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White gold versus platinum for engagement ring?

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Q. Hi all,

I am in the market for an engagement ring and have been going back and forth between white gold or platinum. After reading the various postings on white gold and the trouble those owners have encountered I am certain that platinum is the way to go. However, I am curious as to the hardness of platinum. Most websites I have researched indicated that platinum is a harder metal than gold but I have a friend who is in the jewelry business that tells me otherwise. She said that it is true that pure platinum is harder than pure gold, but these days all gold jewelry have been blended with other metals to reinforce their sturdiness and therefore is harder and more scratch resistant than platinum jewelry (which is sold in pure state currently). Could someone tell me if this is the correct information? I personally love the look of white jewelry but I also want easy wear and durability for such a huge investment.

I am also concern about the practice of stone swapping as some of your posters have mentioned and want to get a ring that does not require frequent trips to jewelers. That's why I am looking into platinum, but only if the ring will wear for years to come.

Also one little tidbit about the word white gold I would like to share with you all. I have purchased many platinum jewelry from China (I am originally from there and go back to visit occasionally). The Chinese call platinum white gold. What the US call white gold and any kind of gold blend that is not yellow is called mixed gold by the Chinese. Imagine the time I had trying to figure that one out. And of the white gold (mixed gold in Chinese) jewelry I bought from China, they have not turned yellow or shown any type of wear at all in the 10 years I have them. I wonder if it had to do with the use of different alloys in various countries. Please help shed some light on my engagement ring dilemma. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Cindy Li
jewelry metals - Gaithersburg, Maryland

Diamond tester,
prec. metals test,
scale & loupe


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A. You have it figured out quite well. I think that you will find that some of the platinum in jewelry is alloyed with metals like cobalt to make it wear a little better and to lower the price while keeping a bright white.

Communication is difficult as you have found out as what one person means is not what you think it is. I like the phrase "figures do not lie, but liars figure".

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

misc. plating stuff
For Sale cheap



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A. To further complicate matters... High quality white gold, especially from around a century or so ago, is an alloy of gold and platinum. Most platinum rings should be 900 plat. That means 90% platinum, and 10% iridium. Rings made from this alloy are much harder than gold rings, even white gold, which is harder than yellow. If you are going to have your own rings fabricated I would suggest, much to your jewelers chagrin, that you try the plat/gold alloy. It will be easy to care for, have a less yellow appearance than white gold, be solderable by nearly all jewelers (900 plat isn't), and have a more reasonable price than a solid platinum ring. As for the problem of switched stones, diamonds can be laser "fingerprinted" and even laser engraved with serial numbers around the girdle. The serial # has the advantage that anyone with a loupe can find it. The fingerprinting is a photographic image of a refracted laser beam that can't be faked with another stone, but it requires being sent to a lab for checking the print, thus requiring another trip to another jeweler for dismount and remount, compounding the trust issues that required the step in the first place.

Marc Bilyeu
- Bellevue, Nebraska



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Q. Thank you guys for the help. I do have a question about the gold-platinum mix. I don't think I have ever seen that offered here in the states. In order to have that mix I would have to special order the ring from the jewelry store. I was wondering if it's better to have the platinum and cobalt mix instead of the platinum and gold mix. Wouldn't the gold-platinum mix be less white than the cobalt-platinum mix? Once again, thanks for your help in this matter.

