When selecting the perfect setting for your engagement ring, you will most likely come across two most popular choices: platinum and white gold. It seems that these two metals look almost identical to the naked eye, but there is a significant difference in composition and price.
Platinum vs White Gold Price
The primary difference between white gold and platinum is their price. Even though these two metals look similar to the naked eye, platinum is much more expensive.
Actually, these two metals are quite similar in price per gram, but since platinum is denser, more metal is required to make a ring. That’s why platinum rings end up being more expensive than the same rings made in white gold.
Platinum vs White Gold Composition
We already know that white gold doesn’t exist naturally. It’s made of yellow gold with a mix of other durable metals such as nickel, zinc, copper and rhodium. These alloys are added to give white gold a paler look and more hardness since gold by itself is relatively soft. The actual hardness of gold depends on its karat – the lower it is, the less pure gold the piece contains and the harder it is.
Platinum is the heaviest and densest precious metal you can choose for jewellery. Since it’s more durable and naturally white metal it doesn’t need to be mixed with large portions of other metals. Platinum used in jewellery is purer – typically 95-98% platinum with the remaining percentage of rhodium and silver.
Platinum vs White Gold Colour
Although white gold and platinum are almost identical in colour, there is some difference in appearance, especially when time passes.
Platinum tends to scratch and develop a patina that makes it look dull and matte. In case you want to restore the lustre of your platinum ring, you will have to have it polished.
White gold doesn’t develop a patina. However, its rhodium plating wears out with time exposing the lower yellowish layer. To keep white gold shiny and white, you will need to have its rhodium plating restored from time to time.
Platinum, White Gold and Allergies
Platinum jewellery is hypoallergenic. Some platinum alloys indeed contain nickel, to which some people are allergic, but the nickel portion is so low that it is very unlikely to cause any skin irritation.
White gold sometimes contains nickel in high concentration that may cause an allergy. However, in case the jewellery piece is rhodium plated, it will keep the nickel from coming in contact with your skin. Problems start to arise when the rhodium plating wears off. In such a case you will need to have the jewellery replated.