Jan 6

White Gold vs Platinum – For Wedding Rings – What’s the Difference?

By Calla Gold

White Gold vs Platinum – The Big Article

14kt white gold swirly wedding band with multiple small antique diamonds.

White Gold Was Chosen for This Wedding Band Design for a Very Active Woman

This is my big monster of an article on White Gold vs Platinum. I’ll also do smaller bite size blog posts on the sub-topics taken up within this post.

This post will cover whatever it is you want to know about gold or platinum.  I’ve covered why platinum is more expensive, which metal holds its shine longer, and why one is better for someone with a more active lifestyle.

White Gold vs Platinum, How Are They Different?

two ring wedding set with 1 ct. diamond and halo of diamonds and diamond band set in 14kt white gold. Calla Gold Jewelry. White gold vs platinum blog post

Halo Style Design With Classic “U” set Diamonds Design. The Metal Chosen was 14kt White Gold

As a California jeweler who specializes in wedding ring design, I’ve been designing and making white gold and platinum wedding rings for years. Lately, an increasing number of people have asked me what the difference is between the two.

They’re both valuable and expensive metals. Both are dense and weighty. Which one is right for you and your design? And why you might ask are the prices so different?

Tripping Down Memory Lane with the Periodic Chart of Elements

Man's ring with the PT platinum periodic chart of elements data.

All That Periodic Table Data in a Cool Ring. How Could I Resist?

Remember the periodic table of elements from high school science class?

Gold and platinum can both be found in the heavier metals section. And of course, both metals are white—ish. So what’s the difference?

All About White Gold

Gold is a great metal. Always has been. Always will be. The ancient Egyptians thought so. So did the Incas. People have been making jewelry out of it for thousands of years—for good reason. It’s easy to work with. It doesn’t tarnish. It doesn’t oxidize or get a green patina. And it doesn’t rust. (If we wanted our rings to rust, we’d make them out of iron.)

Pie Chart Showing 14kt Gold's Pure Gold Content. white gold vs platinum blog post

This Illustrates the Amount of Pure Gold Used in 14kt White Gold Jewelry

24k gold—100% gold—is too soft to be used for jewelry. Combine and strengthen it with a few other metals, though, and it will stand up to the rigors of everyday life.

Fourteen karat (14k) gold—yellow or white—is an alloy made up of 58% gold and 42% other metals. 18k gold is 75% gold and 25% other metals. It’s this percentage of these other metals that affect the hardness and color of gold jewelry. Wikipedia reference.

Depending on the proportions of alloys used, the color can change dramatically. White color is typically achieved by joining gold, palladium and silver, or gold, nickel, copper, and zinc.

Pie chart of pure platinum to alloys by ratio. white gold vs platinum

This Illustrates the Amount of Pure Platinum vs Alloy Metals. A Lot of Pure Platinum Goes into Your Jewelry!

In addition to alloying to create the white color, white gold jewelry is regularly plated with rhodium, a hard, bright, and shiny white heavy metal. Rhodium is in the platinum family.

Occasionally, people react to one of the alloys in white gold jewelry—most commonly, nickel. In cases such as these, jewelry made with a different white gold alloy or jewelry made out of platinum would be a better choice.

All About Platinum

Just like gold, platinum doesn’t tarnish, corrode, rust, or change color over the years. And like gold, it’s a great metal for making jewelry.

Scales of Balance showing Platinum heavier than gold Calla Gold Jewelry. White gold vs platinum blog post.

For the Same Volume of metal Platinum is Heavier Than Gold

Platinum is 40% to 60% heavier than gold (depending on the karat weight of the gold). It’s dense, malleable, (moves easily) and at the same time, very strong.

Just because it’s strong, though, doesn’t mean it won’t scratch. It will. Without a doubt. A platinum ring will develop a dulled finish after a while due to all the tiny dent marks it gets from coming into contact with hard surfaces. This is discussed more in the maintenance section later in this article.

Unlike karat gold, platinum is normally not alloyed with more than 10% other metals, making it fairly hypoallergenic. More about platinum.

Platinum has a higher melting point than gold (3,215°F as opposed to 1,948°F) and can be harder to work with. Normally your jeweler uses a separate set of tools when working with platinum, as well as different gases to achieve the required temperature.

The Four Reasons Platinum Rings Cost More

1. Since platinum is denser than gold, a platinum ring with the identical dimensions (the same volume) as a gold ring will cost more simply because it weighs more.

2. Platinum is rarer than gold and costs more on the world market.

3. With a platinum ring, you’re paying for 90 to 95% pure platinum. With a 14k white gold ring, you’re only paying for 58% gold. Not counting labor and gemstones, it’s the cost of these two precious metals that largely determine the price of fine jewelry. The other alloy metals are hardly worth considering.

Soldering Torch with flame focused on chunk of metal

Soldering on Platinum Requires a Higher Temperature.

4. Because platinum demands separate tools, a special higher temperature gas to work it and requires a higher level of expertise to work with it, you’ll pay more in labor to have your ring made in platinum than in white gold.

White Gold vs Platinum – Maintenance and Wear

Since white gold started its life as a yellowy, orangey and sometimes greenish gold and had to be coaxed into whiteness by alloying it with whiter metals, it’s not truly a white metal. Comparison pros and cons from the Jewelry Information Center.

Cracked shank engagement ring

Engagement Ring With Rhodium Worn Away

When jewelers finish making a white gold ring the final step is to rhodium plate it. You may need to have the rhodium plating re-applied once a year or so with your wedding ring.

The good news with white gold is if you have a shiny design, you can wear it for quite a while before you need to re-polish it. It can get scratched from the slings and arrows of a vigorously lived life. But overall it maintains its shiny look. It does so for quite a bit longer than a platinum ring does.

