While white gold looks very similar to platinum, over time the rhodium plating on the white gold will wear off and the ring will fade to its true color, a yellowish white. Once you re-polish and only if you re-plate a white gold ring, it will look bright white again. Platinum, which is naturally white, will not wear to a yellowish tint.
COST of GOLD vs PLATINUM
Currently, gold and platinum are similar in price per gram. However platinum is much more dense, and so more of it is required to make the same ring compared to white gold. Additionally, platinum rings are usually 95% pure platinum, while 14k gold is only 58.5% gold. Also consider that platinum is a bit harder to work with, requiring higher casting and welding temperatures and different equipment. Platinum also can take 3 times longer to finish polish. Therefore, platinum rings are still 80% to 120% more expensive than the exact same 14 karat white gold jewelry.
DURABILITY of GOLD vs PLATINUM
Both gold and platinum are both relatively soft metals. Softer than even the softest of gemstones. That characteristic is part of what makes them ideal for metal-smiths to cast, manipulate, solder or weld, and much easier to set precious stones in them. Of the two metals, platinum is the denser and the more durable. For example, the prongs holding the center stone of a platinum engagement ring are less likely to break, and will not wear away like the same prongs on a gold engagement ring. I have seen 100 year old platinum rings that have never needed their prongs re-tipped or replaced, or their designs worn away. Although its important to be aware that thin pieces of platinum bend much easier than white gold. So if prongs are made of platinum, they should be more robust, to deter accidental bending.
Many older platinum rings were made with a 10% iridium alloy. These are stamped with a “Plat 900”, for 90%. They also are sometimes stamped: “90%platinum 10% iridium” This alloy is less expensive, but it is more inclined to wear down, but not as much as gold alloys. The iridium-platinum is also not as white as the other platinum alloys. We will generally only use a 95% platinum and 5% ruthenium alloy. In this country, as long as platinum is at least 95% pure, it can be marked with the simple “plat” or “platinum” stamps.
When platinum is mined, it is found together with a ‘group’ of metals. This group of metals is called: “Platinum Group Metals.” More commonly referred to as “PGM’s.” The five PGM’s are: Iridium, Palladium, Platinum, Rhodium and Ruthenium. Rhodium and palladium are often used in catalytic converters. Their unique properties can act as a catalyst to help remove some of the more atmospherically harmful exhaust gases from internal combustion engines.
PLATINUM SCRATCHES EASIER THAN 14kt GOLD
Despite being a denser and stronger/more durable metal, platinum is actually softer than 14kt gold. This means it will get scratched a little easier than 14kt gold would. However, an important thing to note is when gold is scratched, the gold is lost and it looks like a scratch. When platinum is scratched, the platinum gets moved from one place on the ring to another, and it develops something called a patina finish (Which looks more like an antique ring.) If you think about how silver quickly looks frosted [the patina] with wear, platinum has that same ‘look’, but does not wear away like silver (or gold) does. A lot of people love and desire the patina finish.
PLATINUM IS TRULY WHITE
As mentioned above, platinum will always stay white, but white gold needs to be re-polished and re-plated occasionally to avoid the metal’s true yellow hue. This yellow hue usually appears in several months to several years after the rhodium plating is worn off. This depends on how much wear and tear the ring is exposed to. Generally the bottom of the ring’s shank loses its rhodium finish first. The top of the ring, and any raised edges will soon follow. Any depressions, or sunken areas in a ring’s design, will generally retain their rhodium plating, unless polished after a repair. This loss of rhodium can be accelerated by being subjected to some chemicals, or heavy wear.
GOLD vs PLATINUM – COMFORT
Because platinum is more dense than gold, platinum rings will feel significantly heavier than gold as well. Some prefer the heavier weight, but others find the lightness of gold rings to be more comfortable. It is really up to each individual person. One more benefit of platinum is that it is hypoallergenic. While yellow gold rings do not create an allergy issue for most people, some people react to nickel. People may also develop an allergic reaction from repeated exposure to the nickel used in white gold (and silver) rings.
If you still can’t decide between gold and platinum, don’t worry. If you have the budget, choose platinum. If you don’t, then white gold is still a precious metal and is an excellent choice. At the end of the day, all rings require some minimal upkeep and maintenance.Buy Jewellery Online