Dear Friends, a lady came into the shop recently with concerns about
dermatitis on her ring finger. The ring is 900 plat, not cobalt,
likely 10% iridium. Her finger showed redness and some small raised
areas where the ring contacted the finger.
What is this, she wanted to know! Platinum is inert and
hypoallergenic, causing no skin irritation. We played Sherlock
Holmes in going through all the usual things, such as cosmetics,
lotions, changes in prescription medicines and other environmental
factors. She is convinced nothing has changed and since she has
sensitive skin she is careful about cleaning the ring often. I
suspected the “holes” in the setting beside the channel sets might
be holding some problem substance but she assured me she had
examined all environmental concerns of which she was aware.
Platinum and skin problems? This just did not seem right. I told her
we would refinish the ring, give it a good rhodium plate and see
what happens from there.
After she left, a closer exam of the ring showed a shadow of a ring
on the inside, where the peg for the crown was installed. Ok, this
was likely a “semi-mount” ( a ring set with side stones awaiting the
customer choice of center diamond) and the crown was likely soldered
in with high karat white gold solder. The close proximity of the
channel set side stones would eliminate using platinum solders for
center crown installation after the side stones were set.
The best I can tell for now is that the skin reaction might be from
the white gold solder used for crown installation. The ring has been
refinished and given a good, solid rhodium plate. If the solder is
the problem, this will work for a limited time to prevent skin
Have you run into skin problems with platinum rings? Any suggestions
on how to solve this problem with solder possibly being the culprit?
Note, I am not sure that the crown installation solder is the problem
but it does look more likely after elimination of so many other
Could laser work “cover” the peg area inside the ring, perhaps by
recessing the spot a bit and using a platinum fill? I do not use a
laser since our business cannot justify that expense. We do have
access to laser at a local trade shop.
Anyone had such a problem? What was your solution?
Thanks for any input.
Thomas. aka TomDart.