Wedding set with two tone

White Gold Set Repaired and With Rhodium Plating

 

It seemed unlikely at first when I saw this, but if you have a plain platinum band or a design that is simple and shiny, it will dull up a lot more quickly than white gold in a similar design.

 

Scratched up Platinum Band

Scratched up Platinum Band

Most clients I run into aren’t aware of this attribute of platinum when they are choosing metals. It can be especially upsetting to have a simple band that looks lackluster from the first month of wear on.

I’d recommend you also read about Rhonda’s Dull Platinum Wedding Band Disaster for advice on how to design   successfully with platinum to overcome its tendency to dull up too quickly.

Platinum Band After Polishing

Platinum Band After Polishing

Read the blog post: “Why Platinum Rings Turn Dull so Fast and What to Do About it.”

For maintenance, your platinum ring will need more frequent polishing than a white gold ring. Your white gold ring will probably need to have rhodium plating done from time to time.

White Gold vs Platinum Design With

 

Platinum Hand Engraved Wedding Set With Diamonds

Hand Engraving on Platinum Wedding Set

Prongs

 

No article would be complete without discussing the different metal’s behavior. In this section I’ll discuss these two metals and how I have advised clients I have designed for in the past.

Although gold in its pure state is quite soft, by the time is alloyed (mixed) with its alloying metals it is quite strong.

Platinum is known for its strength and lasting nature. But platinum’s strength and lasting nature and white gold’s alloyed strength do not add up to the same thing. Their very differences need to be known so that you can make an informed decision about which metal is the best choice for you.

Multi-Diamond Engagement ring by Joseph Jewelers

This Design Has Tons of Tiny Prongs on the Top and Sides

White Gold vs Platinum – Prong Setting Behaviors Compared

Platinum is a malleable (movable) metal. White Gold, 14kt, is a more hard and brittle metal. First I’ll discuss platinum.

As a metal, platinum deforms ever so slightly when it contacts for example a doorknob. So in essence it moves slightly inresponse to clacking into the doorknob. In comparison the white gold ring leaves a tiny bit of itself behind on the doorknob.

Antique Doorknob

Read How White Gold Responds to Touching a Doorknob vs Platinum Touching a Doorknob to Understand These Metals Better

 

This means that over time the white gold prong will slowly wear away until it needs to be re-tipped. See my blog post: “Re-tipping Your Ring Prongs, Defining a Common Ring Repair.”

Platinum does not wear away over the years in this way. See the: “More Quirky Details of Platinum Prongs,” later in this post to see what platinum does do.

White Gold vs Platinum Brittle or Bendy?

The white gold prongs will need the re-tipping before platinum in many cases. However that doesn’t mean that platinum is automatically your best choice. Platinum has its own little quirk. Because it is a malleable metal, it tends to bend more easily than white gold.

Over the years I have observed a similar amount of little side diamonds dropping out of platinum settings compared to white gold settings.

Engagement Ring with bent away prong

Strong But Movable Platinum Responds to a Hard Hit by Moving Aside

What often happens with platinum is that the ring receives a direct hit on a prong and that prong responds by bending away from the pressure and lets go of the little diamond. So your platinum prong is still intact, but bent off in a different direction.

Now let’s talk about what happens in that same case with the white gold prong. It receives a direct hit. The white gold with its stronger, stiffer metal alloys stands firm. But if the hit is severe, the metal cracks in response to the shock as opposed to bending.

If the hit is hard enough it cracks completely off. If it is just under the crack-it-off level of hit, the prong, probably at the base, will be cracked and cause a problem down the line.

More Quirky Details of Platinum Prongs

One other thing I see a lot of with tiny platinum prongs is that they get pounded flatter and start spreading unattractively. This weakens the prong and opens the door for another hit to dislodge the diamond.

White Gold vs Platinum – Active Lifestyle and Designing With Lots of Tiny Side Diamonds

If the woman who will wear this ring design is someone with a very active lifestyle, I usually recommend 14kt white gold.

My reasoning is that white gold seems to be able to take more abuse without dropping little diamonds than platinum. This is my personal opinion based on 30 years of observation.

Platinum vs White Gold Plain Wedding Bands

As mentioned earlier white gold holds its shininess much butter than platinum. If you plan to have a plain wedding band that has a high polish finish, I’d recommend white gold. White gold stays shiny way longer than platinum.

Platinum Wedding Set with Bezel Set Sapphire and Tiny Diamonds - Calla Gold Jewelry

Add Little Diamonds and Textural Elements to Platinum Designs to Make the Most of Platinum

If you want a platinum wedding band, add hand engraving or sparkly little diamonds to give an interesting detailed design to it. Having a dull matte finish next to sparkly diamonds actually looks great.

How Do White Gold and Platinum Stack up to Alternate Metals?

Gold is the traditional metal of wedding rings. Platinum is a close second. Silver? Tungsten? Stainless steel? Metal from Mars? Not even close, 99.99% of all wedding rings are made out of gold and platinum.

Over the millennium, gold and platinum have come to symbolize marriage. Other metals haven’t.

Gold and platinum are valuable metals. Silver isn’t.

Titanium rings can’t be altered in size more than one or two sizes. This work needs to be done in a machine shop setting, not by a classic jeweler as soldering cannot be done. See my blog post, “Don’t Buy Titanium or Tungsten Wedding Bands.”

Tungsten rings flat out cannot be sized. At all!

Gold and platinum metals can be sized and worked on as many times and as much as needed by your jeweler. Your fingers will likely change in size over the years of your marriage.

Ancient Coin

Silver can Develop a Pitted Look Over Time. This Coin Shows How Beautiful Pitting is after 100’s of Years. After Ten Years, Not so Much

Silver tarnishes. Gold and platinum don’t.

