Certainly the biggest advantage of a white gold engagement ring over its platinum counterpart is the cost. In fact, platinum costs nearly double that of white gold, due to its weight and the amount that is mined each year. Typically, only about 160 tons of platinum are mined annually, while over 1,500 tons of gold are mined. Platinum is also significantly more dense than gold, and because precious metal is priced by its weight, this adds to the price inflation.
One of the major arguments for platinum over white gold is the long-term care that is required for a white gold engagement ring. White gold is made from a mixture of yellow gold and a whiter metal such as silver, nickel or manganese. These whiter metals are used in order to strengthen the metal and create the silver colour. In most cases the ring is then dipped in rhodium to give it a whiter, shinier finish, which needs to be recoated every few years in order to keep its original gleam. Although this process sounds expensive, it is actually quite affordable and many jewellers offer to do it for free. Platinum, on the other hand, is naturally a more greyish white colour, and over time its shine will dull. In some cases, this can make a diamond appear to shine more brightly in contrast, but platinum will require regular shinning by a professional jeweller in order to keep its gleam. Overall, the two metals end up requiring a similar investment, of both time and money, when it comes to long-term care.
Another factor that affects the decision between white gold and platinum is culture. Throughout time, gold has always had a stereotype of wealth and prestige, one that is embodied by a gold engagement ring. The metal is also known as the most traditional for engagement and wedding rings, but platinum has risen to the forefront of popularity in recent years, often being seen as the new symbol of power in society. Gold does not tarnish over time, which can be considered a strong symbol for a couple’s eternal love, but platinum is an extremely strong metal that can also represent a couple’s relationship.
As one of the most popular debates in the jewellery world, it can be a difficult decision between a platinum or white gold engagement ring. Among all of the choices now available for engagement rings today, it is especially important to be well informed about the benefits and drawbacks when comparing different metal options. Each couple is bound to have their own preferences, but they must keep in mind the very high price of platinum when compared to its white gold competitor, the essentially equal amount of care required, and the symbolism behind each metal.