You have lots of ways to customize your engagement ring, from selecting a natural or lab diamond engagement ring to picking the choice of metal. While white gold and platinum look similar, they’re different metals with unique characteristics. Let’s compare these two metals and see which one is right for your ring.
Composition and Purity
Both white gold and platinum have a silvery appearance. White gold is an alloy of gold and other metals, such as nickel, silver, or palladium that give it a silvery white color. Pure gold is yellow in color. Platinum engagement rings generally contain 85- to 95-percent pure platinum. Because platinum has a higher percentage of this metal, it’s more pure than white gold. Platinum is also denser than white gold, so it feels heavier.
Pure gold is yellow in color, so although white gold gets mixed with these silvery metals, there’s still a tint of yellow. It appears more off-white rather than white without plating. Plating with rhodium gives white gold a brighter white color. Platinum doesn’t require plating because it’s naturally white.
Durability and Hardness
Platinum is more durable and harder than white gold because it’s more dense, but both are strong metals. Density makes platinum more expensive than gold as well. Platinum tends to be more resistant to wear, scratches, and tarnish because of its density as well.
The density of platinum is 21.45 grams per cubic centimeter while gold is 19.3 grams per cubic centimeter. Platinum is one of the densest precious metals, followed by gold, palladium, and silver. Because platinum is denser and heavier, it means your natural or lab grown diamond engagement ring will also feel heavier on your finger.
Allergies and Sensitivities
Some people have silver or nickel allergies, which affects their skin if the silver or white gold jewelry has nickel in the alloy. People are less likely to have allergic reactions or skin sensitivities to platinum because it doesn’t have any nickel.
Maintenance and Care
White gold has a rhodium plating, which is typically used on most white gold jewelry. Rhodium-plated makes the metal whiter, brighter, and more lustrous. Generally, rhodium plating lasts a year or two depending on how often you wear it. It’s worn down by friction. So, if you have a wedding band that you wear every day, you might have to get it re-plated more often.
So what is rhodium? Rhodium is a rare, expensive metal that’s used to plate metals. It’s not used by itself in jewelry because even pure rhodium is brittle and not malleable. However, it does make an excellent plating material because it’s harder than silver and gold. It offers a reflective, shiny, and protective coat that hides imperfections and protects jewelry from scratches. Another benefit is it doesn’t tarnish, corrode, or require specific cleaning procedures.
Platinum requires less maintenance than white gold. Platinum remains as white as ever, even through years of use. It also doesn’t change hue or color over time.
Price and Affordability
Platinum is more rare and dense than white gold, so it’s also more expensive. Generally platinum costs about $500 to $800 more than white gold for the typical engagement ring because there is more pure platinum being used in it. It’s also 66% heavier than 14k white gold due to its higher density.
Customization and Design
Whether you use platinum, white gold or a combination of different metals, you can create a customized ring based on your style preferences. Both metals make durable choices for engagement rings that will last a lifetime. In addition to choosing the metal, you can create a unique setting by adding lab-created diamonds, gemstones, or a combination.
Popularity and Trends
Platinum and white gold are both popular metal choices for engagement rings, although platinum’s popularity appears to be growing once again. Some couples appreciate that the metal is rare and feel like it makes the setting more special.
Pros and Cons
White gold and platinum lab grown diamond rings have advantages and disadvantages, but both metals provide a silvery-white hue. White gold’s main advantage is its affordability compared to platinum. Platinum is more rare and dense, so it’s also more expensive. It’s also durable, doesn’t require rhodium plating, and recommended for those with metal allergies.
What Will You Choose?
The silvery hue of white gold and platinum are a popular choice for lab grown diamond engagement rings. White gold is an affordable, durable metal suited for everyday wear. White gold isn’t pure gold–instead it’s a mixture of metals (silver, zinc, copper, palladium, and nickel) that give it strength. Plus, it’s bright, shiny, and beautiful, and flatters anyone. Platinum is a rare, durable, dense metal that is pure and great for people with skin sensitivities. It requires little maintenance but does cost more than other metal options, such as white gold.