Did you know “white gold” isn’t really white? In order to make gold appear white, another metal needs to be mixed in such as silver, nickel, palladium, or rhodium. Another alternative to white gold is platinum. Platinum naturally has a white luster that can be polished to a high degree. When it begins to lose it polish, it takes on a lovely dull patina that only serves to accent any gems that may be on the ring. So what are some specific comparisons between the two?
Care. Above we mentioned that “white” gold is mixed with another metal to create an alloy. While gold doesn’t tarnish, the other metal will eventually, so it’s important to re-dip the band every few years. Platinum on the other hand maintains its natural gray-white color.
Cost. This is where gold has the clear advantage. People tend to think gold is the most expensive metal, but that’s certainly no the case. Platinum is far rarer and as such, more expensive than gold.
Composition. Gold is the most enduring metal that does not tarnish or lose its luster, but it tends to have some strength issues when it comes to purity. The purer the composition of gold, the more fragile it becomes. What we find with platinum is that it is one of the densest precious metals that retains strength along with purity. Additionally, alloys (in gold bands) have been found to cause allergic reactions in some people. Platinum is naturally hypoallergenic.
Culture. Historically and classically, gold is the clear winner. It has been used and valued for thousands of years. In a modern sense however, a designation of “platinum” is often used to refer to a product, level, or service that is BETTER than the gold standard. Here, it comes down to personal preference.
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