White Gold vs Platinum Jewellery
White Gold vs Platinum Jewellery
When it comes to choosing your perfect engagement ring or wedding ring, many will focus on choosing the diamond and, if applicable, gemstones for their ring. However, whether you’re purchasing diamond jewellery from an existing collection or specifying your bespoke jewellery requirements, it’s important to consider the best metal for the band in which the stone is set.
While white gold and platinum appear similar at a first glance, as they share a silver, shiny hue, there are actually a number of differences between these precious metals. So, in the white gold vs. platinum jewellery debate, which metal is more suitable for your diamond jewellery?
Platinum is naturally white and therefore does not require a combination of metals to achieve a desirable hue. It usually comprises approximately 95% pure platinum and 5% other pure alloys. The white hue produced by this is aesthetically pleasing but it usually comes at a higher cost. Platinum can also develop something referred to as a ‘patina’ over time. This is a natural effect, which makes the metal appear to have a misty quality. The patina can be easily removed by having jewellery re-polished, so it regains its original, shiny hue.
The colour of gold is actually determined by the metals used as alloys that are added when gold jewellery is produced. Alloys enhance certain properties of gold, such as durability, which wouldn’t be optimised if gold was used as a pure element.
White gold jewellery, for example, is produced by combining yellow gold with a white alloy. Over time, the original yellow sheen can begin to reappear, so white gold jewellery may occasionally need to be re-polished and the rhodium plating to be re-applied.
When comparing white gold to platinum, platinum is undeniably more durable. This high durability means that if your lifestyle or career requires you to use your hands a lot, as may be the case for sporty individuals or doctors, it’s worth considering a platinum ring as an investment.
Platinum’s durability and density means that it’s less malleable than white gold and more labour-intensive to work with, therefore making it a more expensive metal choice. White Gold is slightly whiter in colour due to its plating, so if you desire a white, shiny finish for your jewellery at a slightly lower price point to platinum, then white gold offers the perfect compromise.
White gold is lighter than platinum, and this difference in weight is another reason why it’s the less expensive of the two metals. For those who desire a ring that looks substantial but isn’t heavy to wear, white gold provides the ideal choice.
One benefit of choosing platinum that could be very valuable is that it is a hypoallergenic metal. Its natural whiteness means the production of platinum avoids the use of nickel, which can cause an allergic reaction for anyone who has sensitive skin.
By contrast, white gold includes nickel as an alloy, in order to achieve its desirable finish. If you opt for a white gold ring, it’s therefore important to ensure it’s rhodium plated to minimise, or in some cases entirely remove, contact between the nickel and your skin. Make sure you also look into having your ring replated if a yellow tint appears, as this indicates that the rhodium has begun to wear off.
Although the initial cost of platinum diamond jewellery is typically more than that of white gold diamond jewellery, it does not need to be re-plated only repolished. White gold pieces of jewellery may require rhodium replating usually once a year depending on wear. In the case of engagement rings, this can mean that you’re without your ring for a few days while a specialist jewellers reapplies the rhodium coating. The process isn’t expensive but if it’s necessary on a regular basis, then the price of your white gold jewellery can be significantly higher than the initial cost.