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White Gold Engagement Rings

White gold was developed as a more affordable choice to platinum. It was patented in 1915 by a German chemist, Karl Richter, but with the advent of World War I, production did not go ahead there and his patent was forgotten. A few years later in New York, the Belais brothers were awarded their patent for the metal using zinc and nickel as alloys. As platinum was restricted during the war, it meant that there was now a beautiful and affordable alternative to platinum. Their marketing campaign was so successful that their white gold engagement rings saw a huge rise in popularity in the 1920s.

There are advantages and disadvantages between choosing platinum or white gold. Engagement rings made from platinum are hypoallergenic but, although it is a hard metal, it is prone to scratches. As the ring ages, the platinum acquires a patina, which is duller white in appearance. This has the effect of making the diamond appear to sparkle brighter, which is one of the main advantages of platinum.

White gold, on the other hand, is harder as it is an alloy. It is also lighter to wear (platinum is a very dense metal) and is a more affordable choice for rings. But there are some points that need to be taken into consideration before choosing white gold engagement rings. The plating is rhodium, itself one of the world’s most expensive metals, and a ring will need re-plating every couple of years, as it will start to wear thin and expose the gold alloy underneath. With the new whiter amalgams, it is not always necessary to have it rhodium plated. It is advisable to go to a reputable designer or retailer to discuss different types of alloys available, as they can vary enormously depending on the amalgam.

The final choice is personal: some people like the more natural look of platinum and others the sheen of white gold. However, it is possible to have the best of both worlds by using a platinum setting to hold the gem in place and still enjoy the lustre of white gold engagement rings. Of course, as the technology of metals improves, it is possible to have a more natural look without the rhodium plating, thus saving on the time and expense of getting it re-plated every few years, making it an even more popular choice.