This isn’t to say that silver isn’t a great metal, or that lots of fantastic jewelry isn’t made from it. But it is softer, it tarnishes and it can develop porosity, micro holes in the surface which are unattractive. I’m just saying…it’s not wedding ring and everyday wear material.

White Gold vs Platinum, Do You Know What You Want?

These are your choices. Now you know more about the

Couple Looking at a ring wax from jeweler Calla Gold Jewelry

Looking at One of the Waxes of Their Wedding Set Custom Design

differences between white gold and platinum. The details in your design choice should also be a factor in choosing which metal is the right one for your wedding ring.

Work with a jeweler who is well versed in the subtle differences between white gold and platinum. Tell your jeweler about your work and your time off activities.

Tell your jeweler about your taste and style. The style you craft together coupled with the unique way you live will call

The Finished Wedding Set

The Finished Wedding Set

for one metal or the other to give you the best ring. Make sure that choice is the one that will make you happy in the years to come.

Happy Wedding Ring Designing,
Calla Gold

 

141 thoughts on “White Gold vs Platinum – For Wedding Rings – What’s the Difference?

  1. This is a great article and so comprehensive.
    I really had no idea that white gold was 14K and only 58% gold. Comparisons between the two precious metals was fascinating!
    Platinum being so much more pure was a total surprise and good to know.

    • Hello Alene,
      I’m glad you liked the information. I used 14kt white gold as an example, but some people use 18kt white gold which is 75% pure gold. Because of the softness of pure gold I like going with the 14kt for white gold for strength and for color.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  2. What I like about this article is that it was written without a lot of tech speak. Your comments on the quirks of platinum were really helpful. I haven’t heard anyone say this, but the bending prong thing happened to a fried of mine.
    We thought, “how weird is that?” Then you mention it in your white gold vs platinum article and I’m like going to have to share it with her.
    Evidently it’s a thing!
    I’m a platinum girl all the way. I like your suggestions on using diamonds and hand engraving to make the most of the platinum’s look. I can go for that.

    • Hi Tracey,
      I appreciate your feedback on no tech-speak. I’m trying to provide information that’s easy to reach and think with. And if I can a little chuckle.
      I loved that you knew what I was talking about with the bendy prong platinum.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  3. Great article Calla. Very good info about our favorite things. 🙂
    I’m reminded of when you did the restoration work on my platinum and white gold inherited rings. I’m glad you are able to work in both metals easily.
    Kathy

    • Hi Kathy,
      Our favorite things indeed – white gold and platinum jewelry. You have some wonderful pieces and it was a pleasure to work on them. Good taste runs in your family!
      I appreciate your comment on the info in the article coming from you a three time published author!
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  4. Oh my goodness – what an awesome post! So much information on the white gold vs platinum question. I will definitely have this bookmarked in my fav’s so I can find it for future reference and if you don’t mind, I’m going to share it on Facebook, too!! Thanks so much Calla – super article!!

    • Michelle,
      I’m so delighted that you shared my article on Facebook! I’m happy too that you liked the information!
      Calla Gold

  5. Everyone who is looking into getting a wedding ring should read this! This article is well written and packed with information on the pros and cons of both white gold and platinum. It’s good to know about the needed maintenance with them too. Maybe I should have my prongs checked…

    • Hi Linda,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. It’s always a good idea to have your prongs check regularly. I know when I first got my wedding ring before I became a jeweler, I never checked my prongs. One day my ring was catching on my sweater. I dropped by the jeweler who’d made the ring. The diamond was hanging on by a thread. I was so surprised. I think at that time it didn’t occur to me that anything could happen to it.
      I’d bent the prong way out by bashing it. I had no memory of what I’d done to damage my prong, but it sure wasn’t looking like that when my husband proposed to me.
      I applaud you for thinking about maintenance of your ring.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  6. As always, Calla, this is so informative! I’ve had my wedding ring for so many years, and it’s white gold. It’s gone through a lot of wear and tear since the day my husband put it on my finger, and it still looks good. I need to have you check the prongs, though. That is an issue I had in the past, which can be really upsetting if a diamond falls out! Luckily, I was at home, and knew when it happened!!

    Linda

    • Linda M.
      I love that both of my commenting Linda’s are thinking about getting their prongs checked! You are smart readers really getting out of the article what applies to you and what to do.
      Calla Gold

  7. White gold vs. platinum. Who knew? Calla, the more I read your blog, the more I realize I don’t know about jewelry, precious metals, gemstones, etc. It’s a whole new world – and a fascinating one. This post is so comprehensive! Well written and engaging, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tried to plagiarize it.

    • Hi Amy,
      Well they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. One thing I did a while back after seeing a number of my blogs on other people’s site with my name conveniently removed, was to get Google Authorship.
      Now when people copy my stuff, Google ignores the source because I only write for this website.
      I’m so happy you think it’s worth plagiarizing! I had a lot of fun putting it together.
      Jeweler and Writer,
      Calla Gold

      • Hi calla my fiance is a plumber and I went shopping for wedding bands for him and was mainly looking for platinum because he’s obsessed with platinum. The jeweler insisted that white gold is stronger and better than platinum. He said platinum easily bend when hit. Anyhow I ended up getting a two tone 1ct band for him because most of his jewelry is yellow gold. I really hope I made the right decision.

        • Hello Lana,
          If most of his jewelry is yellow gold that would seem to suggest that yellow gold is a good choice. His obsession with platinum however could affect his response. A solidly made, heavy platinum ring doesn’t bend. However it dulls quite fast. I personally feel that when the patina of wear from yellow gold and platinum are compared that yellow gold looks significantly nicer.
          I see that you put effort and care into your decision, I hope he loves it.
          Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming marriage.
          Your Personal Jeweler,
          Calla

  8. Calla, you never cease to amaze me with your writing. I feel like an expert on these kinds of things because you explain them so well for a crowd who knows little to nothing about metals, stones, etc. I think it is great that you give advice to take into consideration the lifestyle of the wearer rather than just how things look (though that is important too!). It’s not something would probably even think about on my own. I didn’t know that I had curiosity about the white gold vs platinum subject. But it is quite interesting. I love that I can trust you 100% with any jewelry questions I have.

