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Platinum vs. White gold

ChloeTheGreat

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
682
My BF and I will be purchasing my engagement ring very soon. I am wondering if it is better to choose a platinum setting or white gold.

From my limited understanding (since I own white gold, but no platinum) the white gold should be rhodium plated periodically? (I have never done this with the white gold I own)
Does platinum hold up better in the long run?
Is there maintenance required on platinum?

Any thoughts on which metal will be a better choice in the long run?
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,816
White gold will need to be replated when the rhodium wears off if you want the finish to be white metal instead of slightly yellow. Platinum may need to be polished every few years if it gets scratched up.

From Victor Canera, custom ring maker:

"Platinum is a much more dense metal than gold. That's why platinum rings always end up being heavier. The density makes the rings stronger and for prongs that hold stones this is important. It's also a more gum like substance than gold which is more brittle. Both metals scratch but with platinum these scratches don't actually remove platinum from a piece. Platinum is malleable and keeps forms, this is advantageous when you're bending, rolling and pulling the metal through strainers, rolling mills etc. Platinum doesn't wear out like gold does either. Polishing a platinum mounting causes almost no loss in the metal weight while a gold piece could lose 10% of its weight with polishing. With micro pave, re-polishing the ring a couple of times and you've probably weakened the prongs holding the stones with a platinum piece this is much less of an issue. The color of Platinum is a white color which doesn't necessitate re-rhodiuming. Add to all this the solder discoloration issue mentioned above and you end up with a clear choice.
Metal is stronger when hand forged. We run the metal through rolling mills and hammer it this subjects the metal to huge pressure to compact the molecules together and makes it even denser than in its natural form. That's why shanks would be less likely to deform. Casting on the other hand can't be compacted this way and actually weakens the metal even more with porosity. Porosity are air bubbles that are introduced by casting into the metal. Sometimes this could be really bad (imagine swiss cheese) that it weakens the ring even more than metal in its natural form. Porosity will sometimes show up on the surface of the metal, sometimes not. When it shows up, it looks like small pinpoints on the metal surface and this could be a sign of large air bubbles underneath the surface. Hope this answers some of your questions."
 

adrift02

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
40
+1 to the above.

I wish I could have afforded Platinum over WG. Unfortunately, that's usually what the decision comes down to -- price. With a difference of over $1,000 between 18k WG and Platinum with some sets, you need to factor into your budget whether it's worth it, as that's money you can always apply to the center stone.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
some people prefer white gold...I wouldn't necessarily say that plat is better. maybe see if you can go to a local jeweler and try both on?
 

lbbaber

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
691
It is certainly not just about price. I would have paid WAY more for White Gold. I do not like platinum AT ALL. My 1st e-ring/wedding band was platinum. I loathe the patina that develops and, bc the platinum is 'bendable", MY platinum rings go 'out of round' immediately. I also do not like the grey-ish color on me.

My current set is WG. My e-ring is very thin but it is still perfectly round. I also LOVE the high shine of the rhodium dip. In order to keep my platinum shiny, I would have had to polish every few months---and even then it does not look like the dipped WG that I like. Right now I re-dip WG about once a year (or less for some items). And being that I am planning on an upgrade in my future, I do not care if my thin WG ring will be around for the next hundred years or not.

Just saying, bc I see it often around here, that it is not just a price issue. I would have gladly paid more for WG but, luckily, I did not have to!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Try both on.

Platinum develops a patina that some people like and others don't.

I wear white gold and frankly never get it rhodium plated. I have never needed to, the metal looks plenty white for me and I like the slight warmth it can take on with time!

In fact, I might switch to 14k white gold in the future. I am frankly so miffed at the silly price increases I really don't want to pay for 18k anymore.
 

Allison D.

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
2,282
ChloeTheGreat|1306940121|2935355 said:
My BF and I will be purchasing my engagement ring very soon. I am wondering if it is better to choose a platinum setting or white gold.

From my limited understanding (since I own white gold, but no platinum) the white gold should be rhodium plated periodically? (I have never done this with the white gold I own)
Does platinum hold up better in the long run?
Is there maintenance required on platinum?

Any thoughts on which metal will be a better choice in the long run?
Chloe, there is maintenance required on all fine jewelry if you want it to withstand the test of time. Just like homes and cars, fine jewelry requires "tune-ups" to keep your stones secure and to keep it looking its best.

Which metal is right for you depends on many variables. Platinum is more malleable than gold, so it means the material will yield under pressure (aking to modelling clay) instead of breaking/cracking. This has pros and cons; it means a platinum ring may be more likely to become out of round/misshapen if you exert pressure on it (such as gripping a shopping cart, lifting heavy items, etc.). On the other hand, when it does incur trauma, the repair normally involves reshaping/repositioning the metal. Platinum does also gouge/scratch, which causes the 'patina' developed over time. If you're a fan of platinum but not a fan of patina, it may require more frequent polishing to keep it looking as you like it.

