For those that love silver tones but want more durability, white gold and platinum are beautiful options. However, when deciding between the two it can be tricky to determine how they differ and the benefits of each. So we’ve put together this quick guide to help you decide:
About white gold
Because pure gold is naturally a soft metal, gold used to create jewellery needs to be mixed with other alloys. This means 9ct gold approximately contains 37.5% pure gold, 14ct - 58.3% and 18ct - 75%. In Australia, white gold is most commonly mixed with palladium and silver to make the piece of jewellery 'white' and more resistant to scratching and denting. This does means that occasionally, 18ct gold can be harder than a platinum piece of jewellery.
Additionally, as an industry standard, White Gold pieces are Rhodium plated to give white gold a brighter white appearance and to improve durability. 9ct, 14ct and 18ct White gold pieces will initially all look the same if they have been rhodium plated. RUUSK white gold pieces are Rhodium plated so that they will best match other white gold jewellery you wear however, if you would prefer to leave your piece un-plated just let us know. Un-plated white Gold tends to have more of a yellow or grey hue which will tend to show as the Rhodium plating fades over time (view our metal colour chart here). To restore it's original bright white shine, White Gold jewellery can be re-plated when required.
Whilst not as dense as platinum, white gold is still intrinsically strong and will give fine details more rigidity. For example, if your special piece features hand engraving or square edges, these details are often retained better by white gold over platinum.
20% denser than white gold, platinum possesses much heavier and harder properties. Known for being one of the most durable metals on earth, platinum can be used in a purer form than gold and will typically form 95% of your special piece.
Being a naturally occurring white metal, there is no need to for Rhodium plating. Unlike white Gold, Platinum will retain its natural bright white colour for years to come. Platinum is also great hypoallergenic choice for anyone with sensitive skin.
When it scratches, the metal moves from one area to another, this means that Platinum is better at retaining its original density over time (it's doesn't wear away as gold will) however it can soften the appearance of fine details and sharp edges. This natural wearing process, resulting in small ‘bruises’ and ‘dents’ on the surface creates its own unique finish called a patina. Many view patina as desirable because it reflects how much a particular piece of jewellery has been loved and worn and reveals the markings of your unique life story :)
Platinum or White Gold
In recent years, platinum used to be far more expensive than white gold however, with the cost of platinum and gold being more similar nowadays, it really comes down to personal style and preference.
That said, platinum will always be a little bit more expensive than the lower cts of white gold as platinum, being a denser and therefore heavier metal, more platinum is needed to produce the same ring than in white gold. Additionally, platinum can’t be reused and remelted like white gold which usually means that any scraps and filings must be sent to a refiner. This is often an expensive process.
If your piece is to feature fine details, like hand engraving then White Gold will be a better option than Platinum as it's better at retaining detail. If you had your eye on a special necklace or bracelet, White Gold would also be the best option here as we do not offer platinum chains.
Another thing to bear in mind is whether you're planning on wearing your new piece with other rings, if so, the rule of thumb is to stick to the same gold ct or alloy so that when your rings rub together they wear at the same rate. For example, if you have an 18ct White Gold Engagement ring, we would suggest opting for an 18ct White Gold Wedding band for optimal wear.
Hopefully this helps you to gain a better understanding of the difference between platinum and white gold. Each is beautiful option so at the end of the day, pick a metal that feels right to you and we're sure you’ll adore it! There's no wrong option.
If you need any more help, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we're always happy to help.