    • Hi Lisa,
      You totally made my day. Check out the comments on my titanium blog post sometime or my cz vs diamond post. The comments are in some cases, quite impolite to put it nicely.
      You are most kind to take the time to let me know you enjoyed this post.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla Gold

  9. Calla, I always learn something new when I read one of your blog posts, but this takes it to a new level. This is a must read for any couple who is looking to learn about the differences between white gold and platinum for their wedding rings. This information is also excellent for other ring designing, not just wedding rings.
    The idea that your design choices can impact which metal you’d be happier with is really unexpected. It’s details like that that I really value.

    Appreciatively,
    Dr. Lynn

    • Hello Lynn,
      I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the details about white gold vs platinum. Various forms of that question have come to me a lot lately while designing wedding rings. It seemed like it was time to get it all down!
      Lynn, you’re very right that the issues about design and lifestyle apply to other rings than just wedding rings.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  10. Hello Calla,
    I’ve also read your blog posts about the costs of sizing rings and appreciate learning why things cost what they do.
    What are things that are harder to do with platinum vs white gold as a jeweler?
    I have white gold and platinum jewelry and my platinum jewelry is always way more expensive to fix, to size and to replace diamonds on.
    I love jewelry and I wear it vigorously. I ain’t gonna lie!
    I thought maybe it was like driving in with a Mercedes vs a VW, it automatically costs more.
    Educate me if you would Calla.

    • Hi Fannie,
      You have asked good questions. Let’s say you’ve lost a diamond that is a small side diamond from a white gold ring and a platinum ring. Let’s say the design is identical. When I fix the broken prongs on the white gold I plan to use open flame solder to do the work. The nearby diamonds will not be damaged by that work. It won’t take too long. Maybe the two prongs will cost $50.00 to $60.00 to repair. Not counting the cost of the replacement diamond.
      Now let’s fix the platinum ring. Because of the way-higher melting point of platinum, if I used my special higher temperature gas open flame solder I would wreck the surrounding diamonds, which can’t take the high heat necessary for working platinum. So I must use laser solder, which doesn’t conduct the high heat to the surrounding gems. It is a high tech solution, using expensive machinery and it is time consuming. I can do the work but it costs significantly more.
      There is polishing to be done after each ring is repaired. Platinum takes more time to polish. It is a denser, harder metal and I have to stand at the polishing wheel longer to get my lovely shine and make our platinum ring beautiful again. Fixing the two prongs may cost closer to $95.00 to $110.00, not counting your replacement diamond.
      So it is not like driving a fancy car and auto-matically getting a ding upward in price. There are real reasons why platinum costs more in repairs and maintenance than white gold.
      This is no reason to say no to platinum, it’s just something to know about.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  11. Hi Calla,
    May I know if white gold can be used to write over a 24 k gold ring
    I want to write my Girlfiriend’s name over the ring.. any suggestions?

    • Hi Vijay,
      Are you stateside, where we could speak on the phone? There are a couple of ways to do this, but I’d like to find out your preferences and it’s too involved to type. My office number is 805-963-4157. Let’s speak directly and I can detail the two options that come to mind for your project.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  12. My husband bought me a platinum three stone ring about 7 years ago with Leo diamonds. I requested platinum if he ever bought me a ring because the gold would always get out of shape. I haven’t had any problems with the shape of this ring, although I wear it daily am probably average in activity. I DO get this ring checked every six months and so far, there have been no problems. I did appreciate your article on platinum and found it very interesting, especially the part about the prongs. I will make sure I continue to get it checked every 6 months in case the prongs are a problem. Good article and very informative.

    • Dear Bobbi,
      Your ring sounds beautiful! I very much appreciate that you shared your experience. Well done on your every six month ring prongs checking, I applaud you.
      Thank you for your welcome feedback.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  13. QUESTION

    Would you please provide your opinion concerning how a platinum ring would wear when worn against a gold ring on the same finger?

    Would the wear be more pronounced on the harder karat gold ring or on the denser platinum ring?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Steve,
      That is a great question. My observations from rings worn together in the past is that the gold will wear more than the platinum ring. I’d still do it as it takes years for it to get obvious and it can be fixed. In the meantime you have two beautiful rings worn together in love.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  14. Very well written and informative article Calla, thanks. I’m hoping you might be able to help me decide on the best metal to use for a pair of wedding rings I’m designing and making for my fiancé and myself. The choice is between 14K white gold and platinum (905) 95% plat + 5% Ruthenium for casting these rings using the lost wax method. There are several considerations but my primary question is about which metal will bend without cracking the best? My design is such that after the rings are cast I need to pry a wide sweeping loop up about 2-3mm to insert a diamond into a conical cavity and then bend it back down so that the diamond can’t fall out and is captured loosely within this conical cavity. We are both VERY active living full time on our sailboat sailing around the world so I have been leaning towards Plat for durability but am starting to move more towards 14K white gold as the ring surfaces will be “plain” band like for the most part with no engraving or other features and I’m aware of the tendency of platinum to “scratch” and dull more easily. But as I’ve said above, my primary concern and question for your expertise and experience is which material would you say will best deal with this one time bending up and back down again and have the least tendency to crack? Thanks VERY much for any help you can provide with this important decision.