Cindy Li (returning)
jewelry metals - Gaithersburg, Maryland


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Q. Should we have gone with platinum? My husband and I have had our 14K white gold wedding bands for just over three months now. I can't believe what I am reading about white gold now. I was completely unaware that my white gold wedding band would possibly turn a yellow color. My husband and I were interested in platinum wedding bands, simply for the reason that we think yellow gold rings are not flattering for us since both of us are very pale complected. We don't have a lot of money and because of the cost of platinum, we decided to go with white gold instead, thinking that it looked like platinum without the price. It's only been a little over three months and my husband's ring looks horrible. It looks about as scratched and dull as a metal pipe. He does have a laborious job though. But shouldn't it be holding up better than it is? Maybe the plating wasn't done good or something, since the jeweler had to order his ring because it's a larger size. My ring isn't quite as bad looking, but does look dull. I think it looks too scratched considering that I don't do anything rough with it. Both rings are definitely not as "white" looking as they were when we purchased them. Now I'm just wondering if they are going to start turning yellow like everyone else's that I've been reading about here. I was never told by Kay Jewelers that white gold was anything but gold. Or that it was plated with anything. We bought the rings with the assumption that we would have them our entire lives. My husband and I were never told that it also contains nickel, which I am not sure if I am having an allergy to or not. My finger itches a lot sometimes. My brother is very allergic to nickel. Does platinum contain anything that I should know about? Is it too late to return our rings to the store? I don't know if anyone out there has purchased a ring from Kay Jewelers, just thought I'd ask. This is all very upsetting to me.

Katherine Moore
homemaker - Lewiston, Maine


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A. The white gold and the rhodium plating is not responsible for the scratches. These materials are at least as hard as yellow gold, Katherine.

I personally have never had a problem with white gold, and I understand the advantages of rhodium plating, but I believe most people have no understanding of what they are buying with rhodium plated white gold rings, and the ongoing replating costs, and the possible dissatisfaction they are setting themselves up for. But here's the thing --

Nothing -- not platinum, not yellow gold, not an unplated white gold -- comes anywhere close to offering the dazzling bling of rhodium plating. A lot of consumers want that, and a lot of jewelers want it so it looks irresistible in the showcase. So I think the jewelry industry wants the status quo and will continue to want it until a massive class action suit teaches them otherwise :-)

Please see our Rhodium Plating & White Gold FAQ which tries to fully explain all of the issues in a single short page. Good luck.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey

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A. This is in response to the person from Lewiston, Maine who bought white gold and now is worried because she and her husband's rings are starting to become "dull" looking. I wanted you to know that both my husband and I have had our platinum rings for 3 years now, and the finish is very dull now. The platinum no longer shines like it did when we bought them. I actually brought my ring back to the jewelers to be cleaned and "re-shined" since the platinum was looking so dull. So, my point is that the platinum also loses that brilliant shine you had when you walked out of the jeweler with it for the first time. I think the only thing that always keeps its shine without having to bring it in occasionally to be rebuffed is yellow gold. Hope that helps.

Sarah Moore
- Princeton, New Jersey

Ed. note: The following, from one of this site's supporting advertisers, goes a long way towards explaining the situation with white gold and rhodium plating. You may wish to contact them for further information, advice, and possible services on white gold and rhodium plating issues--

Metal Arts Specialties



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Q. I am hoping someone can answer this question, because you seem very knowledgeable in this field. My engagement ring, which I've had for 9 months, and is 18k gold, has recently turned yellow, (on the palm side). After visiting this website, I have a better understanding of why this might have happened. Would anyone suggest to keep on getting the ring rhodium plated or just to have it reset in another metal, like platinum? I'd rather not do platinum, because of the cost. Any suggestions would be great.

Joanne C.
consumer - Weehawken, New Jersey


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A. There is a lot of misinformation going on, so I thought I'd add my two cents to the discussion. I've been in the jewelry industry since 1982, my family owns a jewelry store. On the topic of platinum vs. gold, I think you have to understand that while platinum is heavier than gold it is more "bendable". I suppose I'd liken it to leather very tough though shows signs of a dull service patina that happens over time. It reminds me of gun metal gray. The problem I have with the metal is that 95% of my customer's who insist on platinum have had more problems. I'm not talking years of wear even, I'm talking after weeks or months we have to go in and tighten up diamonds or in one case replace diamonds. It's frustrating to my customer and myself. However with the white gold counterpart (my own jewelry included) very little maintenance has had to happen over the years of wear and once every five years I have it rhodium plated, (a normal cost of $20.00) Sorry, but maintenance on your standard car is more than that.

So personally, I'd go with white gold easier to work with and most jewelers are equipped to handle that metal as opposed to platinum.

