Yes, it does develop a patina particulary in high wear areas. The patina is actually made up of many tiny “scratches” that tend to blend together so they aren’t individually visible and instead lead to a “satin/matte” finish, but it is possible to get a dent or gouge and need to get it polished out. I managed to get a ding that left a sharp edge once when I grabbed and then dropped a heavy suitcase…but I never did anything about it and the edge softened up and now I can only find it if I run my fingernail along side.
Platinum is actually quite soft on the Vicker’s hardness scale (though how soft varies depends on the particular alloy – cobalt, ruthenium, iridium, 5% or 10%, etc) but the nice thing is that there is very little metal loss when it scratches unlike with gold (gold “flakes” off when it scratches, platinum tends to displace). There is some loss if you are frequently professionally polishing it and the like, and it does not mean you may NEVER need to reshank for example as I have had to reshank very old platinum rings, but it is a lot less over time than gold will.
This quality is actually why platinum is recommended for prongs and such because rather than wearing down, or cracking, it will “bend” and likely still hold the stone as platinum does not have memory.
For comparison, here is the underside of one of my platinum rings after it was reshanked..so brand new shank. See how shiny it is:
And a few months later…in this picture you can see the underside of my platinum ring and the “patina” from a few months wear. It is quite a bit less in your face shiny/reflective.
I like the patina to be honest and it really is only on underside. I tend to just leave it and now and then use a Sunshine cloth to shine it up and it does make things shinier though not to degree of a professional polish. But, one of my colleagues has a platinum e-ring and platinum wedding band and she HATES patina. She has her rings polished at her jeweler’s every 3-4 months.
Here is some info on the hardness of different platinum alloys:
My platinum rings are all 90/10 platinum/iridium as that was the platinum alloy of choice back when they were made, and when I have had repairs I have asked jewelers to use the same. Many vendors do use 95/5 platinum cobalt by default, so you have to inquire if you want different.
White gold is actually quite “hard” due to the nickel, and rhodium plating is VERY hard so if you are plating it it will be very resistant to scratches. You can also get white gold aloys, including white gold/palladium alloys that don’t need rhodium plating and are not only very white but are very resistant to scratching. I posted this photo of one of my earlier sets earlier, but this is 18k gold/palladium – no rhodium plating. It stayed VERY shiny and resistant to scratching.
It is a mission of mine to clear up this idea that ALL white gold needs to be plated. Nope, many cheaper alloys are plated and “need” to be if you don’t like a warm unplated white, but there are a lot of VERY white alloys out there (Stuller’s X1, Hoover and Strong’s Super White, many gold/palladium alloys). Even so, there are people who really like the look of rhodium plating for its high polished shine, hardness/scratch resistance, and very white appearance. I am not one of them, but rhodium plating gets a bad rap at times, and I don’t think it is deserved. Rhodium plating is IDEAL for those who appreciate the benefits and high shine. With a good plating thickness, you may only “need” to replate every 1-2 years or so, which is no worse than a regular platinum polishing if you don’t like patina.