    • Hello Wayne,
      It sounds like you have designed a very cool and unique ring. If you will use a professional jeweler who can heat the metal so it can be manipulated while softer I’d choose white gold for its tendency to hold the shine considerably longer than platinum.
      If you choose platinum for its quality of lasting sturdiness, know that 95/05 plat/ruthenium is a recipe for too much malleability and not enough strength. If you and your active lady love or fantastic fella wear your rings daily you’ll need a bit more hardening alloy in your ring if you choose platinum. I tend to use 85/15 platinum/iridium when there are more delicate elements in daily-wear platinum rings I design, or 90/10 PT/irid for a more standard design for daily wear.
      I’m seeing too many prongs bending away and letting go of little side diamonds with 95/05 platinum.
      I haven’t seen your design, but I am the jeweler that’d want more than one element to hold the diamond in place, whether you choose white gold or platinum.
      You shouldn’t have to worry about cracking white gold with a good jeweler setting your diamond.
      I wish you the best on your marriage and sailing adventure!
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  15. Thanks very much for this most helpful response Calla, much appreciated. The ring design is hard to describe and is quite unique I think. It tells the story of our serendipitous meeting and how we came to find our “perfetly imperfect” matching other half in our 60’s. So as part of this our diamonds will each be one half of a single rough diamond that has been cleaved in two and these diamond halves will be left in their rough state and inserted into a conical shaped cavity that is formed by a twisting ribbon of the ring metal on top. The diamonds will remain loose inside this conical cavity so they can move around a wee bit inside. This completely protects the diamonds from any contact with the “outside world” and so I’m not concerned about the ring metal having the properties needed for holding diamonds with prongs or other settings. My concern is just for this one time bending that needs to be done to enable the diamonds to be inserted into their conical cavity and then bent back down slightly to retain them.

    Your recommendation of white gold helps me greatly in changing my choice to that rather than platinum, both for its better ability to be bent and for how white gold stays “shinier” than platinum on larger “plain” surfaces such as bands.

    So thanks again for your expert assistance.
    Wayne

    • Hi Wayne,
      Thank you for letting me know more about your design. Just so I don’t provide confusing information, the platinum would bend as well as the white gold for setting purposes, I just liked the white gold for the more shiny finish for you.
      Your rings sound romantic and your story of finding each other in your 60’s is just fantastic!
      It was my pleasure to help.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  16. Hi Calla,
    Excellent article! Thank you for sharing!
    I am looking for a ring to surprise my wife of almost 30 years (need to upgrade from the one I gave her when I was a poor student). I’ve settled on a setting that is available in either 18K white gold or platinum. Given those options, would you go with platinum and a slightly smaller diamond, or go with white gold and use the savings to upgrade the diamond? And would your answer change knowing the new ring will likely be worn next to an 18K gold ring (not white gold)?
    Thank you so much for your article, insight and time!

    JJ

    • Hello JJ,
      Since you’ve read the post you know that if the design has a lot of shiny expanses of metal you’d want white gold. If it’s thinner or engraved or has little sparkly diamonds on it then platinum would be fine.
      Since white gold would hold up well to having a ring next to it, it is a fine choice.
      For me I’d take the white gold and get the larger diamond, but that is my personal preference.
      I’m pleased that you enjoyed the article!
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  17. I have just received an engagement ring from my sweetie. It is an “heirloom” and not “freshly made” but it has a SUBSTATIAL center stone. My fiancee’ told me it was platinum with yellow gold designs, with the center stone and two side stones. I just took it to get an appraisal so I could have it insured, and the appraisal mentions NOTHING about plantinum! It says, “Ladies 14kt two-tone diamond wedding ring with three diamonds total. Center diamond is an approximate 1.75 ct pear shaped set in a 5 prong 14kt white gold head. Center diamond has a clarity grade of 6 (SI2) and a color grade of 5 (J). There are 2-0.15 ct standard round brillian cut diamonds partial bezel set on either side of the center pair. Both rounds have a clarity grade of 5 (Si1) and a color grade of 3-4 (H-I). Total gold weight of the ring is 9.6 grams. Total diamond weight is 2.05 ct.”

    Is it possible that he could have “missed” that it was platinum? Or maybe my fiancee’ was told it was platinum when, in fact, it was white gold? How would I got about finding out?

    • Dear Debbie,
      Many people with older rings assume that their white ring is platinum, because platinum was the prevalent white metal for many years. During the war years platinum became a strategic metal for the military. Jewelers figured out how to make white gold and used that instead. If a young woman grew up with platinum and received white gold she might easily have assumed for her whole life that her ring was platinum.
      The appraiser would know the correct metal as he or she is trained to determine the correct metal and to state it on an appraisal.
      So take the appraisers metal knowledge over your misinformed fiance’s.
      White gold is perfectly fine and in no way makes his gift to you less a loving symbol with family history.
      I hope this helps Debbie!
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  18. Interesting read Calla – thanks.
    I think I know the answer but I will ask anyway…
    I am thinking of buying my wife an eternity ring – encircled with small stones.
    I think Platinum would be the best option given all the small exposure of metal and all the stones. Would I be right?

