Do you want to know the Platinum vs. White Gold vs. Silver Pros and Cons? Or want to know the differences among these three fine metals. Or you do not sure what type of metal to opt for when it comes to jewelry and engagement rings? Read on to find out which one is best placed for your needs.
Platinum vs. White Gold vs. Silver
Platinum is a chemical element that is dense and at the same time, highly unreactive as well as resistant to corrosion. It is equally malleable and considered a precious metal. The color of platinum is silverfish-white. The fact that it is dense makes it the heaviest precious metal. The fact that it is resistant to tarnish makes it ideal for making beautiful jewelry.
The fact that platinum is a rare metal and hard to find makes it a valuable metal of high economic value. When mined, you can find platinum in its purest form, but it is mostly missed with other metals in the group. On earth, the majority of platinum is mined in South Africa.
- Naturally, you’ll find that platinum has a brilliant greyish-white color that stands out. You’re able to maintain this brilliance from just a quick polish, making it a good metal for everyday use. Platinum is also durable and does not require a lot of maintenance like white gold or silver. It also doesn’t scratch easily. For that reason, you’re able to enjoy platinum because it doesn’t need extra trips to the jeweler for polishing.
- The durability of the metal makes platinum the ideal metal when it comes to securing diamonds and gemstones on it.
- Where platinum fails is that it forms a patina over time that dulls the metal. That’s a flaw for people who prefer shiny metals.
- Platinum is quite heavy. Some wearers might enjoy the weight of it while others might find that that’s not their preference.
White gold is an alloy of palladium, silver, and nickel all combined with pure gold. It is their color that gives white gold its color. By nature, pure gold is bright and golden yellow. However, when it has a higher silver content or in this case, silver-colored metals, it looks whiter. One thing to note is that when the nickel alloy gets used, there are people who are likely to have an allergic reaction to it.
There are various karats whole gold, with 14k being popular. It is made up of 53.3 percent gold, and the rest is made up of other metals. People tend to gravitate toward 14k white gold because they are more resistant to tarnish. That means that 18k white gold is not as ideal for everyday wear. When it comes to appearance, the 18k jewelry looks brighter and whiter because it is less prone to oxidation as compared it its 14k counterpart.
- White gold has a mirrored finish thanks to the plating with rhodium, which is a precious metal.
- White gold is a very soft metal. That allows jewelry makes to contort the metal into incredible designs that other metals are unable to fulfill. You’re able to get more design options with white gold than other metals.
- The concern for people who have white gold jewelry is that the rhodium does eventually fade. What was once grey begins to look yellowish. If you want to maintain the white luster, then you’ll have to keep having it re-plated, which is an added expense.
- The softness of the white gold means that it is increasingly likely to get scratched with frequent wear. That means you have to consider saving your white gold jewelry for special occasions.
Silver is a transition metal and is soft and white in color. As compared to other metals, it has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity and also reflectivity. Given that silver is soft, it gets mixed with other metals. The one used in jewelry is sterling silver, a combination of 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent copper. When combined, you have a strong alloy that makes it excellent for jewelry making.
The other type of silver that gets used is silver-filled, also known as silver overlay. Here, we have a layer of silver on cheaper metal that is applied using heat and pressure. This layer is thick enough that you can work with it; you can even engrave the jewelry without exposing the base metal underneath.
- The fantastic thing about silver is that the grayish-white color that it has makes gems stand out all the more.
- By itself, silver is a very soft metal, which makes it prone to dents and scratches. However, that’s not how silver jewelry gets sold. What we have in the market is sterling silver. Compared to gold, it is less likely to get stretches and other issues.
- The concern about silver is that it tends to tarnish rather quickly. Air pollutants, humidity, and even moisture are able to discolor the jewelry. For that reason, you’ll find yourself cleaning your silver jewelry a lot more. You also have to store it separately.
- While it is a welcome thing that sterling silver is hard, it is perhaps too hard to work with when it comes to engraving. As compared to the other two metals, this one produces the least effect from an engraving.
Platinum, White Gold vs. Silver for Engagement Ring or jewelry?
When it comes to engagement and wedding rings, a high percentage of them are either made out of gold or platinum. When it comes to platinum jewelry, most of them are made out of 90 to 95 percent pure platinum; the other percentage is iridium, copper, palladium, titanium, or rhodium.
Something to note is that when the platinum has to be made of over 95 percent of the original metal, anything else it has to be referred to as a platinum alloy.
The reality is that platinum is indeed more expensive than white gold, but it is considered a worthy investment because it is cost-effective. That’s because at no point will you need to recoat it as you’d have to do with white gold.
Overall, platinum is considered the best for engagement rings because it is durable as well as being tough, withstanding everyday wear. It is worthy not to note that it is quite a heavy metal; it is 40 to 60 percent heavier than gold. Not everyone would be a fan of that.
White gold is also is best depending on the karats it has. 14k gold has 58 percent gold and 42 percent other metals. For 18k gold, you have 75 percent gold and 25 percent other metals. It is in these percentages that you know the hardness of the gold allows. The more alloys it has, the stronger the metal is the more durable and best places for long wear. The other reason for this long-wear is the rhodium that gets plated over the gold alloy. Rhodium is a hard, shiny, and bright white heavy metal given that it is in the family.
The reason why people don’t gravitate toward silver is that it is a soft metal. For that reason, it is prone to tarnishing faster as compared to platinum or white gold. That is not entirely a good thing when it comes to holding in precious gemstones or diamonds. Platinum also has a similar problem. As compared to white gold, it is malleable, meaning it is bendable.
When exposed to pressure over time, you’ll find that, for example, the gemstones will fall out because the setting moved. That only happens when there is a direct force to the ring itself. Under the same circumstances, the white gold will wear on better. Unfortunately, should the hit be too hard, the white gold will crack and break off.
How to choose among the three?
There is plenty to consider when it comes to choosing the type of metal you want for your engagement ring or jewelry. Here is a quick breakdown of how to choose.
Platinum: This metal is dense, heavy, and durable when it comes to everyday wear. It is also a metal people wanting wedding bands to gravitate toward. That’s because it can withstand daily pressures and still remain untarnished. The other reason to gravitate toward it is that it requires less polishing and maintenance. The drawbacks are that it’s heavy, and doesn’t always hold in gemstones when force gets applied because it’s malleable.
White gold: The other traditional metal that people go for when it comes to wedding bands in white gold. Depending on the karat, white gold withstands daily pressures quite well too. The finishing is shiny, thanks to rhodium. One is also able to do more designs on white gold as compared to platinum because it’s not as dense. The drawback is that overtime white gold requires re-plating with rhodium to bring back the shine.
Silver: In general, silver is not a traditional piece of metal for engagement rings and wedding bands. Silver in the jewelry comes in the form of sterling silver because in its pure form silver is soft. When it comes to engraving and designs, you’re able to do more with silver. The drawback is that silver is prone to general tarnishing as compared to the other metals.
If you want to get an engagement ring, the best to opt for is either platinum or white gold, all dependent on the price you’re willing to pay.
Here I write a very popular post: 10 metals for wedding or engagement rings.
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