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Gold and platinum are the two most commonly used metals for engagement and wedding rings. Both metals are great options but have different positive and negative characteristics. Let’s look at how gold and platinum compare in appearance, cost, durability, and comfort.
The most obvious physical characteristic between gold and platinum is color. Platinum is naturally white, gold is naturally yellow. If you want a yellow ring, then gold (also known as yellow gold) is the best option. However, if you want a white ring, you can decide between platinum or white gold.
White gold is composed of gold, alloys, and a rhodium plating which gives it a white color that’s very similar to platinum. 14k white gold and 14k yellow gold have the same gold content and purity (58.5% gold), but the alloys in white gold (and the rhodium plating) make it appear white, while the alloys in yellow gold do not.
White gold looks very similar to platinum color-wise, but over time the rhodium plating in white gold will wear off and show a very slight yellow tinge. Once you re-polish and re-plate the white gold ring, it will look white again. Platinum, which is naturally white, will never fade to yellow. White gold turning yellow is the main reason buyers wanting a white ring chose platinum over white gold.
While gold and platinum are similar in price per gram, platinum is more dense and so more of it is required to make a ring. In addition, platinum rings are about 95% pure platinum while 14k gold is only 58.5% gold (18k gold is 75% gold). Therefore, platinum rings are more expensive.
While gold and platinum are both strong and durable precious metals, platinum is the stronger and more durable of the two. For example, the prongs holding the center stone of a platinum engagement ring are less likely to break than those of a gold engagement ring.
Despite being more durable, platinum is a softer metal than 14k gold. This means it will get scratched a little easier than 14k gold would. At this point it comes down to the aesthetic preference of the wearer. This is because when gold is scratched, the gold is lost and it looks like a scratch, but when platinum is scratched, the platinum gets moved from one place on the ring to another, and it develops a patina finish (which looks like an antique or worn ring). Many people like the look of the patina finish. The good thing is that re-polishing your ring will help restore the ring to its original look for both platinum and gold metals.
If you decide to go with gold, make sure you pick 14k gold and not 18k gold. While 18k gold is more valuable, it is softer and will scratch easier than 14k gold will. In summary, 14k gold is cheaper, and more scratch resistant.
Because platinum is more dense than gold, platinum rings will be heavier than gold as well. Some prefer the heavier weight, but some find the lightness of gold rings to be more comfortable. It is really up to each individual person. Another benefit that is important for some is that platinum is hypoallergenic. While gold rings do not create an allergy issue for most people, some can develop an allergic reaction from the different alloys used in the gold.
You want a special message or your wedding date engraved in your ring so what metal should you choose? The answer is, either of them! Gold and platinum can both be engraved without any issue. View our hand engraved vintage engagement ring to see a beautiful example of an engraved 14k white gold ring.
Both Gold and Platinum are beautiful precious metals that have slightly different pros and cons. The important thing is the look you are trying to achieve. All rings need to be taken care of and maintained over the years to keep them looking like new. At Inter-Continental Jewelers we can provide the look and budget you are trying to achieve. Make your showroom appointment today.