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for writing. I’m pleased you found it interesting.
      The metal would last longer if it is platinum. On the flip side in can, because of its malleability, loose shape-focus if hit enough and spread out. When spread out if not re-shaped and addressed the prongs can let go of a diamond.
      I think another factor is the size of diamonds and therefore size of prongs. If you go with bigger diamonds you get bigger prongs which wear better.
      One more factor is whether the prongs setting the ring are shared prongs or not. I’m not a fan of shared prongs. Look at the pictures of them in this blog post:
      http://www.callagold.com/jewelry-repair/wedding-ring-buyer-beware-seven-things-to-do-to-protect-yourself/
      You ideally want four prongs around each diamond.
      I think platinum is a good choice taking into account my caveats.
      I’m sure your wife will be absolutely thrilled with your gift of an eternity band.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  19. I have been reading all your advice. Thank you. I had an engagement ring given to me and the prong must have been loosened so the diamond was rocking. I sent it out to the jewelers to be fixed, happily wore it at our local airport sitting in the July sun while my fiancé was training to be a pilot I noticed the fixed prong actually melting in the hot sun. This was the first time I wore it after it was fixed. I am looking into a secure setting to have the diamond reset to replace the one my fiancé gave me. Emphasis on secure. Can you please advise. I have been looking at estate settings and find a setting with the diamond nested into a feminine
    wavy design so it enhances the diamond and does not catch on sweaters or pantyhose etc. It is set more in than sitting upright on its own. How can I find a setting such as this and what is it called so when I go to the jeweler, he will know what I am talking about. I sincerely hope you know the setting I am referring to. It is not channel locked. The ring was given to me in 1963. Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Janet

  20. Article well written.. Even though it makes me even more confused in which ones better

    • Hi Stacey,
      Many jewelers will insist that platinum is the only choice because of its purity and how it lasts a very long time. And doesn’t need rhodium to stay white.
      Interestingly enough many people on the East Coast regularly rhodium plate their platinum because it helps keep the shine that they like and it is a brighter white.
      Hmmm, I worry that that could add to your confusion.
      I’m a fan of both white gold and platinum. My only beef with platinum is the rings with no engraving or tiny sparkly diamonds. When platinum rings are plain, they just get this dull ugly look. White gold holds its shine longer. It really depends on the design of your ring and your budget and your emotional response to each metal.
      Look at white gold rings that friends have worn a while vs platinum. See for yourself how they are wearing and see which you like the best. This is compared to looking at white gold vs platinum that has been just at the shop for a polish.
      Hope that helps.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  21. Hi calla.. Me and my boyfriend is shopping for an engagement ring..I want a timeless classic ring..the closer it gets to buying I become more undecided with what to get.. a round cut or princess cut which is more classic or more timeless.??? Then the band is a tiffany band or a tolkowosky thicker band better.?. Or a diamond that sits lower or higher..

    • Hi Stacey,
      These are serious issues. For a classic and timeless design I love a beautifully cut round brilliant diamond. But that’s me. For young hands I like a thinner band, for a more mature hand I like a wider band.
      For an active lifestyle I like the diamond lower, for a less active life I like it higher.
      Have fun picking your favorite elements for your forever ring.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  22. By the way I for get to day I like the plain band not the ones with diamond on the sides.. Thanks so very much

  23. Very interesting read but I do have a question. If someone has a platinum e-ring and wants an alternative metal as her wedding band, which one would be more durable sitting next to a platinum ring: 18k gold, 14k gold or palladium?
    Thanks
    Peyton

    • Hi Peyton,
      I am currently working on a blog post about palladium. Having not worked with it long enough I don’t know how it reacts over the long haul with other rings. I will speak to what I do know.
      Since white gold tends to rub off on other surfaces and platinum less so I would pick platinum. What I’ve done recently in a similar situation was to use 85/15% platinum iridium mix in casting my client’s ring. The additional irridium strenthens the platinum. This mix of platinum metals group metals will make my client’s wedding band last longer.
      If you are picking a ring that is pre-made and doesn’t offer this option please at least get a 90/10% platinum irridium mix and do not be tempted by 95/5%. The 95/5% is just too soft and breaks down when challenged from what I’ve seen with the repairs I have done.
      If white gold is your only option financially please choose 14kt as it is stronger than 18kt.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  24. Thanks for the great article. I’ve learned a lot. Now I’m even more nervous about wearing my 100 year old inherited platinum ring as my wedding band. I can’t afford to have the prongs re-tipped or replaced. My jeweler that did the appraisal said it’s pretty solid and most of the time platinum only requires the prongs checked once in a great while. In my case they’ve been checked once every 50 years lol. Any thoughts? Not sure if the age has to do with the solid nature of the prongs

    • Hi Barb,
      You are one lucky girl if you have a 100 year old platinum wedding ring. If it has prongs that are rock solid my guess is that is wasn’t worn daily for 100 years. The price of re-tipping prongs is considerably less than the cost of a new ring or the cost of lost diamonds. Happily it sounds like your diamonds are in no danger from your rock solid prongs. However I feel that 100 years or not your jeweler was irresponsible to say your prongs only need to be checked once in a great while. That is the advice that could lead to the loss of a prong or a diamond in the future. Have your prongs checked yearly. So what if it seems a waste of time. I personally have saved so many diamonds from being lost from inspecting them that I’ve lost count.
      Unless you’re living in an alternate universe your prongs will receive shocks and dings from daily wear and that will mean that you need to have them checked and do occasional maintenance on them. Even new cars don’t stay perfect, stuff just happens whether in a parking lot or accidentally.
      Keep checking your ring and maybe by someone other than the jeweler who things it hardly needs checking.
      Enjoy your antique platinum wedding ring, and may it last a lifetime, again!
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  25. Hi Calla,

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I, too, have a question for you. But first, some background. I apologize in advance for the novella. I have looked all over to find an answer to my question!

    My engagement ring is 14k white gold, vintage, and hand-engraved…no new stone or materials, so it is eco-friendly. I love this design: http://::bit.ly/1TZ31:f4

    Now on to my question. I do like the durability of platinum (if I were to choose that, I would get a 14/18k band to stack in between), but I’m concerned about how well the outside engraving will hold up over time. I’m fairly active, but careful with my hands (wearing tanzanite will do that to you). In this particular case, would you recommend platinum or 14k white gold?

