White Gold or Platinum: Which Is Best For Your Custom Engagement Or Wedding Ring?
Walking into a jewellery shop and buying a ready-made wedding ring is easy – but for many couples ‘off the rack’ is not an option, especially for a ring that they plan to proudly wear for decades.
For custom wedding bands that are truly unique, will need to work with an artisan jeweller with imagination, skill and the talent to bring your vision to life.
Decision 1: Which Metal?
One of the first decisions you need to make is the type of precious metal to be used. Many clients who prefer to not have yellow gold ask me to explain the differences, and pros and cons, of white gold versus platinum for their custom wedding bands. If you are asking yourself the same questions, the following may help:
Both metals set off white diamonds to perfection, but it’s advisable not to mix them in a bridal set. Keep the metal consistent for both your engagement ring and wedding bands.
The first factor is cost: platinum is much rarer and heavier than gold and is, accordingly, more expensive. Only 160 tonnes of platinum are mined annually, compared to 1500 tonnes of gold. Platinum is also more difficult to work with than white gold, and this can add to the labour cost of a custom made ring.
You can therefore save money by choosing white gold, then use the savings to upgrade the quality of your engagement ring’s centre stone.
About White Gold-
In order to achieve the silvery white colour of white gold, yellow gold is mixed, or alloyed, with other white metals such as silver, nickel, manganese or palladium. It can also be coated with rhodium to a whiter, even shinier finish.
To care for white gold and retain its colour and shine, it should be dipped every few years and replated with rhodium. If this is not done, the colour will revert to yellow gold. The process, however, is relatively simple and inexpensive.
White gold for rings is generally offered in 14K (58.3 per cent pure gold) or 18K (75 per cent pure gold). The higher the karat value, the purer the gold content will be, but the less durable the metal.
Nickel is one of the white metals alloyed with yellow gold to produce white gold. Many people have an allergy to nickel, so if this is the case, unless your jeweller has access to nickel-free white gold, platinum (which is purer and considered hypoallergenic) is the better choice.
About Platinum –
Platinum has a natural greyish tone that differentiates it from white gold. It must be at least 90-95 per cent pure – any less and it must be called ‘platinum alloy’.
Over time, platinum’s shiny finish dulls to a natural patina. Many people like this for engagement rings as it makes the central diamond appear more sparkling by contrast. A professional shine will restore its original lustre, a process comparable in cost to treating white gold.
Platinum is a very durable metal and is stronger and heavier than white gold, so you need to take this heavier weight into account when making sure of the comfort of your custom wedding bands.
Platinum’s strength makes it ideal for wedding rings as it can be worn every day and sustains very little metal loss over a lifetime of wear. It will also hold diamonds and other precious stones more securely than white gold.
While the above gives a brief guide to assist you with your precious metal selection, there’s no substitute for sitting down with an expert to discuss all the pros and cons.
Here at Michael Arthur Diamonds, I ensure that all of my clients are fully informed of the choices available, and the costs involved. I will work with you through the entire design process – from choice of metal and unique design to the finished custom wedding bands ready for your special day.
Let’s chat about your custom wedding rings – on 02 9798 3232.