White Gold Wedding Bands vs. Platinum Wedding Bands
February 20, 2009 by Yelena Jenkins
If you are delving into the hunt for the perfect wedding band, congratulations! Preparing for marriage is an extremely exciting time, and it pays to do your research before spending money on a wedding band. Once you have decided that you love the look of a white precious metal, it’s time to choose between white gold and platinum wedding bands.
Much of what is considered fact about the difference between white gold and platinum is inaccurate. One person hears a fact, gets it slightly wrong, and passes on the misinformation, which propagates as the incorrect facts are shared with friends of friends.
White Gold vs. Platinum: Differences in Metal Color
White gold is naturally light gray in color, and has to be rhodium to create the white, super shiny metal finish. This means that to maintain its original white appearance, white gold rings that are worn regularly should be replated with rhodium once every year to two years.
Platinum, on the other hand, is naturally white in color and does not require periodic replating. Over time, the bright white color will become slightly more gray, but can be easily repolished at a jeweler to restore the original shade.
Identical wedding bands made from white gold and platinum will have a dramatic weight difference (with platinum outweighing the gold by quite a bit). Platinum, being 60% denser than gold and 3 times more rare, typically costs three to four times more than white gold. The exact price difference varies from day to day and depends on the current market prices for each of the precious metals, but gold has always been a more affordable precious metal. Finally, platinum is harder to work with in creating fine jewelry, which means that the labor for a platinum ring is more expensive than the labor for a white gold ring; another determining factor in the increased price of platinum.
White Gold vs. Platinum: Differences in Wear
Scratches affect white gold and platinum rings in different ways. When white gold is scratched, some of the gold is removed from the ring. Eliminating a deeper scratch requires a jeweler to add a small amount of white gold back to the ring; or if a surface scratch, polishing and re-rhodium plating the ring will refurbish the ring to its original state. If a platinum ring is scratched, the metal is simply rearranged and needs to be burnished by a jeweler to restore the ring to its original condition.
However, it’s important to note that platinum will scratch more readily than will white gold. So although it is easier to fix a scratched platinum ring, a platinum ring will naturally get more scratched up than a white gold ring over time.
White Gold vs. Platinum: Differences for Allergies
White gold is not 100% natural gold. Gold is naturally yellow, so it must be mixed with other white metals to produce the white color. The introduction of different metals into the ring can cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to metals. On the other hand, platinum rings are almost pure platinum, making them hypoallergenic.
Apples of Gold carries a beautiful selection of white gold and platinum wedding bands. Unless you are highly allergic to white gold, choosing between platinum and white gold basically boils down to personal preference. Some couples love the luxury of wearing platinum rings every day, while others prefer the price savings of a white gold wedding band. Either way, make sure you love your wedding band – it will be with you for a lifetime!
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