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Metal Matters: Gold vs. Platinum

Metal Matters: Gold vs. Platinum

You've met the love of your life, and you're ready to make that big commitment to each other. Whether you're looking at wedding rings for yourself or the one you love, choosing the best metal for rings can be a difficult decision to make. From three different gold options to platinum and even silver, you've got several choices to decide between.  Choosing from the wedding and engagement ring metals is a personal decision as each metal offers its own advantages and disadvantages.


When you're looking at engagement ring metals, it's best to know the pros and cons of each style. For a silver-toned band the white gold vs. platinum ring debate is a long-running competition with advocates for both metals. Many will claim that a platinum ring is a status symbol, while others prefer white gold. Traditionalists may prefer yellow gold, and others still look for the uniqueness of rose gold.  When it comes to gold, the higher the karat is, the purer the gold content is. 24 karat gold holds the purest form of gold jewelry at 99.9% pure. Most gold engagement and wedding rings are composed 14K or 18K gold. On the other side of the coin, true platinum rings must be at least 95% platinum and cannot contain a significant percentage of another metal.

Engagement Ring Metals

Yellow gold is a traditional look for brides who prefer a classic, conventional wedding ring. While yellow gold is most complementary to darker skin tones, this timeless look can make any woman's ring finger sparkle.  Ladies who prefer a vintage look will love the elegance offered by a yellow gold ring. The most malleable of engagement ring metals, yellow gold is often alloyed with copper or zinc to strengthen the metal. The higher the karat weight, the easier it is for a jeweler to manipulate the gold, should you need resizing or other adjustments. Yellow gold is also the most hypoallergenic of the three gold metals, because of its alloys.


Of course there are also some disadvantages to a yellow gold ring. Because of the malleable nature, gold dents and scratches easily. In the same token, a gold ring is more likely to break from the malleability. In order to maintain the quality and shine of your gold ring, it should also be regularly polished. A gold ring is more likely to lose metal at a rapid rate, so you may need to have it re-shanked eventually.


White gold is very similar to yellow gold, with just a few distinct differences. The obvious difference is the metal alloys in white gold. In order to attain the silver white color that white gold offers, the gold is combined with nickel and silver.  Because of the stronger metals, white gold rings are more resistant to scratches and dents.  White gold is incredibly complementary to fair skin and rosy complexions, but also looks lovely on other skin tones.   Additionally, white gold accentuates the sparkle of white diamonds often found in engagement rings.


With its own set of cons, white gold may not be the best choice for every woman. Of course, the metals alloyed to make white gold are common allergenic metals, making white gold jewelry a lesser choice for women with metal allergies and sensitive skin. White gold jewelry also requires more frequent upkeep to maintain the silver white color, as it has a tendency to yellow over time.


Rose gold is a unique option that not many women choose. Because of its uncommonness, you're more likely to have a ring that stands out among engagement rings. This gold is the least expensive of the gold metals and offers a color that complements every skin tone beautifully. The gold is alloyed with copper to create the rose color, which helps lower the cost and increases the durability. The copper alloy also produces a drawback, as it makes rose gold the most allergenic of the engagement ring metals. You may also discover that a rose gold ring is harder to find, as there is less demand for these beautiful ring styles.


Platinum, considered by many to be the best of the best when it comes to engagement ring metals, offers several advantages. As platinum is the densest precious metal, a platinum wedding ring is bound to be incredibly durable and made to withstand the test of time. This durability also offers the safest setting for your diamonds and other precious stones. While platinum is stunning on any woman's ring finger, it truly looks best on women with rosy and fair complexions. For women with incredibly sensitive skin, platinum offers the most hypoallergenic metal. The rarity of platinum makes the ring more valuable, creating the aforementioned status symbol of wealth.


The rare nature of platinum may make it more special to some, but it also makes the ring significantly more expensive than a white gold ring of similar designs. Platinum must be dipped in rhodium to maintain its luster, and may require regular cleaning/polishing from jewelers. Over time, this process will strip away the rhodium and even some of the platinum. It may be necessary to re-dip your ring after a few years.


When it comes to gold vs. platinum, the decision is truly yours. Both gold and platinum offer stunning features that are sure to impress your bride and all of your wedding guests. You'll choose the best metal for your engagement ring based on your personal sense of style and the features that are most important to you.