Rhonda Irizarry
jeweler - Modesto, California


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Hi, Rhonda. I realize that you very generously came here to explain that white gold offers certain advantages over platinum, not to defend poor industry practice, so I don't want to be rude. But we've received hundreds of letters from dissatisfied consumers, so we must rebut what you characterize as "misinformation"; please don't take it personally -- and thank you again.

If you have a 'fact sheet' that you include with your rhodium plated white gold rings, please send a copy and we'll be happy to print it here; I've never been offered one.

1. These women became horribly allergic to the nickel in white gold rings and didn't even know it was there! Most of the rest of the world has outlawed nickel in jewelry because it absolutely doesn't belong there -- but the American jewelry industry is doing nothing to remove it, or even simply advise consumers that it's there -- with the result that an estimated 40 percent of American women under 30 are now condemned to the misery of nickel allergy for the rest of their life! Shouldn't they be forthrightly told when they buy jewelry with nickel in it? Although I dislike personal injury lawyers, our lobbyist-owned politicians of both parties refuse to do anything about this known hazard, so I hope for a huge class-action suit regarding this pain and suffering by millions.

2. Some jewelers have apparently decided that as long as you're going to rhodium plate a ring anyway, what difference does it makes whether the underlying metal is white gold or yellow gold -- and the contrasting yellow gold is showing through in 5 weeks not 5 years. Shouldn't we be told the ASTM whiteness factor of the underlying white gold?

3. The quality of the rhodium plating is often horrible. But how can consumers understand that low quality plating is the problem, and can be corrected by replating, when they aren't told and don't suspect that the ring is plated?

Comparing the maintenance requirements of an automobile and it's tens of thousands of moving parts, to a ring which just sits there, is rather bogus. But since you believe that the rhodium will last 5 years and will cost a mere $20 to re-do, may I assume that you agree that these rings have an implicit guarantee, and that jewelers must be held responsible that the rhodium plating last for at least five years? Thanks.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


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Q. Rhonda, I see that you are quite knowledgeable in the area of jewelry. My boyfriend and I are looking at engagement rings and we are torn between platinum and palladium. I have heard that platinum does get to be a dull gray and scratches easy over time. I was wondering if there are any problems with palladium that you know of? I would appreciate any help that you could give (or anyone else for that matter!) Thanks for all of your help in advance!

Ashley Uhey
- Wilmington, Delaware


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Q. I stumbled on this site looking for information for my own ring problem. Last March, my (now) husband bought me an engagement ring. He was told it was white gold. I am used to wearing yellow gold so having white gold jewelry was nice for a change but when I looked at the ring, I kept thinking to myself that it looked like it had a tinge of yellow in it. I asked him if it was really yellow gold but he said no, that the jeweler told him it was white gold. Six months later we purchased our wedding bands. When we were married and I had my wedding band on, the two rings were definitely different colors. The Jeweler stated that he could fix it with some kind of machine, saying that the patina changes in time, something like that but his machine was broken but would call and let us know when we could come in to have the ring fixed (not sure which one is the one that should be fixed). Anyway, I've been wearing both rings now a little over 2 months and they both look the same as when I started wearing them. My engagement ring has a tinge of yellow and my wedding band is stark white. When people look at my rings some say "Are they different colors" It's quite embarrassing because Yea, they are! I remember saying to myself when my husband first gave me the ring that it did not look like white gold to me. It's a beautiful ring but when you put it next to another piece of white gold, it looks slightly yellow.

We want to trust our Jeweler but we are starting to question the problems we're having. Should this be happening?

Thank you for your input.

Melanie Todd
- Clarksburg, Maryland


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A. All pure 24 kt gold is yellow, Melanie. But 24 kt gold is quite soft for use in elaborate jewelry, so it's usually mixed with other metals. If it's mixed 50-50, you have 12 kt gold. Depending on what the other metals are that are mixed in, the color can range from almost white to clearly yellow. If it's almost white, it's because a bleaching metal like palladium or nickel was used in the mix, and the product is called white gold.

