White has long been a signature color of weddings. From the cake to the bridal gown, this traditional color has a rich symbolic history for brides and grooms. Now the color white is making an even greater showing among wedding rings, as couples choose white gold or platinum for their bands. At first glance these metals look nearly identical, but there are details of white gold vs. platinum that every buyer needs to know.
White Gold vs. Platinum:
- White gold is an alloy of gold and other combined white metals, such as silver or palladium which give it its “white look”.
- White gold rings are plated with a precious metal called rhodium, which increases the shine, but wears off over time, whereas Platinum never needs to be rhodium plated and retains its finish.
- Platinum rings are 95% pure platinum and hold a bright white look without plating.
- Platinum is about twice as dense as gold but is slightly more durable.
- Platinum is about 3-4 times more expensive than white gold, but gold requires more maintenance.
- Platinum is hypoallergenic, whereas a small percentage of the population experience allergies with white gold, due to its small nickel content.
White Gold vs. Platinum – Shopping Tips
Many buyers say, “Well they look about the same, so I’ll go with the cheaper choice.” While cost is an important factor in choosing a wedding ring, there are significant differences between white gold vs. platinum, because each metal has its own unique properties.
White gold consists of not just gold but also other metals like palladium and silver. This makes white gold an alloy, so an 18K white gold ring actually consists of 75 percent gold metal and 25 percent other white metals, which give it the white color. Many white gold rings are plated with a hard, very white metal called rhodium. This metal gives white gold a brighter appearance, but the rhodium does wear off.
To keep white gold rings consistently looking bright white, they should be recovered in rhodium approximately every year (if there’s significant wear and tear) or every few years. As the rhodium wears off, the white gold will reveal its natural color, which is just faintly yellow, since the main metal is gold. The rhodium covering process is easily done at a local jeweler or retail jewelry chain for an economical price. In white gold vs. platinum, white gold takes the cake on cost effectiveness because it is a less pricey metal. Platinum is priced about 300 percent above white gold jewelry. However, as discussed, there is some extra care required to maintain the brightness of white gold rings.
Platinum is also an alloy, but it is usually a higher percentage of pure platinum than the alloy of white gold. Platinum rings are about 95 percent pure, and it is a naturally white metal, unlike gold. It is also about twice as dense as gold. As far as strength and durability in white gold vs. platinum, both metals will show scratches, but platinum tends to last longer. Some platinum rings are given rhodium covering, but most are not because the metal has the natural bright white color that rhodium provides. Regardless of rhodium plating, platinum has a stronger resistance to scratching. Platinum jewelry does cost more up front, but the care and maintenance of the ring is less over time.
When choosing the right “white” ring for your wedding, consider the white gold vs. platinum differences. Buyers should keep in mind upfront costs vs. maintenance cost, as well as durability. Whatever your decision, you’ll find an exclusive selection of rings to meet any budget at ApplesofGold.com.
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Category: Jewelry Guide