I often get asked the question “which is better platinum or white gold?” This is not a simple question and the answer might be different for different people or circumstances. Appearance – 18 ct white gold and platinum have a very similar appearance when a ring is newly made. They are both very white and shiny. Over time however the white gold ring will lose its bright whiteness and start to get a yellowish tinge. This is easily fixed by having the ring rhodium plated which can be done at a cost of between $40 – $60. Timeframes for this are around 18 months to 2 years. At Hope Diamonds we use Palladium Based alloy in our 18 ct white gold which enhances the whiteness for longer. With platinum however the metal retains its whiteness without any maintenance required.
Durability – Firstly platinum does not wear over time like 18 ct white gold will. In 20 years, if you weighed a platinum ring it would weigh exactly the same on the day it was made. A gold ring will weigh less as it will wear away slightly over time. People have a misconception that platinum is harder than gold and this is not the case. A platinum ring will scratch easier than a gold ring, so in that way it is softer. It is however, more difficult to bend platinum as it is a more brittle metal to work with. The good news is you can polish both metals over time and minor scratches will be removed.
Servicing – working with platinum is more challenging for a jeweller than gold. For example it needs to be melted at much higher temperatures to work with. This can lead to issues with diamonds or other stones burning during repair or sizing. The other issue with sizing platinum rings is that you will be able to see a very minor cut in the platinum where as in gold there is no visible evidence of a ring being sized.
Platinum Ring by Hope Diamonds
Price – this is where it gets tricky – gold is currently more expensive per ounce than platinum in its purist form but 18 ct white gold has 75% gold and 25% alloy. Platinum is 95% platinum and only 5% alloy. Platinum is also heavier so the same ring will weigh more in platinum than it will in white gold. Then there is the cost to make the ring. Due to the fact that platinum is more difficult to work with than gold, jewellers will charge more to make a platinum ring than a white gold ring. Therefore the same ring in platinum ring will be slightly more expensive than in white gold.
The Verdict Platinum v white gold – If the budget will stretch comfortably then most people will go with platinum, but if the budget is tight and you don’t mind a little maintenance then white gold is the answer for most people. The ring will look as good and will be easy to service over the years.