Choosing your metal

PLATINUM vs WHITE GOLD FOR ENGAGEMENT RINGS

IS WHITE GOLD THE SAME AS PLATINUM?

The answer to this question is no. White gold and platinum have their own properties which make them unique. The following white gold information and platinum information show you the difference between the two metals.

WHITE GOLD

White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as silver and palladium. White gold can be 18ct, 14ct, 9ct or any karat. For example, 18ct yellow gold is made by mixing 75% gold (750 parts per thousand) with 25% (250 parts per thousand) other metals such as copper and zinc. 18ct white gold is made by mixing 75% gold with 25% other metals such as silver and palladium. So the amount of gold is the same but the alloy is different.

Some of our diamond engagement rings made of white gold are coated with another white metal called Rhodium. Rhodium is a metal very similar to platinum and Rhodium shares many of the properties of platinum including its white color.

The rhodium plating is used to make the white gold look more white. The natural colour of white gold is actually a light grey colour. The Rhodium is very white and very hard, but it does wear away eventually. To keep a white gold ring looking its best it should be re-rhodium plated approximately each 12 to 18 months.

PLATINUM

Platinum is a white metal, but unlike gold it is used in jewellery in almost its pure form (approximately 95% pure). Platinum is extremely long wearing and is very white, so it does not need to be Rhodium plated like white gold.

Platinum is very dense (heavy), so a platinum ring will feel heavier than an 14ct or 18ct gold ring.

Platinum is, however, very expensive hence the price increase.

IS THE COLOUR OF WHITE GOLD DIFFERENT TO PLATINUM?

The answer to this question depends on whether the white gold jewellery item is in its natural colour or whether it has been rhodium plated.

If a white gold item has been rhodium plated then the colour difference will not really be noticeable at all.

Platinum has a permanent bright white lustre and does not have a very light yellow/dark grey tinge like white gold.

Platinum is great if you want that bright white look without having to re-plate every year. In the long run it is a better and cheaper option.

IS PLATINUM MORE DURABLE THAN WHITE GOLD? 

Technically the answer to this question is yes. We have outlined why below, but it is important to understand that platinum is not damage proof and can still sustain scratches and damage as any other ring.

People often assume because of the price tag that it may be more durable. This metal does also hold a reputation among people as being the more durable metal however this is not necessarily so.

What we have come to realise is that to consumers buying jewellery, durability equates to how scratch and dint proof something is. However there is a major difference between durability and scratch resistance.

We'll re-iterate by saying that no metal, no matter it’s expense or preciousness is scratch or dent proof. It is how a metal copes with damage that occurs causing scratching or dints that determines what is considered more durable.

Platinum as a fact, is very durable. Because it is a highly malleable metal, when it is scratched or dented, the scratch or dent displaces the metal, moving it leaving ridges on the edge of the scratch or dent. This action is what classifies Platinum to be so durable.

This is by comparison to other precious metals such as gold where if the same thing were to occur, you lose the metal from the ring rather than it moving to a different area. Gold rings also wear down quicker than Platinum as a result of this. 

COMPARING DIFFERENT KARAT OF GOLD

We work with 10k, 14k, 18k and 24k golds (White, Yellow and Rose)
We normally work with 14k gold when creating our diamond set engagement rings and do not make them in 10k.

14K gold is actually a gold alloy – a mixture containing additional metals, not only gold. These extra ingredients are meant to improve the characteristics of the alloy.

DIFFERENCE OF HARDNESS

The difference in purity between 24K and 10k or 14K gold results in different levels of hardness, affecting how these two materials are used in jewellery.

14K Gold Is used a lot in Jewellery for Its Hardness.

14-karat gold is relatively hard, and this is one of the reasons this alloy is a popular choice for jewellery. This characteristic also makes 14K gold pieces more durable.

Jewellery made of this type of gold scratches less and lasts longer because it wears out more slowly compared with higher-karat gold.

Pure gold 24k is very rarely used in our jewellery because this metal is very soft. As a result, it can easily be scratched and misshaped.

Not only that – since gold is a malleable metal, anything made of 24K gold will bend easily.

For example, a ring made of pure gold would be too prone to damage, and its parts (e.g., the prongs in its setting) would wear down very quickly.

DIFFERENCE IN COLOUR

When it comes to colour, there is no contest – 24-karat gold is the pure winner, as its tone is the actual colour of the real thing.

Any alloy with lower purity will not have a colour that matches the hue of pure gold, although 18K gold can come pretty close.

10k and 14K gold has a yellow colour that is not as saturated as that of 24K gold – the tone of 10k and 14K gold is paler in comparison.

However, its exact hue will vary depending on the other metals in the alloy and their relative concentration.

DIFFERENCE IN PRICE

24K gold is as expensive as gold gets – it just does not get any purer than that.

10k and 14K gold is much more affordable, and this is yet another reason that jewellery made with this alloy is so popular.

When you also consider that 14-karat gold is reasonably durable, you can see why a lot of people prefer it as “the golden mean” – its purity is not as low as that of 10K gold; at the same time, 14K gold is not as expensive as 18K or 24k gold.