Comparing Platinum and White Gold?

Platinum vs GoldWith engagement rings and wedding bands, our clients continually ask whether we prefer platinum or white gold. Both precious metals have advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered.

Price: Traditionally, platinum has been more expensive than gold, and consumers perceive platinum as more valuable. In 2008, gold became more popular with investors seeking security, and prices have steadily increased. Currently, the price of platinum and gold are comparable, and is less of a factor in the decision making process.

Color: White gold rings and bands, whether 14kt or 18kt, are plated with rhodium to provide the brilliant white color we desire. With time, rhodium wears off, and white gold rings will need to be re-plated and polished. Platinum is not plated, and does not lose color, but with normal wear, the metal will begin looking “dull” and need to be polished. Regardless of metal, engagement rings and wedding bands should be regularly maintained, which includes polishing.

Durability: Gold is stronger than platinum and has a higher tinsel strength. Platinum is heavier and more dense than gold, but tends to scuff easier. Gold will break where platinum will bend. Jewelers are always concerned about prongs getting damaged and center stones lost. For women that work with their hands, we are less concerned about the metal, and pay more attention to an engagement ring’s style. Lower profile settings protect the center stones, and a bezel should be considered. 14kt gold is preferable for men’s wedding bands when guys are tough on their jewelry.

Designers:  Some designers prefer to work in platinum while others like gold. Novell makes wonderful bands and they work almost exclusively in gold. Phillip Press is known for exquisite engraving, filigree and under galleries, and his world-renowned designs are only available in platinum. If you prefer a specific designer or ring, you may not have a choice in metal.

For the most part, choosing between gold and platinum becomes a matter or preference. For wedding bands that will see extensive wear, 14kt white gold maybe a better choice.  On the other hand, platinum maintains color and feels more substantial.  Regardless of precious metal, all engagement rings and wedding bands need to be regularly maintained and polished.


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