Platinum VS White gold
Which Is Better?
When you’re shopping for an engagement or wedding ring or any other piece of jewellery, most people know from the beginning what their preference is for metal colour. If you’ve decided you like the look of a white metal, then there is one more choice to make and that is to decide between Platinum and White Gold.
Although similar in appearance, these two metals are actually quite different materials with very different properties.
One question our jewellers are frequently asked is “Which metal is better…White Gold or Platinum?” It turns out, the answer to that is not quite so straight forward. They both have their advantages and disadvantages and your design choices can play a big part in determining which metal is best for your piece.
Platinum and White Gold are both durable metals which respond to impact, pressure and scratches in different ways.
Platinum is a very dense metal which means it has excellent resistance to wearing away. A wedding ring made in Platinum could be worn for decades and barely lose any thickness at all. The downside of Platinum is that it tends to lose its high polish and sharp edges fairly quickly. This is not because they are being worn away but, more accurately, they are being moulded like clay around the surface of the ring. This can result in small ‘bruises’ and dents on the metal surface that over time creates its own unique finish called a patina. It is this particular characteristic that can mean some design elements are better in White Gold.
Although not as dense as Platinum, White Gold is intrinsically strong and fine details have more rigidity. If a design features hand engraving, mill grain or square edges, these details will be retained by White Gold better than Platinum. The downside of White Gold is that it is more susceptible to wearing away. If you have ever seen an old White Gold ring, it is likely you would have noticed that it has become very thin due to the metal wearing off over time.
We will assess your design and ask you questions about your lifestyle, occupation and how often you’re most likely to wear your piece to determine which metal’s durability is better suited for you.
Another separating factor is colour. While Platinum is a naturally white metal, White Gold is made by combining pure gold (which is yellow in colour) with alloying metals such as Palladium. Because of the yellow metal content, White Gold is actually slightly grey/off-white in colour. This can be corrected by a surface treatment called Rhodium plating.
Rhodium plating is the application of a very thin layer of a metal called Rhodium that is electrically plated on to the surface of the White Gold to change it to a brighter white colour. This plating wears off over time and needs to be reapplied throughout the life of the jewellery. The plating can last around up to 3 years if you take good care of your jewellery.
The final consideration is cost. Platinum jewellery is typically more expensive than White Gold jewellery, however the need to replate White Gold means there are additional maintenance costs over time when compared with Platinum, which only requires a polish every few years.
Which ever choice you make our custom makes receive a FREE clean and polish annually.
When choosing your metal, it is important to keep in mind any future purchases of jewellery too. Any jewellery that may rub up against each other, like an engagement ring and wedding ring, will need to be made of the same metal, in order to ensure that one is not wearing the other away over time.