Engagement rings often feature white gold or platinum. The material of the band compliments the gemstone, but what are the real differences between these two metals? Ring buyers may ask which is the better option. While each has its pros and cons, there are distinct advantages to choosing one or the other. Still, making that choice can be a challenge; in this article, we’ll talk about what factors to consider, so you can determine if a white gold ring or platinum ring is right for you.
When it comes to durability, platinum is stronger. It is heavier and denser than white gold, making it more scratch resistant. Platinum does not wear down over time and requires less care than gold. It is also easier to resize and recondition. White gold is mixed with other metals to create a durable alloy with a greater hardness than pure gold. But the higher the karat count, the softer the gold. Therefore, 14-karat gold tends to be more durable and less malleable than 18-karat gold and is also stronger and more scratch-resistant.
Composition and Quality
Both materials look similar. Platinum is actually somewhat whiter in color than white gold although gold tends to be shinier. Jewelry-grade platinum typically consists of 95% to 98% pure platinum with a small percentage of alloys. It is a malleable metal, which means instead of getting scratched by losing particles, parts of it get pushed aside upon contact, creating tiny bumps and ridges over time.
White gold, on the other hand, is coated with rhodium to obtain its luster. The rhodium plating is often used to cover nickel, which creates the finish of the ring band. Nickel can trigger allergic reactions when it comes in contact with skin. Platinum is hypoallergenic; it doesn’t need to be combined with nickel and avoids the irritation, redness, and rashes that may occur when wearing nickel-coated jewelry.
Cost of White Gold vs. Platinum
Due to its purity and rarity, platinum is more expensive than white gold. As the budget-friendly metal, white gold tends to be more popular. Choosing a more affordable metal gives buyers more flexibility in choosing a diamond or other gemstone, as well as other elements of their engagement ring. The cost of care should be considered in addition to the purchasing cost. White gold tends to wear down over time, so it may need to be repolished in a few years and, if enough material is lost, the stone (or ring) will need to be replaced.
Lifespan and Long-term Care
Platinum, however, requires less repolishing. Scratching and wear do not cause platinum to lose metal. Instead, the metal starts to reflect light differently, acquiring a natural patina finish, which may be preferred depending on your culture and personal style. White gold often does not tolerate aging as well, while platinum is naturally able to handle wear and tear over time.
Contact Jeweler’s Touch
We provide an extensive choice of rings, metal types, and diamonds and gemstones at our Placentia jewelry store. Customers in Anaheim, Brea, Yorba Linda, and throughout Orange County depend on us to educate and assist them in making engagement ring and other fine jewelry choices. We are open during the pandemic and can serve you via curbside pickup, delivery, or virtual appointment. To learn more and take advantage of our custom design services, make an appointment online or call us directly at 714-579-1616.