When it comes to engagement and wedding rings we regularly have customers asking about the difference between platinum and white gold. Although they look very similar the differences are contrasting. Platinum and white gold have their own properties which make them very unique. Here we have laid out a guide to make the decision between the two metals much easier.
White gold is an alloy of gold mixed with another metal. Jewellery for white gold consists of 18ct, 14ct, 9ct and 22ct. 18ct white gold is the most common use for engagement and wedding rings, made by mixing 75% gold with the other 25% with silver or palladium. Nickel was originally used as an alloy for white gold however it caused allergic reactions to some people therefore it is no longer used. Rhodium is a coating to make the metal appear more white as the natural colour of white gold is off white. The Rhodium is white and very hard, however it does wear eventually and slowly fades to off white or yellow which requires the re-coating of Rhodium every 12-18 months or so and it is not expensive to do so at Tayha Designs. Although white gold is durable and very suitable as an engagement and wedding ring metal it can gradually wear overtime with the band getting thinner due to constant wear and tear, losing metal mass. However constant maintenance is key and requires the ring to be brought to a Jeweller for repairs and build up the strength of the ring again. This normally occurs anywhere from 12 months to 5 or even 10 years.
White gold is highly reflective therefore it shines much brighter when new. However it does not last very long due to wear and tear of the Rhodium coating, therefore it is necessary to re-plate the Rhodium to maintain its shine. White gold is a common metal and there are an abundance of the metal compared to the rarity of Platinum.
Platinum is 95% pure, with the other 5% being another alloy such as Iridium, Cobalt or Ruthenium to increase its hardness. Platinum is one of the rarest metals in the world compared to gold, for example to picture the rarity of it, gold will fill an Olympic size pool whereas Platinum will just about cover the surface of the bottom of the pool. It is said that Platinum is 35 times rarer than gold. Platinum is long lasting and durable and does not require Rhodium plating like white gold as Platinum is naturally white and does not fade to yellow. Due to Platinum’s density it will feel much heavier than white gold, however most people said the weight feels reassuring on their finger and reduce their worries of wearing a ring everyday for different activities. The density also adds to the price, sometimes doubling the price of 18ct white gold of the same width, size and profile.
Despite Platinum being a much stronger and durable metal it can scratch easily, however no metal is lost when that occurs. For example, when you dig a sand pit you can always push the sand back in again. The Platinum merely shifted from one place to another (otherwise known as Patina finish, appearing antique and worn). Once polished the platinum will once again look new again.
Another benefit of having Platinum is it is hypoallergenic (free of allergens) but since white gold no longer used nickel as one of the alloys there are no concerns of the metal causing any adverse effects.
Like white gold, Platinum has a brilliant shine when new, but it does not last very long. Platinum will gradually appear slightly dull and grey overtime and requires high polish.
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