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Platinum vs. White Gold: Which is Better?

August 06, 2020 3 min read

Platinum & Sapphire Engagement Ring

White metals are a popular choice for rings—and for good reason: they have a timeless appeal, look great on many skin tones, and accentuate the beauty of any colorless diamond or vivid gemstone.

So how do you choose between white gold and platinum for your wedding band or engagement ring? Well, neither is better, so we recommend both!

Read on to discover the differences between white gold and platinum (and why we don’t recommend silver).

White Gold Engagement Ring & Wedding Band

White Gold

The silvery sheen and affordability of white gold has made it the most popular metal for wedding bands and engagement rings.

Here is how white gold differs from platinum:

Affordability

The key benefit of white gold is its attractive price point. And just because white gold is less expensive doesn’t mean it’s less beautiful—in fact, white gold and platinum are nearly identical.

 Hardness

In its pure form, gold is softer than platinum. But once alloyed, white gold becomes harder than platinum. This makes white gold jewelry more resistant to scratching, yet there’s a caveat: when white gold does get scratched, that metal is lost, though it’s only microns at a time.

However, with proper wear and care, your white gold ring can remain beautiful and safe for a lifetime. If price isn’t a consideration, think about your lifestyle (hobbies, jobs, and housework) when considering white gold over platinum.

White Gold Half Moon Engagement Rings

 

Rhodium Plating

Because gold is soft and naturally yellow, it must be alloyed (mixed) with other metals for color and strength. The result? Unplated white gold looks gray with a yellow tint. To make it look whiter, many jewelers plate white gold jewelry with a thin layer of rhodium, a naturally white precious metal in the platinum family. Over time, this plating will wear away, and the ring will require new plating.We use a type of white gold called ‘X1’ that is formulated to achieve a very good white color, without the need for rhodium plating. 

Nickel Allergies

To be strong enough for jewelry, high-quality white gold contains nickel, a white base metal used as a bleaching agent for yellow gold. However, individuals who have a nickel allergy may be sensitive to it in any capacity. If you have this sensitivity, read on to discover why platinum is perfect for you.

 

Platinum

As the rarest and purest precious metal for rings, platinum commands a higher price than gold when used in jewelry. If you’re seeking a strong, naturally white metal, you may be interested in platinum and how it differs from white gold:

Hypoallergenic

High-quality platinum is never alloyed with nickel, so it’s hypoallergenic for people with nickel allergies.

Naturally White

That brilliant white shine? That’s the raw beauty of platinum—which, as a naturally white metal, requires no rhodium plating to maintain its color.

Exceptionally Pure

Depending on the specific alloy, platinum jewelry is 90–95% pure precious metal. This purity is part of why platinum is hypoallergenic, but it also means platinum jewelry is dense. When compared to a gold ring of the same size, the platinum ring will be noticeably heavier. This is luxury you can feel!

Stone Security

This is the metal of choice for securing expensive stones. When platinum prongs are damaged, they bend rather than break due to platinum’s malleability (how easy it is to shape). If you notice deformed platinum prongs, get the ring to a jeweler to prevent further deformation. 

No Metal Loss

Imagine running your finger through a stick of butter. Similar to how the butter moves aside, platinum, when scratched, does the same thing. The metal is displaced rather than lost. Take it to a jeweler and they can buff your ring to smoothness though it does require some extra work. 

Classy Patina

Platinum develops a lovely patina over time that gives it an antique look and feel. While the shine can be restored, you may want to get used to that patina because it will quickly return. 

Due to its premium price, we offer platinum only for custom rings (no earrings or necklaces) and do not recommend it for less valuable stones, like moissanite.

What About Silver?

Since silver jewelry tends to tarnish and isn’t very durable, we neither recommend nor offer it for engagement rings and wedding bands.

Still have questions? Want to get started with a custom design?

Send an email to hello@valeriemadison.com or call 206-395-6359 to get started.

2.23ct Salt & Pepper Diamond Three Stone Ring in White Gold