    • Hi Kat,
      Thanks for your question. Being a non-metalergist, I do not know which metal will wear down sooner. My experience tells me that the white gold will slowly wear away, the engraving part. However the malleable nature of platinum can cause it to subtly change shape. What I mean is that a client of mine had an all platinum wedding band with all engraving that she’d worn for ten years. The engraving was worn out and not pretty anymore. I re-engraved her ring and it looked fantastic. Three years later I just did a bit of engraving touchup.
      To me this means that the malleability of platinum allows the engraving to dull up.
      I feel that the engraving may remain more sharply in focus with white gold. Although as I discussed in my blog white gold will slowly wear away with contact with another ring.
      Since you are careful enough to wear a tanzanite and my hat is off to you, you should think about whether you want your ring to last longer or the look of the engraving. I feel the ring as a whole will last longer with platinum, but the beauty of the engraving may show longer on the white gold.
      I looked at the link you included for the style you like. I’ll point out that rings orbit our hands and the side engraving view suggested that the engraving didn’t go all the way around. I couldn’t tell with the top plane. I’d assume if they stop the side engraving part way down presumably to match their engagement ring in which the engraving doesn’t go all the way around, they’d do the same thing on the wedding band. I would not recommend that design. As rings with not gemstones or central element will orbit your finger, many times the unengraved part will face up unattractively. I’d chose a band that was engraved all the way around.
      Hmm, I’m thinking I just out novella’ed your novella.
      For people who want to look at the band you put in a link for, they’ll need to remove three colons I added in so it wouldn’t be a live link.
      I’m very pleased you liked the article Kat.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  26. Hi Calla,

    Thanks for a very interesting read!

    I’m considering a full eternity band for an engagement ring with small diamonds all bezel set. I have an average activity lifestyle.

    How do bezel settings wear in 14k yellow gold and platinum?

    And how would this setting wear against a very thin plain wedding band? I would get the same metal as the engagement ring.

    Which metal do you think I should go with?

    • Hi Lee,
      I’ve just visited a couple of diamond eternity bands I did a few years ago in platinum and they are doing very well indeed. This is making my enthusiasm for platinum fly high. Any time you have two rings by each other one will wear slowly on the other. If you keep an eye on it you won’t get any shocks.
      I think yellow gold isn’t as strong a metal for your eternity band idea.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  27. Hi Calla, i have learned so much from this site.
    i have a wonderful 14k yellow gold ring with a center stone, 2 side stones and an etched leaf on each side. I have wanted to switch my setting to white gold or platinum for years and its time I choose because after 27 years my prongs are in deplorable shape and i am lucky i didnt lose a diamond. the jewler i went to said to redo the prongs would cost $199, and i thought that sounded kind of high. but they need full new prongs and not just retips. my question is does the price sound reasonable, and some of my friends have had their yellow gold rings dipped in platinum and i wondered if i could try that to see if i really enjoyed the color before i made a bigger decision and went with a whole new setting. If you dip in platinum, how long does it take for the platinum to wear off? if you dont like the platinum color, can you have it somehow removed from the yellow gold without hurting the yellow gold?

    • Hi Jill,
      The price is something that without seeing your ring I can’t judge. I will say that in order to not lose your diamond you need to have the work done. The platinum dipping your are referring to is actually rhodium, a metal in the platinum metals group. I talk about it in this post:
      http://www.callagold.com/uncategorized/jewelry-definition-rhodium-plating/
      If you rhodium plate your ring it may last six months, a year or more. It depends on how the ring is made, how often it is in contact with other things, the soaps you use, your body chemistry and like that. It is a pain to remove, because I need to polish the areas that were plated to remove it and some of them are too difficult to get to.
      Removing it doesn’t hurt the yellow gold.
      I wish you the best of luck with your ring.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  28. Hi Gala,

    First of all I would like to say that I love your blog and the information you provide. It’s really nice to have someone so helpful to us novices.

    Late last year my fiancée bought me a beautiful 3 carat diamond ring. I designed the setting in platinum with about 1.7 carats in E color stones that covered nearly every surface. I paid $2800 for the setting.

    However, the halo stones were too big and overpowered the center diamond so I went to another jeweler who made a smaller version approximately 2mm band and halo in 14k white gold with similar but much smaller adorning diamonds. When I got the bill, I was confused as I thought the cost of platinum labor to create the setting and side diamonds cost more.

    My question: did I pay too much for the second setting? If so, approximately. How much should the setting have cost?

    Please help as I thought I found a reputable jeweler, but now think I was taken advantage of.

    Thanks you!

    • Hello Gina,
      I do not know how much the second ring cost or what the two rings look for. I will not blindly pass judgement on the second jeweler. White gold in 14kt is less expensive than platinum it is true. The labor is easier as well.
      I wasn’t clear on whether the $2800.00 that was spent on the earlier ring included the side diamonds. That sounded like a very low price.
      I recommend that when you are having custom work done that you get a bid amount or range of bid amount before going ahead with the work. Especially when going to a different jeweler.
      Each jeweler has their own system of charging for work to be done.
      You might like to see my “Sixteen Steps of Jewelry Design” :
      http://www.callagold.com/santa-barbara-jewelry-design/the-sixteen-steps-to-your-custom-jewelry-design/
      I wish you the best of luck in sorting out how you feel about your custom ring making experience. I am hopeful that you now love your ring now that the balance of diamond sizes suites you.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

    • Thank you Gina,
      If you could see some of the things my cell phone email says in my name with the spell checker when I’m inattentive you’d be most amused.
      Calla

  29. Thank you for this wonderfully helpful post. Just wondering, any closer to your blog post about Palladium? I’m very interested in it!
    Thank you,
    Mandy

    • Hi Mandy,
      It is sitting in drafts as we speak. I have other people’s opinion, my opinion and some wisdom from a refiner who sells it. I may need to whip it in shape and get it out there. I’m not a great fan of it. That’s the preview.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  30. Hi Calla!

