What is 950 Platinum? 

950 platinum is the metal purity in finished jewelry, including for example in platinum wedding bands or rings. All genuine platinum jewelry should be hallmarked with either the letters, “PLAT” or “950”. The 950 stamp is more specific while the PLAT designation is more general, although both are legal and valid hallmarks for jewelry.

What Does 950 Mean?

All precious metals have a purity designation when they are used in fine jewelry. For example, when it comes to gold, 14K Gold is 14 out of 24 parts pure, since pure solid gold is 24k. The rest of various alloys like copper or other base metals. This means that 58.3% of 14k gold is actually gold (14 / 24 * 100). In the U.S., this is usually designated by a “14k” stamp inside your wedding band or pendant, for example. In European countries, they often use the stamp “583” to designate the 14k hallmark. Similarly, 18k gold is 18 out of 24 parts pure, which means it has a gold purity of 75%, which is either hallmarked as 18k in the U.S. or often “750” in Europe or other countries.

Platinum jewelry, however, is hallmarked with either “PLAT” or “950”. 950 means that your platinum is 95% pure and only 5% are other alloys. This makes platinum one of the purest of all precious metals for jewelry. This, among other reasons, is why platinum is so much heavier than gold and also more expensive—in addition to the fact that platinum is generally more rare and valuable than gold (although this can vary based on market conditions).

950 is the highest grade of platinum available for jewelry. The other 5% are various alloys such as iridium or ruthenium that are necessary to make platinum jewelry.

Hypoallergenic Nature of Platinum

The 95% purity of platinum makes 950 platinum jewelry one of the most hypoallergenic metals in existence, along with titanium which are used in our titanium wedding bands. These are among the most two hypoallergenic jewelry metals you can get. This makes platinum not only valuable because of its rarity and purity but also because of its intrinsic characteristics.

Is there such a thing as platinum jewelry that is higher than 950 grade? We have not seen it. Sometimes there are lower purities such as 900 or 925, which we recommend staying away from and purchasing nothing less than 950. If your jeweler does not advertise the purity ratios, be sure to ask them before finalizing your purchase.

Category: Jewelry Education, Jewelry Guide, Platinum Jewelry

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