Repairing Platinum Jewelry: Tips For Getting Started
Any words of wisdom on repairing platinum jewelry? I’m retired and do some metalwork for the local jewelers. Mostly, I do small gold jobs for them when they are too busy to keep up. (I enjoy it, and it keeps my mind and hands occupied). A few times, I’ve been asked to repair platinum jewelry, resize a platinum ring, or add a platinum head to an 18K shank. I’ve refused these jobs because I have no experience working with this metal. Can someone give me some pointers?
You’ll love working with platinum once you try it. I understand your hesitancy, but don’t be afraid of repairing platinum jewelry. Platinum melts at a bit over 3,200º F. That means you can really lay the heat to it. You won’t have the usual sudden melt dangers that accompany gold soldering when you’re working at only 1,900° F. The techniques for soldering platinum are identical to gold techniques. The difference with platinum is you work at a much higher temperature that’s actually safer. Platinum will not oxidize, which enhances fusion. It’s a wonderfully malleable and ductile metal. It files and shapes easier than gold because it’s a bit harder. However, it’s still a soft metal.
Gerald Wykoff, CSM GG