Gold and platinum are the most commonly used metals for engagement and wedding rings. Both metals are precious and unique; its no wonder people have a difficult time deciding between the two! That’s why the jewellery experts at Diamond Boutique put together a guide to understanding both metals. Read on for more…
There aren’t many things everyone in the world can agree on, but when it comes to gold everyone can agree it is valuable. First discovered over 5000 years ago the word gold is derived from the Indo-European word ghel, which means: to gleam. Gold in its pure form is a yellow metal that is soft, dense and very flexible. Gold is usually mixed with other metals to create the white colour.
Platinum is a dense, expensive and relatively rare precious silvery-white metal. The word platinum comes from the Spanish word platina, which translates to: little silver. Platinum was first discovered in Latin America during the early the 18th century. Physically, platinum is a heavy, soft and flexible metal and chemically it is unreactive, making it resistant to rust and acids.
When used in jewellery Platinum is in almost its pure form, at approximately 95%. White Gold used in jewellery is an alloy of pure gold and other metals such as silver and palladium. The purity of White Gold depends on its carat, for example 18ct White Gold is made up 75% gold and 25% other metals.
Platinum is naturally very white, where as White Gold is naturally a light grey colour. To create a white colour, gold is usually coated with rhodium, however this wears off with time and needs to be re-coated every year.
Gold and Platinum are similarly priced when it comes to price per gram, however when used in jewellery the prices change. Platinum is dense metal; this means more metal is required to make one ring in comparison to the amount of metal required to create one gold ring. This is one of the reasons why the price for platinum jewellery is higher.
White gold is more common in comparison to platinum; therefore more jewellers are able to resize and repair white gold jewellery. Jewellers only repair platinum jewellery if they have an experienced platinum jeweller. It is also important to understand that platinum’s higher melting point poses a risk to the gemstones when repairing. However modern tools such as laser machines eliminate these concerns.
While both metals are extremely durable, and can last for years, platinum is heavier and slightly more robust than white gold. Platinum also loses very little weight whilst polishing, whilst gold looses weight when polishing. Both platinum and white gold have to be re-plated over time, however platinum can go longer without being re-plated.