While shopping for an engagement ring, there are so many choices to make – what diamond shape would your partner like? What setting style would they like? Which precious metal should I choose?
If you are shopping for an engagement ring or other piece of fine jewelry, you have likely noticed by now that white gold and platinum are incredibly similar in appearance, raising the question: should I choose white gold or platinum? Keep reading for our unbiased advice.
What is platinum?
Platinum is a naturally occurring silver-white colored metal. It is very dense and is one of the heaviest metals. It's also incredibly rare – even more so than gold. To get an idea of how rare it is, if all the world’s platinum ever produced was put in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, it would only cover your ankles. (By contrast, all the world’s gold ever produced would fill three Olympic-sized swimming pools.)
Since platinum is so rare, it is much pricier than gold. For example, this ring is $870 in platinum, and only $550 in 14kt white gold.
Platinum is sought-after because it is so durable. It's unique in that when it becomes scratched, the metal moves within the ring. This differs from other metals like gold which slowly lose metal each time they are scratched.
Even though platinum is very durable, it is technically softer than gold, so it will scratch more easily. When platinum becomes scratched, it creates a patina finish. Patina can make a ring look a little scratched and less shiny, but this can easily be fixed by taking your ring to the jewelers to get polished.
Another advantage to platinum is that it is hypoallergenic, making it an ideal choice for someone with sensitive skin.
What is white gold?
White gold is not naturally occurring – white gold comes from gold mixed with alloys such as nickel, silver, or palladium to get its white color. Since white gold frequently contains nickel, it is not a hypoallergenic metal. White gold can come in different levels of fineness, such as 14kt white gold (58.3% gold content) and 18kt white gold (75% gold content).
White gold also gets its color from rhodium plating. Rhodium helps enhance a ring’s strength and shine - however, your ring will need to be replated from time to time depending on how much wear and tear you subject it to. You'll know your ring needs to be replated when it looks dull, warm-toned and yellow rather than cool-toned. If you purchase a white gold engagement ring or wedding ring from Ritani, we can re-plate your ring for free each year as a part of our lifetime warranty.
A benefit of white gold is that it is harder to scratch than platinum because its alloys increase its resistance to scratches. But as discussed earlier, when white gold is scratched, your jewelry piece will be losing metal.
Can you tell the difference between white gold and platinum?
A newly purchased platinum ring and white gold ring will be identical to each other. But once a white gold ring loses its rhodium plating, it will look dull and the difference will be obvious.
Is platinum better than white gold?
There isn’t really a definitive answer as to which metal is better. It’s really all about your preferences and budget. If you have sensitive skin or work with your hands a lot, we recommend platinum. Or if you know you don’t want to deal with the upkeep of white gold, choose platinum. But otherwise, white gold is a beautiful choice with a great price point. Most of our customers at Ritani choose white gold for their engagement rings.
Ready to create the perfect ring? Browse our collection of white gold and platinum engagement rings.