Why the Fifth “C” Is a Diamond’s BFF

When it comes to choosing an engagement ring, the center stone tends to steal the show. That’s why so much emphasis is placed on the four Cs: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. But to keep the diamond or gemstone looking its best, there’s one more “C” to consider: “The Crown.” It might seem like an afterthought, but the crown—the element that holds the center stone in place—is arguably the most important. And the metal you choose for this component can make all the difference—think platinum, the gold standard for display and protection. Here’s why.

Platinum Is Seriously Strong

To enhance the brilliance of diamonds and other gemstones, prong-style settings are the way to go. They allow more light to flow around the stone, which makes diamonds pop more (there’s a reason why prongs are the industry standard). While they’re traditionally more delicate than inset styles—those where the diamond sits flush to the band—a platinum prong setting is better-equipped than gold to safeguard your diamond against damage or even (gasp) falling out. Platinum’s high density makes it strong, durable and resistant to corrosion, meaning it’s less prone to cracking and breaking in the face of daily wear and tear.

Another plus: Platinum stays in place. Unlike gold, platinum doesn’t have a “memory,” meaning its prongs will stay put (along with your diamond). Gold prongs, on the other hand, will want to return to their original position after being bent or moved, which could weaken them, making them more vulnerable to breakage.

Platinum Is Low Maintenance

Because of the metal’s incredible strength and durability, a platinum crown will require far less maintenance and fewer repairs over the lifetime of your engagement ring than one made of gold. Even after being scratched, rubbed, bumped and banged, it won’t wear away—and will actually get stronger—so you can rest easy knowing that diamond or gemstone isn’t going anywhere. Gold gradually wears down over time thanks to everyday movements like rubbing against clothing or bedding, and that contributes to metal loss. What’s more, white gold must be replated every so often to maintain its color. (White gold is actually yellow gold that has been alloyed with white metals such as nickel, silver and palladium and covered with a rhodium coating.) Platinum, however, is naturally pure white and won’t change color, fade or tarnish.

In addition to peace of mind, platinum crowns offer a few financial benefits too (who doesn’t love that?). Over a period of 10 years, for example, a platinum crown could save you over 2.5 times the cost of repairing and replating white gold. That said, it’s important to have prongs examined regularly to make sure they’re in the best shape to keep your stone in place.

Platinum Lets Your Diamond Shine

Durability aside, the rare metal also offers a major aesthetic advantage over gold. Platinum crowns can actually make the bling on your engagement ring appear brighter and more brilliant. Brilliance comes from the way light reflects off a stone, and since platinum is pure white, it doesn’t reflect color. That means your diamond will shine brighter and whiter than if it was set in white, yellow or rose gold.

Platinum Plays Well With Others

Love the look of yellow or rose gold but don’t want to forfeit the benefits of platinum? You’re in luck—you can have the best of both worlds. Talk with your jeweler about using a platinum crown to frame your diamond or gemstone and the nonplatinum metal of your choice for the body of the ring itself. This way you can still get the look you want, as well as the security you need to protect your stone. It’s a more common request than you might think!

This sponsored post was happily brought to you by our friends at Platinum Guild International.