The wedding band is an important symbol of marriage that will last longer than the flowers, the cake, and the white dress, so selecting these rings is a careful decision for the bride and groom. Most couples today are choosing wedding bands that reflect their style, which means steering away from the very traditional yellow gold. Instead, couples are looking at wedding bands with the modern touch of white gold or platinum. Both of these metals have benefits, so couples should consider carefully when choosing white gold wedding bands or platinum wedding bands.
For many brides and grooms, budget is a priority. While it might be easy to dream big when it comes to wedding jewelry, the cost of doing so may shorten the joy of the wedding when big bills must be paid. Couples can stay within their budget by deciding what elements are important to them in a ring. If they’re looking for that bright white color, white gold might be the perfect choice.
White gold is a very popular metal for wedding bands today because of its gleaming white color and affordable price ranges. What many buyers may not realize is that white gold is actually an alloy of gold and other metals. Since pure gold is a yellow color naturally, other metals are mixed with it to give white gold its white color. Typically, white gold is an alloy of gold and naturally white metals like silver, palladium, nickel, or zinc. These metals may cause some wearers light irritation, so couples should make sure the metals used in their wedding band don’t present an issue. The metals used in gold alloys also allow the gold to be strengthened, since pure gold isn’t strong enough to make jewelry with. The purity of a white gold alloy is measured in carats, with 24 carats (24K) being pure gold. White gold wedding bands are usually made of 14K gold, which is about 58 percent gold and 42 percent other metals.
Couples searching for white gold wedding bands should also consider the maintenance and care required to keep the bands looking brilliant. Since white gold can be scratched, most rings are coated with an even harder white metal. This substance, called rhodium, brightens the ring but it will eventually wear off. White gold can be re-coated with rhodium as needed (about once a year) at nearly any jewelry shop for a low cost. White gold bands will show wear and tear, but the metal is much more economical than platinum.
As the more expensive of the precious metals, platinum does fend off wear and tear a little better than white gold and requires less maintenance in the long term. But, platinum also weighs more, too. The metal is denser than gold and some couples may not want a heavier ring to wear every day. Platinum offers a higher value in terms of purity, since it is 95 percent pure in most wedding bands. Unlike white gold, which is alloyed for jewelry at 75 percent purity or less, platinum offers a much higher value in precious metal wear. Platinum wedding bands also bring a naturally white color that is bright enough not to require rhodium plating. This highly valued metal does come with a higher price tag–sometimes 300 percent higher than gold wedding bands. While this may seem sky-high, the benefits of platinum ensure the ring will last a lifetime.
When couples are searching for their perfect wedding ring and are faced with a choice between white gold and platinum, they should consider the benefits and disadvantages to each. Budget may be the priority or perhaps durability is what’s important. Either way, both of these precious metals make for beautiful wedding bands.