When buying a ring for yourself or a loved one, the decision to choose between platinum and white gold can seem near impossible, but remember there are many differences in the white metals that may narrow things down. Although they may look alike on the surface, the inside is often what counts and that is where the similarities end.
Before you make a purchase on the many options, you may want to have all the facts first, so below is a list of the 3 biggest differences between platinum and white gold rings:
1) Care in Aging
It may seem that platinum and white gold should age the same over time, considering their outwardly similar appearance, but this isn’t true.
Although white gold is a gorgeous white metal, it isn’t a pure gold. The finished result, which is usually seen on a ring or other piece of jewelry, is actually made up a combination of yellow gold and palladium, nickel, or silver. That mix is then plated with rhodium to give the white gold a shinier, whiter look, hence the originally similar appearance to platinum. The difference is that rhodium plates will wear down over time, exposing the yellow color underneath. This can be easily combated by getting the jewelry replated, but this process may have to be repeated often over the course of years.
Platinum, however, ages differently. Rather than turn yellow, it will gradually fade in color and lose the shiny finish. This too can be treated by a trip to a jeweler as they can polish the precious metal back to perfection, but some people find that this natural fading is a good thing since it often brings more attention to the diamond.
2) Lifespan and Durability
Platinum has often been described as the toughest metal in terms of jewelry, and here is one of the reasons why: this metal handles wear and tear differently. Where white gold is scratched away and lost from the piece, platinum simply redistributes the scratched bit to another place on the ring, giving it an antique look. If you prefer to maintain the appearance of new condition, though, a simple polishing job can replace the platinum to its previous location.
Because of this durable feature as well as the metal’s ability to be resized and then polished to look new, a platinum ring can last a long time, perhaps as a family heirloom, with no retouching necessary.
3) Hypoallergenic Elements
Although it’s typically rare, the metals contained in a white gold ring could cause an irritation or rash for someone who has sensitive skin. Instead of dealing with the discomfort, you may want to purchase a ring made from hypoallergenic metal.
Platinum, which is characterized as 95% pure, is one of the only hypoallergenic metals used in jewelry that is currently on the market. Even if you aren’t sure about having an allergy to any of the metals used in white gold, it can be better to not take the risk.