White gold is less malleable, so it's more like wood trim (instead of modelling clay); under pressure, it will give by cracking/breaking. White gold tends to be fairly durable, but the rhodium plating wears over time. How quickly that happens may be impacted by your body chemistry - oils from your skin/your chemistry may dictate how often you need to replate. It's less likely to become out of round as a rule.

Another consideration is what kind of ring you're getting. A thinner shank is more likely to bend if it's platinum; less so with white gold. If you're going with something with a lot of melee, tiny platinum prongs can be easily pushed aside, so you may want a stronger mix of platinum. White gold won't push aside as easily, but it can wear away, in which case you'll want to get prongs inspected and retipped regularly.
 

lbbaber

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
691
Allison D.|1306947183|2935441 said:
ChloeTheGreat|1306940121|2935355 said:
My BF and I will be purchasing my engagement ring very soon. I am wondering if it is better to choose a platinum setting or white gold.

From my limited understanding (since I own white gold, but no platinum) the white gold should be rhodium plated periodically? (I have never done this with the white gold I own)
Does platinum hold up better in the long run?
Is there maintenance required on platinum?

Any thoughts on which metal will be a better choice in the long run?
Chloe, there is maintenance required on all fine jewelry if you want it to withstand the test of time. Just like homes and cars, fine jewelry requires "tune-ups" to keep your stones secure and to keep it looking its best.

Which metal is right for you depends on many variables. Platinum is more malleable than gold, so it means the material will yield under pressure (aking to modelling clay) instead of breaking/cracking. This has pros and cons; it means a platinum ring may be more likely to become out of round/misshapen if you exert pressure on it (such as gripping a shopping cart, lifting heavy items, etc.). On the other hand, when it does incur trauma, the repair normally involves reshaping/repositioning the metal. Platinum does also gouge/scratch, which causes the 'patina' developed over time. If you're a fan of platinum but not a fan of patina, it may require more frequent polishing to keep it looking as you like it.

White gold is less malleable, so it's more like wood trim (instead of modelling clay); under pressure, it will give by cracking/breaking. White gold tends to be fairly durable, but the rhodium plating wears over time. How quickly that happens may be impacted by your body chemistry - oils from your skin/your chemistry may dictate how often you need to replate. It's less likely to become out of round as a rule.

Another consideration is what kind of ring you're getting. A thinner shank is more likely to bend if it's platinum; less so with white gold. If you're going with something with a lot of melee, tiny platinum prongs can be easily pushed aside, so you may want a stronger mix of platinum. White gold won't push aside as easily, but it can wear away, in which case you'll want to get prongs inspected and retipped regularly.

Thank you Allison. This is an intelligent answer. I should have answered more like this instead of just defending my choice. :oops:
 

Black Jade

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
1,242
There are long threads on this previously, if you want to do a search. The two camps never come to an agreement.

I'm in the platinum camp. I love the feel (heavier than gold); love the hypo-allergenic quality (most people are not allergic gold but to the alloys and there had to be alloy involved in making gold white); have not any of my platinum rings scratch/get patina yet, though some are antiques, and hate the rhodium look, plus the idea of re-rhodiuming quite often (usually more than polishing, but it does depend on your skin chemistry). I do have one 18k white gold ring, and its gone yellow, but I leave it that way since it's all diamonds in the front and no one can see the back.

Price is still definitely an issue, though with the recent sky-high rise in gold, the prices of the two metals are getting closer. I respect the poster above who would prefer white gold anyway for its own qualities, but honestly for many people it's a matter of going into the store wanting a white metal, asking for platinum, seeing the price tag and switching to white gold at that point. Many don't research as you are doing and as we tend to do on pricescope (and then often get surprised when their white gold turns yellow and needs re-rhodiuming, unfortunately).
 

ChloeTheGreat

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
682
Thank you all for the responses. You've given me a lot to think about.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,816
I'll just add that people mentioning the gray patina are either looking at platinum that is soft because of the alloy used or they are very hard on their rings. Mine are totally shiny after 4 years and not gray at all. 95%platinum/5%ruthenium is what is used by Tiffany and Leon Mege and it is harder and must take a very, very long time to turn gray if you take care of your rings. And then all you do is take them to the jeweler to polish them like new. My gold e-ring after 25 years had the prong tips worn away and the shank was very thin. Gold wears away over time. That is one reason I chose platinum for my new set. I would, however, be happy to have white gold for right hand rings, and I do have 18k wg for other jewelry. The rhodium does not seem to wear off on earrings and pendants like it does on rings.
 
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