But white gold is only "sort of" white. Most white gold jewelry today is rhodium plated, and rhodium is dazzlingly, brilliantly white -- so people today sometimes expect anything that is called white gold to have that brilliant rhodium plating. Perhaps your engagement ring is not rhodium plated. If not, it can be rhodium plated at a pretty nominal cost if that's what you want.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


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Mr. Mooney,

I just saw that you responded to my email. Thank you very much and I appreciate the information you gave me. I now understand the difference between white and yellow gold. I do have another question. You said that if I wanted to, I could have my engagement ring (the one that isn't quite as white) rhodium plated. Is that a good idea to do, I mean, is this something people normally do? I just don't remember hearing people that purchase white gold, rhodium plate their jewelry now and then but then who am I?

I will wait to hear back from you.

Melanie Todd (returning)
- Clarksburg, Maryland


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I am not crazy about the idea of rhodium plating rings personally, because it eventually wears through and has to be redone; and because some jewelry shops do it in-house at low quality (and because yellow gold is sometimes rhodium plated which is a bad idea because the contrast is obvious very quickly).

But it is today's fashion to want brilliant shiny white-white jewelry, and that can only be obtained by rhodium plating. When you see such a piece it was definitely rhodium plated. Rhodium is tremendously reflective (more so than any other metal), it is very hard (which means it can support a very high polish), and it is absolutely brilliant white (whereas white gold is more dull and grayish or slightly yellowish).

Good luck.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


February 18, 2008

Q. I have a white gold engagement ring and we were thinking of getting platinum wedding rings.I have heard that I shouldn't do that because the platinum ring would scratch the white gold one. Is this true?

Nuria Garcia
- Jersey, U.K.


April 29, 2008

Q. I am getting a ring specially made that is Edwardian style with lots of engraving on the ring and divots in the metal (i forget what you call it) and with lots of little diamonds on the sides. our jeweler told us that platinum scratches really easily and therefore, we should go with white gold, but I am confused because this ring will take a lot of artistic engraving work and I keep reading that platinum is better suited to this style. should I insist that I want platinum?

Briar Smith
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


May 28, 2008

thumbsup2I want to start by thanking everyone - this is by far the most lucid and informative site I've found regarding the issue of platinum vs. gold.

I'm writing with a slightly different take. We've recently started to look at engagement rings and are doing it in an odd hybrid of surprise and collaboration - my partner is designing everything, but comes to me with (somewhat cryptic) questions. There are two which I am hoping this community might help me with.

Q. First, I'm still confused about whether platinum or gold is more durable a choice. I am not interested in a white gold ring, so I am choosing between yellow gold and platinum. But I work with my hands a lot and have a tendency to be quite rough with my belongings, so durability is important to me.

Second, and this is perhaps less pertinent to this site, but I would appreciate any input, particularly from professionals: I have always worn silver jewellery, and imagine I will continue to do so, especially rings. But my fantasy wedding band is a simple gold band. Over the last few years I've been wearing more gold, and I'm lucky that both metals suit my colouring very well. Is it a mistake to depart from my usual aesthetic choices for my engagement ring and wedding band?

Thank you,

Devorah Block
- Florence, Italy


May 29, 2008

A. Hi, Devorah. My wife of 39 years has gone through two white-gold settings and is on her third setting (yellow gold this time). So, they lasted about 18-20 years each, by which time they are worn too thin to really be usable and trustable. My experience and belief is that platinum would last longer -- she also wears her grandmother's platinum engagement ring, which is a hundred years old and has been worn with some regularity by 3 generations. But it's also a matter of style: my wife's rings have tended to be thin and delicate with the diamond up in the air, whereas grandma's older style ring is heavy and with the stone buried low into the ring.

Now, as to your second question, you're right: I have no qualifications at all to venture any opinion :-)

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


December 2, 2008

A. Platinum is currently a bargain compared to gold, so now is the time to go with as much plat as you can fit on a finger!

The white metal is down almost 68% from its high of over $2200/oz.

JM

Joe Montagna
- Raleigh, North Carolina


February 17, 2010

I want to start by thanking everyone - I'm designing an engagement ring for my GF and this is by far the best forum I've found regarding the issue of platinum vs. gold. Given the discussion and my budget, I'm going with 18K white gold.

