Gold vs Platinum - Which Metal is Better?

Which Metal is Best?

When you're profiling your ring, what do you think of when deciding on the metal?

Examples of potential factors include aesthetics, personal preference and even price.

The ring's metal can play a huge factor but what are the major differences between gold and platinum? The advantages? Disadvantages?

In this guide, you will explore the nature, pros and cons of yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and platinum.

These metals are made up of 24 parts and finding that balance between the main metal e.g. gold and its alloys is crucial.

Kicking off this guide is yellow gold which is renowned for its softness.

Yellow Gold Metal

A traditional choice, yellow gold is a popular metal for engagement rings.

You may already know that 24K yellow gold is made up of 24 parts of pure gold.

To create 18K gold (75% pure gold), you'll need to combine 18 parts of pure gold and 6 parts of another alloy such as zinc, copper, nickel and more.

These alloys will make the gold stronger and enable it to withstand dents and scratches.

 

18K yellow gold diamond ringImage Via - Leonard Dews

Now that you have an idea of yellow gold, check out some advantages and disadvantages of the metal.

advantages of yellow gold 

  • The higher the purity, the easier it is to work with.
  • 18K gold+ is hypoallergenic.
  • Diamond buyers can match the colour of diamonds with a lower colour grade.

disadvantages of yellow gold 

  • 18k gold can scratch and dent more easily than 14K etc.
  • Yellow gold will need to be polished occasionally.

White Gold Metal

To achieve white gold, yellow gold is mixed with white metals like silver, palladium and nickel. It's then coated with rhodium to achieve that platinum-looking colour.

18k white gold ringImage Via - wilkinsthejeweller

Similar to yellow gold, the purity of white gold can range from 10k to 18k, so it can just be a matter of preference.

However, it's important to understand that what you're paying for is the gold.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of white gold.

advantages of white gold 

  • Alloyed with stronger metals than yellow gold.
  • Aesthetically, it can look better with white diamonds.

disadvantages of white gold 

  • Will need to be coated in Rhodium to retain colour periodically.
  • Can cause allergic reactions if mixed with nickel.

Choosing between Yellow and White Gold 

It's all subjective but generally, white gold can be more expensive because of the rhodium plating.

In addition, white gold can accentuate the colour of a diamond. So, a diamond with a lower colour grade can be noticeable with white gold. It's recommended not to go below G or H.

With Yellow gold, diamonds of a lesser colour grade are not easily noticeable and this gives you more flexibility as you can drop down to J. In addition, in some cases, a lesser colour grade can make the ring look better!

Rose Gold Metal

Rose gold is making a comeback. With origins dating back to the 1800s Russia, it's been known as Russian gold.

To create rose gold, a copper alloy is mixed with yellow gold. A fascinating fusion,18K rose gold is a light pink colour and as you go down the scale to 10K, the hue will become a deeper hue of red.

If the hue of red is too strong, silver can be used to obtain the desired hue.

The popularity of rose gold has fluctuated since its use. When it was introduced to Russia, it spread like wildfire and eventually found its way into Europe. 

cartier trinity ringImage Via - Opulent Jewelers

A contributing factor to the metal's success in Europe was Cartier when they released the Trinity Ring in the '20s.

Pictured above, you can see how the beauty of rose, yellow and white gold comes together to create a stunning ring.

Now that you have an idea of the rose gold metal, check out some advantages and disadvantages.

ADVANTAGES OF ROSE GOLD

  • Versatility - rose gold is known to match well with all skin tones.
  • Affordability - out of all the settings, rose gold is one of the most cost-effective which has made it popular with young couples.
  • Durability - copper is used as the alloy, it's made rose gold stronger than yellow and white gold.
  • Accommodating - rose gold can work well with diamonds of lesser colour and this helps diamond buyers who are on a budget.

18k rose gold ringImage Via - Kay Jewelers

DISADVANTAGES OF ROSE GOLD

  • Patina - even though rose gold doesn’t tarnish, it does patina. The patina is down to the copper oxidising which leaves a green/blue layer. It can be polished off though! 
  • Not hypoallergenic – if the person who the ring is intended for has allergies to nickel, zinc, copper or other alloys, it's imperative to have them tested.

  • Limited availability - compared to the other settings, the selection of rose gold rings may pale in comparison to white gold and platinum. 

Platinum Metal

A rare metal, it's estimated that in 2017 only 200 metric tonnes were mined. This contrasts greatly to gold where it's reported that China alone produced over 400 tonnes. platinum ringImage Via - Wongs Jewellers Liverpool

A dense metal in nature, it doesn't mean that platinum is indestructible.

Like all rings, the platinum metal will require maintenance as would any ring which is worn every day. However, it won't need rhodium coating like white gold.

Check out some advantages and disadvantages of the platinum metal.

advantages of platinum

  • Platinum is hypoallergenic which makes it suitable for people who have sensitive skin.
  • It's a highly durable metal which may accommodate wearers who are heavy handed or work in demanding professions.
  • Due to the colour of platinum, it accentuates the diamond which makes the ring itself visually appealing.

disadvantages of platinum

  • Can get scratched over time which may require servicing.
  • Polishing and cleaning can strip away the platinum.
  • Looks like white-gold despite being a lot more expensive.

Final Words

There is no right or wrong answer when you're choosing the right metal for a ring.

The choice depends on who the ring is for. Consider their lifestyle, requirements (allergies) and any other aspects which are going to affect your choice.

Even if you do experience problems, there are solutions. For example, if you find the perfect gold ring but learn that it contains metals that can cause allergic reactions, such as nickel, you can ask for these alloys to be replaced with a different one.

The ring you're looking for does exist and this guide was created to help you find it.

Now that you have an idea of ring settings, you can now focus on the diamond!

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