White Gold Engagement Rings - How Do They Compare to Platinum?

Nov 12 08:11 2014 Lisa Jeeves Print This Article

Both white gold and platinum are often used for engagement rings. How do white gold engagement rings really compare to platinum? 

White gold and platinum are commonly used for engagement rings. Platinum is known to be the more precious of the two metals,Guest Posting but how do white gold engagement rings really compare?

The properties of each

White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as silver, nickel and palladium. It is often coated in rhodium, which shares properties and the same colour as platinum - it is the rhodium plating that gives it its colour. It can be any carat and 18ct is made by mixing 75% gold with 25% other white metals.

Platinum is a white metal and is often used in its pure form (95% pure).

Colour

White gold looks very similar to platinum due to the rhodium plating. Its natural colour is actually a light grey hue with a palladium based alloy, or it has a yellowish tinge with a nickel-based alloy. The rhodium plating is very white and very hard but it does wear away eventually. For perfect upkeep, white gold engagement rings should be re-rhodium plated every 12-18 months.

Platinum is naturally white and therefore the colour will not fade.

Durability

Platinum is very dense and far heavier than its counterpart. It loses very little weight during daily wear and polishing, but it is also more brittle, which means that, although it will securely hold diamonds and gemstones into place, it may be prone to scratches and dents. White gold is softer and more malleable. Some jewellers recommend a platinum setting for a more securely set centre diamond and a white gold band for fewer scratches and dents. That said, a well-made ring, in whatever metal you choose, should last for generations. It is worth noting that 18ct gold, although more valuable, is softer than 14ct and will scratch more easily.

More jewellers are skilled in repairing and resizing white gold engagement rings than platinum rings, as platinum is harder to work with, with a higher melting temperature. This means that platinum servicing requires an experienced jeweller and specialized modern tools, such as a laser welder, to eliminate the risk to gemstones and diamonds that could get burned. Therefore the cost of labour is about 20% higher than other work.

Comfort

Some people don't like wearing platinum because it is heavy, however it has the advantage of being a hypoallergenic metal. Although white gold engagement rings do not create problems associated with allergies for most people, some can develop a reaction if a nickel alloy is used. Some jewellers avoid nickel-based alloys in order to prevent allergic reactions occurring, however nickel is cheaper and therefore is still widely used.

Cost

Platinum is a rare and precious metal and a symbol of prestige. It is therefore more expensive than other metals. In addition, it is denser so there is more material weight required to create jewellery. It cannot be re-used and re-melted so any scraps and filings are sent to a refiner, which is an expensive process.

Ultimately, the choice is the individual's, but white gold engagement rings have a very similar appearance to platinum ones and are half the price. On the downside, however, they do require frequent basic upkeep.

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About Article Author

Lisa Jeeves
Lisa Jeeves

Frederick Holm is staff writer for the F&L Designer Guides, compiled and written to help consumers choose a unique engagement ring design. From the best white gold engagement rings to precious metals, coloured stones and vintage styles, we have ideas and opinions covering all the options. Offering advice, tips and suggestions on how to choose that perfect ring, F&L will accompany you on every stage of your search to find the right designer.

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