Q. My question is more to do with the process of making the ring. I spent some time with the jeweler who walked me through how he would go about designing the ring. He showed me a dull yellow ring that he would start with, hand work it to add the right amount of small diamonds, shave it to get the desired depth and width, size it and finally polish it to make it look brilliant white.

I have no idea what the process is, so not sure if the jeweler is taking me for a ride. what is the actual process? what questions should I be asking to get comfortable ?

Thanks!

Tapan Dandnaik
- NYC, New York


February 22, 2010

Q. There is a lot of good information here. I never did see an official durability of platinum vs gold though. My wife has recently had an issue with her platinum engagement ring. It had developed a crack which the jeweler fixed only to have it crack on the opposite side a month later. They now say it needs to have a 1/2 shank replacement. The ring is only 10 years old.

I fought this pretty hard and they are finally doing the fix mostly on their dime. I had not heard of anyone having issues with platinum rings. Many stories of 80-100 year old rings in perfect shape. My wife has had a lot of issues with it becoming malformed as well. More of an oval then a circle.

The jeweler seemed to think this was all normal. The malforming and the cracking in 10 years. Any input on this? Personally when one spends this much on a ring I expect it to last forever! By the way, my wife is a teacher. It doesn't exactly get abused.

To answer some of the other peoples questions, the ring is still very shiny to me. She gets it cleaned at the jeweler often; every couple months. I have no complaints there.

Bret Ridgel
- keyser, West Virginia


May 4, 2010

Q. I plan to purchase a sapphire and diamond eternity band (half circle of stones). Deciding whether to get platinum or white gold. Cost is not so much of a factor. My concerns are: platinum (although harder than white gold) turns a dull gray and also scratches more easily than gold. Also, I've heard that rings do not retain their round shape and become somewhat sloped. I know that white gold is rhodium plated to make it white. However, I've heard that this plating wears off and a yellow color shows through and the ring needs to be re-plated. If this happens every 10 years I'm OK with this. However, if it happens every 3 months or every year, I'm not OK with it.

I want something that's beautiful but also low maintenance. I usually wear yellow gold rings and have never had them polished or shined. I do not want to have to get a platinum ring "re-shined" periodically or get a white gold ring re-plated annually. I want a silver color because sapphires and diamonds look better than this. What do you suggest?

Lin Michele
- Miami, Florida


May 5, 2010

A. Hi, Lin. Although nothing has half the bling of rhodium plating, a high quality unplated white gold ring may be what you are looking for (look up 'X1 white gold'). Once jewelers started rhodium plating white gold rings, they became largely unconcerned with how white the underlying metal is. But if you persevere you will find a jeweler knowledgeable in this who can offer you an unplated white gold ring in a quite nice white color. And if price isn't a big object (it will still be quite a bit less expensive than platinum), the "bleaching metal" can be palladium instead of nickel, eliminating a possible allergy problem.

I don't think there's much chance that rhodium plating will last more than a year or two on a ring that's worn daily if the underlying color isn't good.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


May 7, 2010

Q. Ted,
Thanks for the reply. Am I correct that platinum will get to be a dark dull gray with daily wear?
If the jeweler uses a white metal for the alloy rather than rhodium-plating yellow gold, will the setting look white or yellowish?
Tiffanys says that white gold is simply yellow gold that has been rhodium plated and uses that to justify selling platinum. Will a platinum ring get misshapen with daily wear?

Lin Michele
- Miami, Florida


May , 2010

A. Hi, Lin. I'm not a jeweler and can't answer whether platinum will go gray or become misshapen; in general though, a very pure metal will be soft and other metals are added to the alloy to prevent that.

My wife has her grandmother's beautiful platinum engagement ring, which suffers neither problem after about a hundred years. No one needs to "justify" platinum. It's a precious metal half-again as costly as gold. Further, while gold jewelry tends to be about 12 karat (half gold, half less costly metals), platinum jewelry is usually nearly pure platinum. So platinum jewelry tends to be something like 3 times as expensive as gold.

