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The Pros & Cons Of White Gold Vs. Platinum


Image by heathrbot via Flickr

Have you started ring shopping and are feeling overwhelmed by all the decisions? One of the main decisions couples struggle with is deciding which metal to set their diamond in. Often, the choice comes down to white gold or platinum. Before they make their final decision, they have to consider the pros and cons of both metals.

Composition & Colour – The majority of white gold rings are sold in 14K or 18K, the former equalling 58.3 percent pure gold and the latter 75 percent real gold. While the higher karat means more pure gold, it also makes the piece less durable.  This is why jewellery is not crafted out of 24K as it would be way too soft.  In order to make “white gold,” the yellow gold needs to be mixed with another alloy and then dipped in rhodium. In order to keep that shine, it must be re-dipped every few years.

Alternatively, platinum must have at least 90 percent to 95 percent platinum to be considered pure. While platinum does not turn yellowish, its shiny finish does dull to matte grey patina over time.  It costs just as much to get it shined professionally as it does to get white gold re-dipped.

 Durability – Platinum remains one of the most durable metals, however when white gold is mixed with alloys like silver or palladium, it becomes harder or stronger than platinum.  Both of these metals have their advantages and uses. While platinum may scratch easier than white gold, it is more damage resistant to chemicals like chlorine and mild cleaners. It also doesn’t tarnish or discolour.  Platinum is also more brittle than white gold making it an ideal choice for the actual prong setting because it will hold the diamond in place.

Many couples prefer getting the best of both worlds and buy a white diamond band with a platinum setting. We do recommend looking at white gold bands for men as the durable and hard metal will withstand physical job demands better. You can view custom made jewellery in Brisbane from Ringleaders.

 Allergies and Comparisons – Platinum is hypoallergenic, which means that it’s ideal for sensitive skin since it won’t cause skin rashes. However, white gold is mixed with another alloy, often nickel, which can upset someone’s skin if they have an allergy as the rhodium plate fades away.  While most jewellers still use nickel so it’s more affordable, some professional jewellers in Australia are beginning to use a palladium based alloy instead, which is also hypoallergenic.

 Cost – Couples often sway towards white gold over platinum because it is less expensive.  This is partly because platinum is a much rarer material.  In fact, only around 160 tonnes of platinum are mined each year compared to 1,500 tonnes of gold. Platinum also weighs more, which also increases the price since precious metals are first weighed and then priced.  Technically, you can save lots of money by purchasing white gold but keep in mind the price of re-dipping your ring every few years.

Whether you decide on platinum or white gold, staying informed on the pros and cons is key to making the best decision. After you have weighed all the options, make an appointment with your jeweller to begin the design process.


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