Shopping for engagement rings is a very important purchase, as big as purchasing a car, but with far more emotional significance. There is a lot of information to absorb, and for many young couples, the engagement ring is not only the first major jewelry purchase, but arguably the most important.
One of the questions we get at Midtown Jewelers is “What’s the difference between platinum and white gold?”
The first thing you must understand is that gold is a very soft metal, and is routinely alloyed, or mixed, with other metals in order to make it a bit stronger and in order to hold settings securely. 24k gold is the most pure, but more commonly you will see 18k gold, which is 75% gold, 25% something else.
Old-fashioned yellow gold was often mixed with copper, which maintained the yellow sheen we all associate with ‘gold’. White gold, however, is mostly mixed with silver or palladium (another silver-white metal).
White gold is not very lustrous on its own, and because gold is the main ingredient it’s often off-white or cream in color, so it is often coated in rhodium to give it its silvery shine. Since the rhodium coating can wear off, it will need to be recoated periodically.
Platinum, however, is a very tough metal, and platinum rings are often 95% pure. It does not need plating and will maintain its shine forever. Platinum rings were once quite expensive due to the difficulty in working with such a strong metal, but as metalworking techniques have progressed, prices are falling in line with with white gold, titanium, and other metals.
If you have any other questions about engagement rings, please, give us a call at Midtown Jewelers any time, and we’ll be happy to help you out.