The particular agent you spoke to at Tiffany is dead wrong. Yellow gold rings should not be rhodium plated (because of the contrast as they wear). Only white gold should be rhodium plated. But there are many different possible white gold alloy mixes, so there are many different grades of whiteness to white gold. Our FAQ includes links to a discussion of these whiteness ratings. There are white golds that are white enough to use unplated.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


May 13, 2010

Q. Hi Ted,
What great advice and responses you give on this site! I was browsing through the web to get some information on a change I am looking to make. My hubby and I have been married for 6 years now. When we got engaged, I picked a beautiful platinum engagement ring. Then when we got married, we opted for the 14k white gold rhodium plated wedding bands (mine is a channel-set 3.5 mm band with diamonds that go halfway around the band). I have been disappointed in the coloring of the ring since about 6 months after we bought it.

We are now looking to change around my wedding band, because the color of the band does NOT match the silvery color of the plat, and I am tired of having it re-rhodium plated every 2 years. I would like to have my ring redone in platinum, so that I have the same band, but with plat instead of white gold. My concern is the price. Do you think this is going to be a custom job for a jeweler? Or do you think this is common occurrence for them?

Stephanie Capalbo
- Suffern, New York


May , 2010

A. Hi, Stephanie. Thank you for those kind words.

Although the ring would be customized in order to look like your old one and to accommodate the existing diamonds, this is not something unusual or extravagant that should involve large labor costs.

However, platinum is more expensive than gold, $1660 per ounce against $1219 today (you can see spot prices at sites like kitco.com), and heavier than gold. Even more importantly, gold jewelry tends to be about 12K (half gold / half non-precious metal) whereas platinum jewelry tends to be nearly pure. So platinum rings tends to be something like 3x as expensive as gold.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


June 22, 2010

Q. I've learned a lot by reading the threads posted on this site, but wanted clarity on my situation if possible. My wedding ring is a simple white gold band with 8 diamonds across the front. I have had allergic reactions to nickel before and am assuming that my ring is mixed with nickel as most are. So, my question is: would I be better off buying a platinum replacement or having my existing ring rhodium coated? I am not as concerned about appearance as I am about my desire to wear it constantly without my finger itching and becoming swollen.
Thank you
Erin

Erin Sapienza
- Highland, Illinois, USA


June 22, 2010

Q. I recently got engaged, receiving a platinum Whitney Boin engagement ring. I really like some of the modern stainless steel wedding bands on the market but question whether wearing a stainless steel band against a platinum band cause undue wear to either. Does anybody have a recommendation? I have seen conflicting information on the web.

Mariah Hay
product designer - Savannah, Georgia


August 4, 2010

A. Platinum is definitely a better choice over white gold - it's more durable, holds the diamond more securely than gold, and won't scratch. Also, regarding another comment above, it's hypoallergenic. (and dipping a gold ring in rhodium won't solve an allergy problem.)

Specifically regarding white gold versus platinum, white gold turns yellowy over the course of a few months because it loses its rhodium covering. That means you have to get it redipped a few times a year to maintain the silver color. With platinum it maintains the color naturally.

Lastly (and this is my personal opinion), for a piece like an engagement ring, I think it pays to get the best. It's kind of a symbol of how special it is. That's how my fiance and I felt about my ring anyway.

Kristin Szos
- New York, New York, USA


August 5, 2010

A. I do not necessarily think that platinum is always the better choice and that it depends on the band you choose. Our jeweler, who is a family member of my husband told us that especially for very thin bands like mine platinum scratches much easier than white gold. He told us to go for white gold to avoid more scratches. I have had my ring for one year and so far so good. I know someone else who has a thin platinum band and she has a ton of scratches.

