Choosing a colour for the metal of your ring is the easy part. You have only three choices: Yellow, Rose and White. But should you decide on the cool crisp white look, the talk turns to Platinum vs White Gold.
Which one is better? Which one to choose? Well, let’s discuss the pros and cons of each to help you understand which one works for you best!
Now, we all know the 4Cs of diamond (if you haven’t, read all about it in our detailed diamond guide). But hardly anyone talks about the 5Cs of metal!
Let’s look at the metal 5Cs:
COLOUR: Gold vs Platinum Appearance
White is white, right?
As you know, gold doesn’t come out of the ground white. It’s a rich buttery yellow, so other alloys are added to the mix to change the colour and add a bit of durability. Because of this, white gold has an off-white, grey look and therefore gets a surface treatment of rhodium plating to make it shiny and white.
Platinum is already silver in colour, so it doesn’t need any other metals to whiten and brighten its natural white appearance.
COMPOSITION: the metal components of White Gold & Platinum
What’s in the mix?
24ct gold is a soft metal, and in its pure buttery form, it bends easily. To combat this, without compromising on quality, 18ct white gold is a better choice. Consisting of 75% pure gold, with other metals like nickel, palladium and silver making up the remaining 25%. So, therefore it has a high level of gold to ensure luxury, with the benefits of the alloys adding strength and durability.
Platinum, on the other hand, is a puritan’s dream. The percentages are impressive, as Platinum is 95% pure as a product. Perfect for people with metal allergies to nickel who find it (literally) irritating to wear gold.
Do you have sensitive skin and get a reaction to your rings? Ask our experts what is the best metal for you.
COMPARE THE PAIR: Gold vs platinum durability
The metal durability debate.
Simple answer – Both are durable but have different ways of wearing over the years.
Picture a mound of clay. If you pound on it, it doesn’t lose clay but changes its shape. Think of Platinum like this. If you knock or scratch Platinum, it doesn’t lose any molecules. It just slightly changes shape. Platinum is a higher density but is more malleable like clay, showing signs of impact and losing crisp outlines of intricate scrollwork or milgrain quicker than gold.
Right, back to our imaginary mound of clay. If you take a knife and scrape the clay, you will see little ribbons roll away. Think of Gold like this. Gold wears down over time, with scratches (and life) taking away minute molecules. Yet, it has good durability if high-quality alloys are used in the mix. In fact, if you hit Gold and Platinum bars of metal together, the Gold would leave a dent in the Platinum. It also holds intricate design work well, compared to Platinum.
Platinum is denser than gold, and this means a much heavier ring. Consider this if you are looking at more extensive designs, will you be comfortable with a weighty ring?
Also, remember not to mix your metals for long-wearing results. Because their density is different, gold and Platinum worn alongside each other will wear each other down differently.
CARE: Gold vs Platinum maintenance
A little or a lot of TLC?
As we mentioned, white gold isn’t bright white. Rhodium plating makes it super shiny, but you will need to get it done around every 12 months or so to keep it nice and new.
Platinum doesn’t require rhodium plating, so it’s a little less work – a professional polish is all you need to get your shine back. But you will need to professionally polish it more often, if shine is your thing, as Platinum will scratch easier than gold, and these show up as a dull surface patina.
Do you have a ring that needs a little TLC? Click below to ask about rhodium plating, polishing and more:
COST: which is more valuable - Gold or Platinum?
Pay now or pay later?
When shopping for your perfect piece, the price tag is a contributing factor. White gold and Platinum may look the same, but they will cost your hip pocket differently, at different times.
Because Platinum is denser, it means more weight to the final product. It also is rarer, and that does affect the price. So initially, when you look at purchasing a ring, 18ct white gold is cheaper than Platinum. No brainer, right?
Well, let’s look at the lifetime of your ring: We know white gold needs regular rhodium plating. The rhodium is a small cost, but one Platinum doesn’t need. So, it is a marathon and not a sprint in the race to work out the cost winner. The Platinum may be more expensive at the start line, but white gold will cost you maintenance along the way.
So my white metal-loving friends, weigh up what works for you. If you still find the decision a tricky one, book your free consultation with our metal experts and we can find the perfect match for you and your lifestyle.