Two of the most popular metals among people looking for fine jewelry in a white color is platinum and white gold. However, you may be considering one of the other and wondering what the difference is. Here are a few things to consider.
Platinum is a precious metal. It’s easily malleable and heavy and is one of the most expensive metals that are used in the production of jewelry. Platinum rings are significantly more costly than those made of gold. It is resistant to corrosion and will not tarnish.
White gold is significantly cheaper than platinum. It is made of yellow gold and mixed with other metals go form a harder allow and to give off the white color. The majority of white gold is plated with rhodium which causes the normally yellow material to give off the pure white color.
Another feature to consider when choosing between platinum and white gold are allergies.
Platinum is very pure and usually contains less than 10% of any other metal. This fact makes platinum hypoallergenic and is very unlikely to cause any allergic reaction to the wearer. Even if the platinum contains some nickel, which some people are allergic to, the content is usually far to low to cause any problems.
White gold can also contain nickel, but the rhodium plating keeps it from contacting the skin. Care should be taken should the rhodium begin to wear off as they alloy underneath may cause a reaction with someone having a nickel allergy. If this is large concern to you, you can buy platinum or search for a white gold ring that is nickel free.
Another consideration between the two is hardness and strength. Hardness of white gold is judged by karat and the higher the karat, the softer the alloy. However, the rhodium plating makes it fairly hard by most standards. Platinum is softer, but it is because of this property that they are also difficult to break whereas white gold can be brittle and more prone to breaking due to its high rigidity.
So while Platinum is softer, it’s also stronger and is less likely to break through the years.
If you’re looking to save money and do not think your ring will be exposed to much stress, choose white gold.
Platinum is durable and does not wear away as fast as gold does. It can develop scratches and over time the surface will take on a matte finish. If this is problematic, you can always have it polished.
White gold will not lose its luster in quite the same way. After several years the plating will begin to wear away and the yellowish alloy underneath will begin to show. You can allow this to happen or choose to have your white gold ring plated again with rhodium.
When choosing, pick platinum if you plan to wear the ring often and want it to last longer. If price is a consideration, choose white gold if you will not wear it often or expose it too much stress. Either way your investment will produce a beautiful ring that you will treasure for years to come.
If you’re in Redwood City, CA and are seeking fine jewelry, come by our office and look at our selection. We can cater to your style and budget to pick the piece that is perfect for you or your loved one.