Christin Jane
- Chicago, Illinois


December 24, 2010

Q. I was reading this link because I am trying to find out the cost of changing my wedding band from white gold to platinum. My initial wedding set was yellow gold & at 8 yrs. I traded up my ring to platinum. I have had this ring now 9 yrs. & I love the platinum. I added a band to the ring a few yrs. back & the band I chose only came in 14k yellow or white gold, so I chose the white gold. I hated the way it looked after awhile, as the white gold ring started looking yellow. I then had it rhodium plated, which looked good but then wore out. As far as anyone deciding whether to go white gold or platinum, I say definitely platinum! It looks great, it is heavier, & I haven't had any issues with the setting on my ring in 9 yrs. I wear it every day & never take it off. They can buff the platinum because it does get scratched, but I think even scratched it looks 100% better than yellowish white gold. Hopefully I can take this band & change it to platinum soon because it bugs me to look at. I should have just waited for a band that was platinum, but in the store when they put the band with my ring, it did match. I just didn't know that after wearing it would change color :(

Lori deleted
- California

December 27, 2010

A. Hi, Lori

14k gold is 14 parts gold out of 24 parts, so it's only a little bit more than 50% gold, whereas platinum rings are nearly pure platinum. So if gold and platinum cost the same, a platinum ring would still cost about 24/14 or 70% more than a 14k ring. Platinum is, as you say, heavier. So if they were the same cost per ounce, the platinum ring would be 11.4% more expensive based on weight. Finally, platinum costs more per ounce. Today platinum is only 25% more than gold (probably due to people running to gold during economic uncertainty). Factor these things together, and a platinum ring will have about 2.4x the value in precious metal that a 14k gold ring has. Usually the cost differential between platinum and gold is greater, so, for a round number, platinum rings cost about 2-1/2 to 3 times what 14k gold rings cost.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


February 16, 2012

Q. I was told white gold does not bend or dent or scratch whereas platinum does. IS THIS TRUE? And there is a 'top range' of white gold...what is this called, does it in fact exist?

Rosy Doyle
- AUSTRALIA

February 21, 2012

A. Hi, Rosy. I am not a jeweler so I don't have the wealth of practical experience to tell you which will wear better and scratch less.

There are some very "white" white golds. One is called "X1", although I think this is a trademark, so it will lead you to a single brand.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


March 14, 2012

Q. I am now shopping with my fiance for wedding bands. I do not care about price but we do care about durability. He is a mechanic and needs a band that can be bumped and scratched. We don't care about scratches on the band either. Which is more DURABLE platinum or white gold? It needs to last forever.

Rachel Pyles
- Dayton, Ohio


March 15, 2012

A. Hi, Rachel.

Certainly platinum will be much better than white gold for him.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


June 11, 2012

Q. Hi! I've been reading the whole post, and I have a question about white gold alloys. If a white gold ring has Palladium and Zinc in it to make it white, will it turn yellow or not over time? It has not the Rhodium plating, so will it look a bit yellow-ish?

Regards,

Chris

Chris Malinowski
- Ski, Norway


June 26, 2012

Q. Hi Ted.
Thanks for all your words of wisdom on this thread. I have read the thread with great interest. I have a specific question that I'm hoping can be answered. I have a VVS1 emerald cut diamond that was set with 4 claws in platinum. I have had the ring for 6 years. It's a beautiful diamond. Last year I had the ring reshaped, as it had somehow got bent into more of an oval than a circle. Yesterday when I went to have the ring cleaned from the place we purchased the ring I was informed that one of the four claws had broken off and snapped - and was only barely holding my precious diamond! (I nearly died). Anyway, is this a design fault or should we have expected that this is an inherent problem with platinum? We bought the ring from a highly reputable jeweler. I am trying to work out where we stand on this one. When we bought the ring we were told that platinum was the hardest and most durable of metals and given the value of the diamond, we wanted to be assured of its safety. Is the jeweler in any way at fault here selling us a ring that was 'at risk'? We do not have insurance on this ring as that was going to cost us a small fortune.
I anxiously await your response.
Warmest
Trina

Trina Pitcher
- Melbourne, Australia


June , 2012

A. Hi Trina.

My career was spent in the electroplating industry, so I know a lot about plating. And, because of posted questions here, I've spent a lot of time studying the problems of white gold and rhodium plating. But that doesn't make me a jeweler :-)

I appreciate your kind words, and I'd like to help, but I honestly have no qualifications or experience to guide you. Hopefully another reader will!

