White Gold Or Platinum – What To Choose For Your Ring?

Posted in News   |   By

Liljana Tomova

Feb 10, 2018 5:47:38 PM

The metallic look and silky polish of white gold and platinum make them being extremely popular metals in the fine jewelry world. What is interesting about these two rivals is that there are major differences between them, especially in terms of cost. Obviously, it is platinum that holds a bigger price tag, driven by the fact that it is the rarest precious metal on the planet, but the question is – do you really have to spend that extra cash on it? White gold or platinum, find out the pros and cons of each of these metals to make the most of your ring selection.

Emerald Cut Engagement Ring in White Gold

Emerald-Cut Engagement Ring in White Gold

 

APPEARANCE

The characteristic that both of these metals share together is the silvery white color. This is what basically creates the overall appearance and impression about platinum and white gold. Now, there is a difference in the way this color is obtained by each of these metals. For example, with platinum, the grayish white color comes naturally, while with white gold, this look is obtained by further processes. Therefore, there is no such thing as “100% pure white gold”, because the natural color of gold is yellow, so to give it the desired metallic look, yellow gold is mixed or alloyed with white metals, such as nickel, silver, palladium and manganese. The silky polish of white gold, on the other hand, is normally given by rhodium plating which keeps the metal from going back to its original color and that is yellow. The final result is that we have two metals that look practically the same and this is the reason why many novices cannot even tell if a certain piece is made of white gold or platinum.

The potential drawback of white gold is that the rhodium-plated finish of the ring may lose its effectiveness with time, which will require giving the piece an additional layer of rhodium plating. But, this should not be a matter of your concern, because many professional and reputable jewelers offer this type of service for free (obviously, if you have purchased the ring from them) or include it in their Maintenance & Repairs policy, under the re-plating/re-polishing section. Since platinum jewelry contains at least 95% platinum in its composition, there is no such risk of losing its color and glistening finish. However, the natural shine of platinum is often professionally enhanced as well, in order to highlight the center diamond and make the entire jewelry piece more striking. The cost of this process is comparable with the cost of white gold maintenance, so whether you choose a white gold of platinum ring, you will pay almost the same amount of money for its stunning, eye-catching look.

 

Cushion-Cut Diamond Ring in Platinum

Cushion-Cut Diamond Ring in Platinum

DURABILITY

When it comes to measuring the strength and durability of these two metals, platinum is definitely an absolute winner; it is much heavier than white gold and that is why it is recommended for those looking for a more weighty ring. For example, a classic four-prong setting is less likely to break if crafted of platinum. But, platinum, on the flip side, can be scratched more easily than white gold, so this is truly a double-edged sword when hesitating whether to go white gold or platinum for a significant, fine-quality ring purchase. Therefore, by choosing platinum, you get durability and thickness on one side, but you are losing the scratch resistance on the other, which is indeed an important protection if having a busy and hectic lifestyle. An impressive thing when scratching a platinum piece is that the affected area does not look like a scratch, but the platinum material is moved from one place of the ring to another, a condition called “patina finish”. This gives the ring a more vintage look, so it is absolutely not the end of the world if you scratch your platinum ring; remember that some people even require this feature for their custom-made platinum jewelry.

Patina Platinum Ring

"Patina" Platinum Ring

COST

It has been confirmed that every year, around 160 tones of platinum are mined globally, while gold is mined 9 times more, around 1500 tones per year. But, sometimes, the difference in price between a ring crafted in white gold and a ring crafted in platinum is not as enormous as you might expect, because there are additional factors contributing to the ring’s overall value, such as the type, size, shape, color and clarity of the precious stone. According to the old records, an ounce of gold (=28.35 g) used to cost approximately $1,000, whereas an ounce of platinum around $1,800. Today, numbers have significantly changed, so gold is sold at $1,400 per ounce, whereas platinum can be bought at the cost of around $1,000 per ounce. So, how does the costliness of platinum surpass the costliness of white gold? Here is the answer – it takes more material to make a platinum ring than a white-gold ring of the same karat size. Moreover, platinum is a denser metal than white gold, which will add more weight to the ring and consequently, a higher value.

 

COMFORT

In the past, white gold had been experiencing a notorious reputation of a jewelry metal that causes allergies. Therefore, people used to avoid it and they were more likely to turn to platinum, which has forever been enjoying a reputation of a 100% hypoallergenic precious metal. However, the bad days of white gold are already gone, because there have been some groundbreaking improvements in the making of white-gold jewelry, by replacing nickel (the common cause of allergies) with more sophisticated, hypoallergenic metals, such as palladium. Those who are prone to allergies should ask their jeweler about the type of metal their white-gold jewelry is alloyed with, so that they can easily decide what is best for them, white gold or platinum.

 

Vintage Cushion-Cut Halo Diamond Ring in White Gold

Vintage Cushion-Cut Halo Diamond Ring in White Gold

ACCEPTANCE

Platinum is cherished as a choice of luxury and sophistication, while white gold has been the most traditional jewelry-metal alternative ever. You would agree that gold is the top-rated precious metal for wedding jewelry in almost every country and religion, and the truth is, its “golden” reputation dates back to prehistoric times. Gold, regardless if white or yellow, embodies the meaning of wisdom, wealth and divinity, while platinum has become the new fashion symbol of grandeur and prestige. For some customers, the eminence and overall acceptance of each of these metals is the determining factor for their ultimate “white gold or platinum” decision.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If we have to talk about the big picture, even experts cannot tell what is better – white gold or platinum, due to the fact both are good and bad for certain reasons. So, the most correct thing to say is that the selection between white gold or platinum is a matter of personal choice, based on the buyer’s individual taste and priorities. After all, if these two exceptional metals do not meet the highest jewelry standards, they wouldn’t be as popular and demanded as they truly are, don’t you think so?

Author

Written by: Liljana Tomova

Kobelli Jewelry

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