If your big day is rapidly approaching then you’ve probably started to think about your wedding bands for the ceremony. While the engagement ring is sometimes seen as a more important purchase in regards to traditional or simulated diamond jewelry, wedding bands should also be thought about rigorously. They should embody your relationship and everything that makes it so unique, just as your engagement ring does.
Wedding bands are often more simple in design than engagement rings, but that’s not always the case. They can feature anything from dazzling accents and precious metals to intricate metalwork and more. But whether you opt for modern styles, or classic wedding bands that won’t go out of style, you’ll need to decide which metal type is right for you and your significant other. A common question we hear a lot is, “what’s the difference between a platinum vs. white gold wedding band?” These two metal types look a lot alike, but they’re surprisingly different in a lot of ways. Before you decide which metal type is right for you, learn the top differences between platinum and white gold wedding bands.
About White Gold Wedding Bands
Wedding bands made of gold are one of the most popular options around—especially white gold. While the name suggests a white color, it looks closer to silver than white. There are many different options when it comes to white gold. Here are the top three most frequently purchased white gold metal types:
10k: This option contains the lowest amount of actual pure gold, as its ratio is 10 parts gold and 14 parts alloy mixture. While this fact may make it seem like a less desirable choice, 10k gold is actually the most durable out of the top three choices. That’s because gold is weaker than other alloys, meaning the added alloys help the metal to be strong and extremely durable for an everyday piece of jewelry. This option is also the cheapest of the three. So, if you’re looking for a metal that’s affordable and durable, 10k white gold may be a good option for you.
14k: By far the most popular choice, 14k white gold is a great combination of affordability and durability for both women’s and men’s wedding bands. It is made of 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy mixture. This makes it ideal for fine jewelry because it’s made mostly of gold but features enough alloys to keep it durable and heirloom quality. This is the middle ground for price as it’s more expensive than 10k and less expensive than 18k.
18k: If you want to invest a little more into your wedding band, then 18k gold may be the right choice for you. Since it contains 18 parts gold and only 8 parts alloy mixture, it’s more heavily made of gold rather than cheaper alloys. While this may seem like a plus, there is also a downfall to having more gold. Remember, gold is a rather weak metal, meaning 18k gold will be more prone to scratching over time. Although, if you plan to be very gentle with your ring and take it off when appropriate, you shouldn’t have too many problems with this choice.
About Platinum Wedding Bands
Platinum is an excellent metal choice for classic and non traditional wedding rings. It features a glossy finish that looks similar in color to white gold. Although it appears similar, there are some key differences between platinum and other metal types.
Platinum is considered one of the most durable metals for both wedding bands and engagement rings. Unlike gold or silver, it does not tarnish and tends to need the least amount of maintenance over time. Along with its durability and hardness, it’s actually heavier than other metals. That means it feels like a more luxurious metal type and helps ground your ring. One of the biggest misconceptions about platinum is that its durability prevents it from being scratched. Although platinum is extremely strong, it is still prone to scratching, similar to 14k gold. When a gold wedding band gets scratched some metal is actually lost, which is why it appears as a scratch. On the other hand, when platinum gets scratched the metal is merely moved, not lost. This results in a natural patina finish, or a less polished and worn appearance, which some consumers actually like more than its original glossy appearance.
Because of platinum’s clear benefits over gold, it is increasing in popularity. But, some consumers are still not convinced that spending more money up front is worth it. To deep dive into the differences between white gold or platinum wedding bands, learn all of the most important distinctions between the two metals to find out which one is right for you and your new spouse.
Platinum vs White Gold Wedding Bands
The difference between platinum and white gold lies in a few different factors. One of the most known differences is the cost comparison, but there are many more differences that you should be aware of before purchasing your ring. Keep these few things in mind during your search for the right platinum or white gold wedding band.
Cost: Again, the biggest difference between the two metals is when looking at the upfront cost. Platinum wedding bands tend to be a fair amount more than gold, although it’s important to also think about long-term costs. If your choice is between white gold and platinum, consider what the cost of maintenance will be throughout the years. White gold is more prone to wear and tear and needs to be rhodium dipped every couple of years or so to maintain its white appearance. Keep in mind, some jewelers include this for free with white gold purchases. Although, if it’s not covered, while not an expensive fix, the cost can add up over the years. Since platinum is less prone to tarnishing, there should be fewer trips to the jeweler throughout the years, making the initial investment worth it to many consumers.
Composition: Depending on the karat of white gold you choose, the composition will differ. The most common karat of gold for wedding bands and engagement rings is 14k, which is comprised of 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy mixture. Specifically, white gold contains white metals like silver, nickel and palladium, and is finished with a rhodium coating. On the other hand, platinum bands must contain at least 95% platinum to be considered pure. Since platinum is purer, it tends to be a great hypoallergenic choice as the alloys found in gold can be irritating to some and cause your skin to turn color during everyday wear.
Appearance: Platinum and white gold wedding bands do look a lot alike, but there are still some minor differences in appearance. First, since white gold is mixed with other alloys and then rhodium dipped it appears whiter, while platinum features a more grayish-white appearance that appears to have more shine. Another key difference is wear and tear. While white gold may tarnish where it is most frequently rubbed—like the sides that touch your fingers—platinum, on the other hand, will merely appear less polished over time. So while it’s inevitable that white gold will need to be re-rhodium dipped eventually, some consumers like the look of the less polished platinum and choose to not get it re-touched.
Weight: The last key difference between platinum vs white gold wedding bands is the weight. Platinum is quite a bit heavier than gold, which gives it a more substantial feel. If you’re worried it will be too heavy to wear every day, consider how thick you want your ring to be. The thicker it is, the heavier it will feel. If you’re thinking about purchasing online but want to get a feel for the different weights, it may be a good idea to head to the nearest jeweler and try them on first. Feeling it on your finger may give you a better idea of how your actual ring will feel.
Platinum or White Gold: Which One Is Right for Me?
If you’ve read all there is to read about the differences between the two metals and you’re still not sure which is right for you, then there’s just one last thing to do: try them on. While the two metals may seem similar, they will no doubt look and feel differently. Trying on both metal types will hopefully push you in the right direction depending on your personal preference. While the idea of platinum and its many benefits may seem like the right choice, you may find out you don’t like the look of it or vice versa. A wedding band is a major purchase, one you will wear every day for the rest of your life, so you want to ensure you choose the metal type that you will love for years to come.
*Diamond Nexus strives to provide valuable information, while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab grown stone that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a mined diamond, with two exceptions - it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.