As for the two most commonly used metals for engagement and wedding rings, platinum and gold, most people distinguish them by their different colors-platinum is naturally white, and gold is naturally yellow. However, rings made of white gold (composed of gold, alloys, and a rhodium plating) have a similar white color to platinum rings.
Since color is not a dominant reason why you buy a platinum ring or a gold ring, what else should you consider while purchasing a ring? Is there an answer to “which material is better for making a wedding ring”? Before we come to a conclusion, let’s make a comparison between the platinum ring and the gold ring.
Related Reading: An Introduction to Gold, Platinum, and Silver Jewelry
The prices of these two kinds of precious metals are similar: expensive. Platinum is always more expensive because
1) its composition is denser, it requires more raw materials to make a ring,
2) it is 30 times rarer and mined much less (160 tons vs 1500 tons annually) than gold, and
3) it requires a more difficult purification process.
If you want a ring with white color, you can save a lot by purchasing the white gold ring.
Color & Maintenance
Both platinum rings and white gold rings have a white color, but they are different. Yellow gold must be alloyed with some white metals such as silver, nickel, or palladium and coated in platinum or rhodium to get white color. Over time the coating in white gold will wear off and fade to a yellowish tinge. So it should be re-dipped every few years to retain its white color and shine. The good news is that this process is relatively inexpensive and many jewelers actually offer this service.
Composition & Weight
Most gold rings provided in the market are not made of pure gold but in 14K (58.3% pure gold) or 18K (75% pure gold) versions. 24K pure gold would be very soft, so it is often mixed with other metals to form an alloy that is stronger and more durable. 14k gold is usually better than 18k gold. Although 18k gold has a higher gold composition and is more valuable, it is softer and will scratch easier than the other.
Platinum is denser, stronger, and heavier than gold. Before you buy a ring, it is better that you try them both to see whether you like to wear a light metal or a heavier one.
The above factors play a big role in the price differentiation between platinum and gold rings. You can weigh each of these factors when you decide which material is better for rings of your own. For film coating materials for rings, please visit Stanford Advanced Materials.
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