Choosing Platinum or White Gold for your Engagement Ring
Knowing the differences between white gold and platinum is essential when deciding between the two metals. After you’ve chosen your diamond and your setting, showcasing its brilliance with a metal that will best allow it to shine is the next step. While we’ve touched on the gold vs. platinum debate in the past, it seemed like a good time to revisit the topic.
Characteristics of white gold:
Pure fine gold is defined as 24 karat [24k] and is too soft to create jewelry that is practical to wear. As a result fine gold is blended with other metals [alloy] to create either 18k or 14k gold.
18k gold and 14k gold is used to manufacture most fine jewelry.
By adding alloy to fine gold we create a ‘gold based metal’ stronger than fine gold that can be worn and enjoyed without the potential of losing stones or bending.
To create white gold, a blend of different metals is used in an alloy to change the appearance of the gold from yellow to white. This process is effective and the alloys used to create white gold have improved dramatically in recent years. In order to make a white gold piece ‘extra white’ it is not unusual to plate the finished piece with ‘rhodium’ … a very costly naturally white precious metal. With regular use it is not unusual for rhodium plating to come off, however this is easily replaced.
What about Platinum?
Platinum, especially the highest grade, is intrinsically white so it won’t require plating.
Like gold, platinum requires a certain percentage of alloy in order to harden the metal, make it practical for jewelers to work with and individuals to use regularly.
Ascot platinum is 95% platinum and 5% iridium = PL950.
Platinum is significantly more dense than 14k or 18k gold and the identical piece will weigh 60% to 80% more in platinum than in 14k or 18k gold. This additional metal weight using platinum combined with additional value of 95% pure metal makes platinum more costly than 18k or 14k gold.
A typical diamond ring in platinum will cost approximately $700-$1,200 more than its 14k / 18kt counterpart.
Which to buy?
Gold and platinum are unique precious metals because both are pliable, strong and have timeless beauty. For thousands of years master jewelers have taken advantage of these unique qualities to create ‘fine jewelry’ for pharaohs, kings and those simply wishing to communicate love and commitment. Both are great choices so read and understand the differences and make the decision that works best for you.