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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Platinum ring changing color


QUESTION: I recently had a claw on my platinum ring repaired (i have done this before with no issue at the same jeweler) I went swimming today and noticed all but one claw went black! (I always swim with my ring on and have never had this happen). Is there a reason this may have happened? Thank you

ANSWER: Rayna, considering the inert characteristic of platinum in native and jewelry form, I can only think of two possibilities for the black tarnish on the repaired prong.  First of all, this was surely in a pool with chlorine.  Chlorine is one of the most damaging chemicals to jewelry and most of the damage is to white cold of the sort containing nickle. Chlorine will not only make the metal crack but will sometimes discolor it.  Silver is easily discolored by chlorine.  Platinum metals are almost never affected!

I hope I am wrong, but a metal or solder mix-up is about all I can think as a logical reason for the blackened platinum.  I cannot imagine silver or low grade white gold being used instead of platinum or silver solders or low grade white gold solder being used for the prong repair. But, it can happen.  Generally the behavior of the metals or solders will be a quick giveaway to the jeweler that a mistake is made.

Rayna, since the same jeweler did the repair previously and it proved to be fine over time, I believe you need to go to the jeweler with the ring and tell your story.  That is the only real way to check the metals in the repair and reconcile the problem. There might be a very embarrassed jeweler but I have made mistakes, too.  I have made mixed up metals mistakes but not with platinum.

If the jeweler has some other explanation, please use a follow-up to clue me in on what happened!
God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.

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Ring Repair
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Ring Repair
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QUESTION: Just a few pictures to follow up with my original question. I am fully satisfied with your original explanation and it follows what I suspected.Thanks for you thorough and prompt response!

Dear Rayna, what metal quality marks are in side the ring?  This discoloration looks too extensive for basic chemical discoloration of a prong on platinum.  The Birmingham Assay Office has marks to compare(as do other assay office in the UK.

Your tarnish looks similar to what painting with iodine might do.  Do you know if the jeweler electroplated the ring? This is sometimes done to even out color and as an outside chance I wonder if that could have something to do with the discoloration.

God Bless.  Thomas

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Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.


I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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