for computers in the electronic industry. Platinum boosts the hard disk’s magnetic properties and increases its storage capacity.
Finally, platinum can be found in the medical industry usage. It’s used for all sorts of purposes – including dental fillings, chemotherapy treatments, and pacemakers.
So, there might be some similarities between diamonds and platinum, after all.
Differences Between Diamond And Platinum
Platinum is a metal, and it’s similar to other metals like silver, copper, zinc – whereas a diamond is a gemstone. That alone is the most significant – and most obvious – difference.
A comparison between diamond and platinum won’t be detailed since they don’t share the same properties, the measure of scale, or market price. It’d be like comparing apples and oranges.
Since these two elements see primary usage in the design and production of engagement and wedding rings, diamond and platinum might still possess some similarities that have led to their combination in a ring setting.
The most apparent difference between diamond and platinum is that diamond is a mineral while platinum is a metal. Both have to be located by a global position system, after which they can be mined.
While platinum is only a naturally occurring element and can’t be duplicated by any known form of an artificial process, diamonds have been lab-created for the past 70 years with high success rates.
Platinum is measured and graded by its purity.
So, for a metal to be platinum-based, it should consist of 50% platinum, and the rest are alloys. A real platinum piece is marked 950, which signifies 95% purity.
Diamonds earn a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness when it comes to hardness. This scale measures resistance to scratching, and with a score of 10, diamonds can’t be scratched by any other material other than another diamond.
On the other hand, platinum has a score of 4-4.5. That makes platinum much softer compared to a diamond – and any other material with a higher score can scratch it.
We’ve compiled a table with some materials and their score on the Mohs scale of hardness to give you some perspective about hardness.
Keep in mind that we’ve divided it into two categories – metals and minerals.
When it comes to price, diamonds are sold per carat – and 1 carat in metrics converts to 200 milligrams.
The price of platinum per gram is around $25, whereas a 1-carat diamond costs anywhere between $3000 and $15000, depending on its cut, color, and clarity.
Therefore, diamonds are much more expensive than platinum.
Related Read: Price List: How Much Is A 0.1 To 40 Carat Diamond Worth?
Diamond And Platinum: The Perfect Pair For Your Ring
While platinum isn’t as hard as some other materials, it is undoubtedly strong – hence why it’s widely used in the industry. This durability and strength make platinum the perfect material for everyday wear.
But this is why platinum is usually more expensive than other metals – it’s less malleable, which makes it more challenging to work with in general.
However, this characteristic makes platinum suitable for setting gemstones since it holds them in place more firmly than other precious metals.
Unlike white gold, platinum has a natural white color, which means it won’t lose its plating when it gets scratched. Instead, the metal is displaced, creating what is known as the “patina finish.”
And in addition to being radiant and bright, platinum is also hypoallergenic.
Related Read: Platinum Vs. White Gold: Which One Is Better?
Diamonds are a classic and traditional choice for an engagement ring. And much like platinum, a diamond retains its sparkle for a lifetime, making it perfect for a ring that will be worn daily.
The other great thing about diamonds is that they’re natural in color – just like platinum – making them a perfect combination.
Both diamonds and platinum are naturally radiant and luxurious. Together, they are the perfect pair for any ring. The white bright white color of platinum enhances the brightens of a diamond, making it sparkle even more.
The combination of diamond and platinum means a ring that could last for generations – ideal for symbolizing the commitment and strength of a relationship.
Related Read: In Which Metal We Should Wear Diamond?
Diamond Vs. Platnum: Final Word
Diamond and platinum are two bright, luxurious materials that are highly sought after, not only in the jewelry world but also in the industry – all due to their unique properties.
However, it’s not that simple to compare diamond vs. platinum since one is a mineral, and the other is metal – meaning they have entirely different internal structures.
The two significant differences are the price and hardness, in both of which diamond has a lead – being the hardest material on Earth and a pretty expensive one.
Nevertheless, diamond and platinum make the perfect combo for engagement rings since this precious metal enhances the diamond’s brightness – making it look even more gorgeous.