As a fellow purchaser of jewelry though, a number of stones have been lost from my wife's bracelets and such over the years. My non-professional opinion is that 4-prong settings pose a much bigger risk than 6-prong or 8-prong settings. I personally would not trust a precious diamond to a 4-prong setting of any metal because there is always something out there that is strong enough to spread (if not break) the prong and the stone can be gone -- poof! But some people's sense of taste is probably offended by more than 4 prongs. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


July 5, 2012

thumbsup2Hi Ted
Thank you for your response. It turns out that the jeweler has done the right thing by us and reset the ring and covered all costs. Even though I am yet to collect my ring, I have been assured that the stone is now safe and that the claws were made slightly thicker. They are still, however recommending that I don't wear the ring to bed...so that the sheets don't rub on the ring and wear it down!
Warm regards
Trina

Trina Pitcher
- Melbourne, Australia


July 21, 2012

Q. Hi Ted,

Thank you so much for this string! We went engagement ring shopping this morning and were looking at both a national jewelry line as well as an in-house line and I had settled on the in-house (lower price), but I am reconsidering given the potential for sub-par alloys. I was also dead-set on platinum but am willing to reconsider that too!

My question is that, in trying to figure out the 18k white gold composition of this national line, I've seen that they advertise that theirs is a blend of white gold, palladium, and ruthenium. Perhaps I overlooked it, but I didn't see any discussion on this alloy. Do you have any information on ruthenium?

The jeweler had specifically said she had actually never had a customer come in and need replating of white gold jewelry of this line, but then also said that she'd hate for me to be the first (which made me hesitant). If true, it makes me think that their composition must be whiter than others, but I just want to make sure!

Thanks for your advice.

Joanna Hilburn
- New Haven, Connecticut


July 23, 2012

A. Hi Joanna. Again, I'm not a jeweler, but both Palladium and Ruthenium are precious metals, and the ring is presumably nickel-free, so it sounds quite good to me.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


August 12, 2012

thumbsdownI am really annoyed at the fact that that my white gold wedding and engagement rings have started going yellow. I have already had my engagement ring re-plated which needs doing again and now my wedding ring needs doing as well and I barely wear them due to the job I do. Also I've not even reached my 1st wedding anniversary. I hate the fact that both these rings were really expensive and yet they are still costing me money. I would not recommend white gold, not unless you are happy to keep spending money to keep them looking nice. I am considering getting new rings, platinum this time, but if I do I know for a fact that the new rings won't really mean the same as they won't be my original rings from my special day. So I strongly recommend doing a lot of research on this before deciding what type of ring to choose and suits you, to avoid disappointment later.

katie deleted
- sheffield uk


August 12, 2012

Hi Katie. I am not arguing with your advice or your feelings. But for your own peace of mind, please find a plating shop that can give you rhodium plating of sufficient quality to last a few years rather than a few months. Adv. =>

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey

     


May 23, 2013

Q. Read the thread with great interest! However I'd still like to see some feedback on Ashley's question re palladium: it seems to be popular material for the rings nowadays and wonder if anyone has experienced its durability/colour over time?

Amy Nova
- Zurich, Switzerland


November 17, 2013

Q. I was given an antique diamond and platinum engagement ring that seems to have dulled or turned gray. Can platinum be polished to make it shine or will it just turn dull again? Is it a bad idea to have an antique platinum ring polished anyway? Thank you. Ted, your replies have been very interesting and helpful in explaining the different types of gold and platinum, etc.

Amy Mills
- Cincinnati, Ohio, USA


November 18, 2013

A. Hi Amy. Thanks for the kind words, but please remember that I am just a guy from the electroplating industry who has learned a bit by reading and researching the submitted problems on these pages. I am not a jeweler, so there are serious limitations to my background knowledge, and my actual experience is minimal. My personal aesthetic would probably be to have platinum jewelry polished every five years just on the general principle that old is nice but grungy isn't.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


November 19, 2013

thumbsup2Thanks for your reply, Ted. I understand you are not a jeweler, but I do appreciate your opinion as your knowledge in your field exceeds mine. After further thought, I do not want to have the ring taken apart or changed so I believe I will have it polished and enjoy it as it is and was originally intended. Thanks again for your feedback. Amy

Amy Mills
- Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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