Platinum and Gold are the two most commonly used metals for engagement and wedding rings. Both are beautiful yet slightly different in appearance, cost, durability, and comfort. When Platinum and white Gold are new they look alike. Its after the piece of jewelry has been worn that you can start to see a difference.
How white gold looks will change over time. Even as fast as a few months. To several years depending on how the item is worn and treated. White Gold is made of gold, alloys and a rhodium plating, so it looks like Platinum. However gold is naturally yellow, so over time white gold will expose a yellow hue. This can be fixed by having the item polished and rhodium plated again. Gold is harder then Platinum and is less likely to scratch; however, when gold is hit against anything you are removing a small amount of it and it shows up as a scratch. In the US Gold is usually 14k or karat (58.5%). Thought you will also see gold in 10k (41.6%) and 18k (75%) commonly.
Platinum is naturally a white metal. It is more dense therefor it is inherently strong and more durable then gold, yet softer in the aspect it will scratch a bit easier. Unlike gold when its hit or “scratched” you don’t remove a small amount of the materiel, its more like play-doe and the molecules are moved around. When platinum is scratched it gives its a patina-ed look. Some people look for this and some discover they really like the look. When you polish platinum the molecules are rearranged back and it becomes bright white once again. Platinum jewelry is traditionally 95% pure Platinum.
In the end
In the end the BIG difference that we all see is the price difference between the two. Gold is less rare and less dense then Platinum. With Platinum jewelry you will need more of it to make the same piece of jewelry, which is why there is a higher cost. However, if you factor in the durability, longevity and lack of maintenance platinum usually has, the cost over a lift time is not any greater then Gold.
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