Jump to content

Durability of platinum chains for diamond pendants


Recommended Posts


I recently purchased a 72 point Brian Gavin diamond pendant with a bezel setting and chain both in platinum.  The diamond is absolutely beautiful and I love it and I purchased during one of their promotions so I got it at a really great price.  I took the necklace off in the evening and never wore it to bed ( because the chain seemed fragile despite being platinum).  I had worn the necklace to work no more than 10 -15 times, when one morning I started to put the chain on and started to fasten the clasp.  I pulled back the spring loaded portion of the round clasp (called a spring ring clasp) and that part of the clasp broke and came off completely.  I couldn’t believe it!  An almost new platinum chain from BG broke while putting It on.

In contrast, I also have a Tiffany’s 35 point Elsa Peretti DBTY pendant in platinum.  I have had the necklace for 15 years and for the majority of those years I have worn the necklace almost all the time including sleeping with it on.  I usually only took it off to clean it or if I was going to the beach, swimming in a pool, hiking, or for X-rays/MRI’s, etc.  That chain has never broken.  The spring on the clasp feels as tight as the day I bought it. 

Perhaps the BG platinum clasp that broke was just a rare defective clasp, however, the BG chain is definitely thinner and the links are flatter, not as round as the Tiffany’s platinum chain . Objectively speaking, it was the clasp and not the chain itself that broke although whether it was the clasp or the chain that broke, it would have likely resulted in the necklace and my perfect diamond having been lost had I not been at home and it broke while I was putting it on.

The experience has left me skeptical of jewelers’ platinum chains for their diamond pendants, with the exception of Tiffany’s. It has led me to question whether the increased price of Tiffany’s diamond pendants in platinum is perhaps worth it for the more durable chain, even though  comparable diamonds can be found at lower prices.  I have considered purchasing a diamond and platinum setting from BG and buying platinum chain (an 18 inch chain is $500) from Tiffany’s and sending it to BG to attach to the setting.  Some settings wouldn’t even require anything more than making sure the chain and clasp would thread through the setting.   Do you think it would weaken the strength of the chain too much if the chain had to be cut to attached to fixed setting like bezel set? 

Is anyone aware of any other jewelers that have durable platinum chains comparable to a Tiffany’s platinum chain?  Has anyone else had difficulty with their platinum chains/clasps breaking and if so from which jewelers were they purchased and how did you handle the repair?  Would it be practical to add a safety on either side of the chain’s clasp to prevent it from falling off if the clasp broke?  

I would greatly appreciate any feedback.  Thank you!!!
 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Rachelle, welcome to Diamond Review!

Some thoughts/feedback/answers below, in slightly jumbled order.

1) Defects happen. Particularly with fittings/findings - these are generally mass produced by third parties; even chains are very rarely made in-house, and there's literally all quality and price levels out there. While it is annoying to have to send things back, I would be very surprised if BG did not deal with the issue without a fuss.

2) The alloy matters; Tiffany uses a Ruthenium-containing alloy for much of their platinum jewellery that is particularly robust (though it has some disadvantages), and it's likely that BG uses a more common and much softer 950Pt/50Ir. Which still should not break (and I - speaking here as a consumer - have quite a few Pt/Ir chains which are perfectly usable after 15-20 years - none coming from a well known retailer/brand, though, so I can't help with recommendations in that respect.

3) The design matters. I find that lobster claw clasps are significantly more robust than ring clasps, and given the opportunity I will choose a lobster claw, even if it's significantly more expensive (2-3 times the price, but we are not talking many hundreds of dollars). Maybe something you could ask BG for... as a gesture of goodwill? 😉

 

3 hours ago, Rachellerachelle said:

whether the increased price of Tiffany’s diamond pendants in platinum is perhaps worth it for the more durable chain,

Well, you've kind of answered this one yourself, to some extent. A Tiffany chain of suitable length is $500. Does the Tiffany pendant cost more than $500 more? Very probably yes... so from a purely monetary point of view you are better off just buying the chain. Whether you want to attribute some value to peace of mind is a different question, and very much a personal preference. I've (my wife has) never had a clasp or a chain break during normal use, though we've had one or two chewed by the dogs!

3 hours ago, Rachellerachelle said:

Do you think it would weaken the strength of the chain too much if the chain had to be cut to attached to fixed setting like bezel set?

Provided the soldering is done well, it's going to be as robust as the rest of the chain, if not more.

3 hours ago, Rachellerachelle said:

Would it be practical to add a safety on either side of the chain’s clasp to prevent it from falling off if the clasp broke? 

It is certainly possible and not expensive, and particularly with bracelets and watches it was the norm in certain periods. I have always found safety chains more of a faff than an actual safety, since they are typically thin and small, thus fiddly to use, but they do provide an amount of extra protection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
  • Create New...