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Platinum vs. White Gold: Choosing Your Metal

If you're a silver jewelry connoisseur, this might be your toughest choice: platinum or white gold? We're here to give you the pros and cons of both! (Hint: you can't go wrong with either)


What should people consider when choosing between white gold and platinum rings? 

White gold and platinum are both great choices when it comes to setting a diamond. However, there are some key things you should know about the two metals before deciding. 

White gold is an alloy (mix) of yellow gold and over time could begin to turn yellow in parts with high contact. Due to this, it is recommended to re-plate the rhodium (which makes the color white) of your white gold jewelry every few years. You can purchase 14k or 18k white gold, but it is hard to visually see the difference between the two. Those allergic to nickel should avoid white gold, as nickel is typically used when alloying the metal.

Platinum is another great option for a white metal piece, and is far rarer than gold. It will never turn and keeps its white, metallic color. However, it is denser and scratches easier than gold, but is a heavier metal. Platinum is occasionally used for prongs, since it is less likely to break. However, due to its density, it is more susceptible to bending. Platinum is also hypoallergenic and is recommended if you have any metal allergies or sensitives. 


What is the price difference between white gold and platinum, and why?

One of the main differences between platinum and white gold is the price. Platinum is roughly 40-50% more expensive than white gold because more platinum is required to make a piece due to its density. Along with this, platinum is rarer than gold, which also contributes to its high price tag. If you compared both metals by their price per gram, you wouldn’t see much of a price difference, but because of the different densities and how much metal is needed comparatively, the prices are quite different. Since white gold is a mixture of durable metals, it is much lower in price and more affordable than platinum. Platinum is more expensive initially, but less costly for maintenance. 


What is the difference when it comes to durability between white gold and platinum? 

Platinum is a purer metal and although heavier than gold, it is more bendable and because of its density, platinum is more susceptible to scratching over time. Platinum will require routine polishing and cleaning to maintain its smooth appearance, so the upkeep tends to be higher. If you’re careful with your jewelry, I would go with platinum, as it keeps its white color over time. 

White gold is durable enough for everyday wear. The mixture of durable metals help to strengthen and increase its durability. It becomes stronger when more durable metals are added to it. However, It will need to be re-plated every few years to maintain its color and luster. It will also need to be polished, but generally not as often as platinum. If you are hard on your jewelry I would go with white gold, preferably 14k, because it doesn’t scratch as easily as platinum. 


Which is more popular right now for wedding bands — white gold or platinum — and why?

I wouldn’t say one is more popular than the other, it more so comes down to personal preference and durability. I would ask the client if they are planning on wearing only their wedding band daily, as opposed to their engagement ring. Or are they going to be wearing both at the same time? If they are planning to wear their wedding band and engagement ring together, I would recommend them to get the same metal for each, so there is no stark contrast if they chose white gold for one and it started to wear and turn yellow. When it comes down to it, platinum is worth more, but does require more maintenance regarding cleaning/polishing. However, you’ll never have to re-plate a platinum ring like you would a white gold ring. With all this, it’s hard to say what’s more popular because there are so many deciding factors and it depends on the clients needs. 


Which is more popular right now for engagement rings — white gold or platinum — and why?

For engagement rings, if a client wants a yellow gold band, typically the prongs are platinum so it resists breaking. This also makes the diamond look more white against the prongs. The diamond will look white in relation and you may be able to go down in the diamonds color by a grade or two. As far as popularity between white gold and platinum, again it depends on the clients needs. Due to affordability, white gold is a popular option. But if someone isn’t planning on wearing their engagement ring often, then they typically opt for platinum so they don’t have to worry about scratching. Overall, for both popularity of wedding bands and engagement rings, both options are great choices and look virtually identical to the naked eye, while platinum costs significantly more. 


What is the difference in style between white gold and platinum?

Ultimately, there is no difference in style between white gold and platinum. They both look identical to the naked eye, until white gold eventually wears. But besides this, there is no difference!


Are there any differences when it comes to cleaning and maintenance?

Yes, there is quite a difference when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. As mentioned, the rhodium on the white gold will eventually turn yellow and will need to be re-plated every few years to maintain its color and luster. It will also need to be polished but not as often as platinum. Platinum will require routine polishing and cleaning to maintain its smooth appearance, so the upkeep tends to be higher.


Is there any advice you would give buyers looking for engagement rings or wedding bands?

Engagement ring and wedding band shopping is so exciting but can be so frustrating. Don’t be afraid to get what YOU want, it’s important to not go with the trendy piece or the one someone else recommends. We work with both lab and mined diamonds, and lab grown diamonds are increasingly becoming more popular. It is a great choice and a more affordable option (typically 30% less than a mined diamond), plus its more sustainable! Do your research on the 4C’s — cut, color, clarity and carat — which are the measurable ways we can assess diamond quality. This will help you to determine your budget and what you are looking for in terms of diamond shape and quality. Cut is the most important aspect for its overall appearance and color is the second most important component when choosing a diamond. Once a budget is determined, first assess the qualities (cut/color/clarity) and then determine carat size. Lastly, work with an honest jeweler who can steer you in the right direction. It is a huge decision that is incredibly exciting. To anyone who is currently buying: be patient, stick to your budget and have fun! 


If you or someone you know is currently interested in buying an engagement ring or wedding band, email info@LEFineJewelry.com to schedule a phone consultation with LE Fine Jewelry!