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Platinum or White Gold - What is the Right Choice for Your Ring?

So you’re looking to purchase a ring but aren’t sure which metal to choose?

White gold and platinum are both popular choices for all kinds of rings. 

This is mainly because they're both very durable, meaning they will last a long time and offer great value for money, but they have their differences.

When purchasing a ring for yourself or as a gift, or maybe even an engagement ring or wedding ring, there are many factors you will want to consider when choosing your ring’s metal. 

This article will examine the main differences between the popular white gold and platinum, including their pros and cons.

Let’s see which one suits you best!

What's the difference between white gold and platinum?

White gold is a metal alloy that contains a higher amount of nickel than yellow gold.

It's also known as "gold-plated silver," which resembles yellow gold but has greater durability.

Platinum is an extremely rare metal resistant to corrosion and tarnishing, making it an excellent choice for jewelry.

In addition, it can be mixed with other metals to create alloys like white gold or rhodium plating on jewelry items such as wedding bands or engagement rings.

What is white gold?

White gold contains nickel and other metals like silver, palladium, zinc, or copper alloys, giving the metal its white appearance.

The color comes from the rhodium plating on top of the ring or piece of jewelry itself.

White gold is combined with these other alloys to increase its durability over standard yellow gold, which, depending on its purity, can be very soft and be subject to wear and damage over time.

White gold is still considered gold. However, it is also determined by its gold percentage, referred to as its karat, which you will also see abbreviated to “K” or “kt”.

This “K” is a crucial indicator of the white gold's purity. 

The karat scale goes up to 24K - 24K is the purest gold you can acquire. The lower the karat means that the gold is mixed with other alloys. 

Generally speaking, the below karats equal the gold purity:

  • 9K Gold = 37.5% pure gold 
  • 14K Gold = 58% pure gold
  • 18K Gold = 75% pure gold
  • 24K Gold = 100% pure gold

Of course, these mixes with the alloys mean white gold is not a naturally occurring metal. 

However, this shouldn’t scare you off white gold, as the only naturally occurring gold is pure gold, which is far too soft to use in jewelry.

Therefore, any gold you purchase, whether white or yellow, will be mixed with some form of alloy to strengthen it for wear.

What is platinum?

Platinum is a naturally occurring metal, and surprisingly, it is far rarer than gold. 

One of the main differentiating factors of platinum over white gold is its weight and hardness.

Due to how hard platinum is, it doesn’t require much mixing with other alloys to make it suitable for wearing.

Platinum is usually around 95% purity, which is far more expensive to use in jewelry than gold.

Many people opt for platinum in their rings because of its apparent durability and rumors that it is the most “scratch-proof” metal.

This, however, isn’t necessarily the case. For example, the surface of platinum can be subject to small bumps and ridges over time, but they aren’t as noticeable as scratches; therefore, most people assume that it is scratch-proof.

So, is platinum or white gold better for a ring?

The answer depends on what you're looking for in your ring. Here are some pros and cons of each:

White Gold - The Pros and Cons

Color

White gold’s beauty comes from its luster which is far better than that of platinum, which is why some people opt for white gold over platinum. It's a great choice if you want something that feels like platinum but doesn't cost as much.

White gold has almost the same luster as diamonds and sparkles just as brightly when it catches the light.

This makes it a popular choice for engagement rings, especially if the bride-to-be loves diamonds but wants something other than platinum or silver.

The color is achieved by adding rhodium plating over the top of the white gold. However, it is essential to note that this does fade over time, and you will need to have it replaced.

The plating usually lasts around two - five years if looked after properly and depending on how it reacts with the owner's body chemistry.

At Ben Garelick, we always use heavier rhodium plating to ensure our white gold rings will last longer than the norm.

Durability 

White gold is a strong metal with a high level of durability that can withstand a lot of impact and pressure and make it resistant to scratching.

White gold is also better at retaining detailing from specific designs, including milgrain, square edges, and hand-engraving.

One aspect of white gold’s durability that may be seen as a negative is how it thins over time because it is naturally worn down from wear. However, this takes a very long time to happen.

Cost

White gold is the cheaper option of the two metals, mainly due to its purity and mix with other alloys.

However, one thing to consider is that white gold will generally need replating relatively often over the years, which means this is a cost you will need to factor in when choosing your white gold ring.

Care and Cleaning

It is best to get a professional jeweler to clean your white gold ring to ensure that the rhodium plating remains in the best condition possible.

However, you can clean the ring home with mild soap and warm water. 

You can watch a short video here on how to correctly clean and care for your white gold ring.

Lifestyle

Depending on your lifestyle, you will want to consider the karatage of your white gold ring.

The lower the karat, the more durable the ring will be. If you use your hands a lot for work or the ring is likely to get damaged, you’re best opting for a lower karat. 

Platinum - Pros and Cons 

Color

Platinum is naturally white, meaning it doesn’t need any additional plating or changes to improve its color, like white gold. Over time, platinum does lose its shine, so this is something to be aware of.

Durability     

It's also extremely durable, so your ring will last a lifetime if you take care of it properly. Its durability is due to its density which makes it highly resistant to any wearing.

Compared to white gold, it will barely lose any of its thickness over the years. One problem with platinum and its durability, however, lies with its polish, which tends to drop fairly quickly after being worn. 

Cost

Platinum is more expensive than white gold or silver, but it's worth it because it will last longer and stay in better condition.

So if you want an engagement ring that will last a very, very long time, then platinum is the way to go!

Care and Cleaning 

Caring for a platinum ring isn’t much different than caring for a white gold ring, so the two don’t differ too much in this department.

Again, try your best to get a professional cleaning from a jeweler, but some soapy water and an old toothbrush will do the trick just fine when this isn't possible. 

Lifestyle

Platinum is a rare metal used for making jewelry for thousands of years. It is the second most precious metal after gold and has many unique properties, making it an excellent choice for engagement rings.

Platinum is hypoallergenic and won't irritate the skin like other metals. 

Because of its strength as well, it makes it an ideal metal for people who use their hands a lot for work or are likely to get their ring into situations where it may need to withstand impact or pressure. 

Recommendations for White Gold Rings

Here are some of our top picks if you’re looking for a white gold ring:

Recommendations for Platinum Rings

Here are some of our top picks if you’re looking for a platinum ring:

Can you tell the difference between platinum and white gold?

The main ways of telling the difference between the two are all the points we have listed in the above article. 

However, to the naked eye, it can be difficult to tell the two apart. The easiest way to tell the difference would be to hold two of the same style rings, one in white gold and one in platinum, and you would be able to feel the difference in their weight as platinum is much heavier than white gold.

Choosing your metal ultimately comes down to preference overall. 

You need to think about the longevity of wear, how you want your ring to look, what occasion your ring is for, and if you need your ring to be highly durable or not.

All these factors play a significant role in choosing white gold or platinum for your ring.

If you are still unsure, you better visit us at the Ben Garelick showroom, and we can show you all the white gold and platinum rings you like, then you can choose a ring knowing precisely what you’re getting!

Visit us at our Buffalo, NY, store today. Not nearby? Not to worry - chat with our diamond experts online 24/7, call us at (716) 631-1584, or text (716) 574-0966. Let’s find the perfect diamond for you!

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