    I just found your blog and love the information here. My great grandmother recently passed and has lots of jewelry not only from her marriage but also her own family, some of which goes back to the 1800s. Some of the info I found on your blog is helpful in sorting the pieces out and finding jewelers to appraise, repair and clean them. I don’t think she ever had white gold, she preferred yellow gold, but she did have some platinum jewelry that has a tarnished look to it, but isn’t tarnish. Looks pretty though. Anyway, thanks again for all your helpful info! Now I’m off to read your blog on moissanite, which is what my own engagement ring is made of.

    • Hi Kenya,
      I’m so pleased that you found my blog and hope to see you here again. Judging by the age of your inherited jewelry the white metal most used was platinum. White gold didn’t get used before platinum became a strategic metal in WW II and could no longer be used in jewelry for that period of time. Feel free to request a topic on jewelry if I haven’t covered it.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  31. Hi Calla,

    What do you recommend for a wedding band?

    From what I’ve read seems like white gold 14k is the best option?

    Can I get your thoughts.

    Thanks.

    • Hi James,
      If you are leaning towards a white metal band and it’ll be plain and shiny, I do recommend white gold. Know you’ll need to maintain it with occasional rhodium plating.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  32. Hi Calla,

    What metal would you recommend for an engagement with one large, softer (Peridot) center-stone and two smaller diamonds? I’m in the middle of custom designing it right now and am trying to figure out which will hold the center stone the best, and with the most longevity.

    Thanks!

    • Hello Gordon,
      My biggest concern first off is the softness of peridot. Over the life of a daily wear ring set with a peridot gemstone a time will come and maybe more than once when you’ll want to replace the peridot. It can’t take daily wear without scratching and chipping over time. Because of the malleability of platinum prongs and the fact that you’ll have to open and close them over the peridot multiple times if replacements are happening I’d recommend platinum as your engagement ring metal choice.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  33. Hi Calla,

    I’m looking to buy a white gold engagement ring, but I’m very turned off by a lot of the horror stories I have read recently of white gold rings that begin to lose their shine and/or tarnish after only a few months. Given that this kind of thing is meant to last a lifetime, I’d definitely like to avoid this problem. Are you able to recommend any sources that are known for the quality of their white gold pieces – that the ring does NOT wear down quickly? A lot of sources that I read stated that many women who received white gold engagement rings 30+ years ago have the same ring today, and it has not required any sort of re-coating, etc. Whereas, a lot of the newer rings begin to wear down after only a few months of being worn. Maybe an alternative is a source that sells old jewelry?

    • Hi Tim,
      I’m not familiar with the stories you are hearing about white gold. I custom make white gold engagement and wedding rings regularly. As a thirty two year jeweler I maintain the rings I’ve made and see years of happy wear with white gold. I see thirty year old white gold rings all the time.
      Back in the days before my time other more expensive alloys were used. I am not privy to the exact mixes from that time. Whether a ring is made of platinum or white gold it will need to be shined up from time to time. The shine actually holds on longer with white gold than platinum.
      The fact that white gold needs rhodium plating is a known maintenance step that I always tell people. It’s been no big deal with my clients.
      You could look at estate dealers for older rings. Or just go with a nicely made new one.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  34. Hi Calla,
    I have a platinum engagement ring. My wedding band is going to have grooves to look like the rings of a tree. I’m not worried about the metals matching due to the design. I am looking at a 14K white gold (mixed with paladium-i’m allergic to nickel) wedding band. But I’m told this will wear too much and erode quickly against a platinum engagement ring. But I’ve heard from someone who did this and said after 30 years the wear was very minimal. Are they just trying to upsell me or should I be concerned about doing a 14k white gold against a platinum wedding band?

    • Hi Erin,
      Depending on the design there will be metal wear, but that is an issue for any two ring set wearer. My experience is that it takes years to become a problem and I’ve added gold and redone textures to clients who have worn two rings together long term a number of times. I wouldn’t worry about it since it is a remediable problem.
      Your paladium white gold sounds good to me.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  35. Hi Calla,

    I have read your article and some of the questions, very informative, thank you! I have a question for you too: my husband purchased a beautiful anniversary band 2 years ago that has numerous small diamonds. I love it and it is very sparkly, but I have already had to take it in on 3 separate occasions because of losing the small diamonds. I have been considering having the ring remade in platinum, but after reading your post I am now feeling like this would not help my problem. My other option with my jewler is to trade it in for something else. One I would consider trading in for is a bezel set platinum eternity band. This is eternity band is pretty but I do not think it is as pretty as the original anniversary band. But perhaps the bezel set eternity band maybe a better/ sturdier alternative for me?

    • Hi Shelley,
      If you choose a bezel set diamond eternity band you will find that you have less maintenance going into the future. I discuss eternity bands and issues with them in this blog that you might enjoy reading:
      http://www.callagold.com/jewelry-repair/how-much-does-it-cost-to-size-my-eternity-band-ring/
      To your question about whether to go with platinum or white gold, I really think that setting style should be more of a concern than metal type. Each metal choice has its pros and cons, but tiny prongs in either metal will let you down in an eternity band. It’s not that you are “too rough” on your jewelry, you deserve to wear your jewelry whenever you want, but some settings just wear, bend or give out more quickly. If I was picking the metal for a new eternity band in bezel setting for diamonds I’d probably go with platinum.
      I’m happy that this discussion has helped you.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  36. Hello! I was wondering if you can help me on finding the most durable prongs for my e-ring and lifestyle. I’ve read some of your blogs on different metals that you recommended, and from what I gathered I’m thinking I should go with a 14kt white gold ring for my active lifestyle, I am a bartender. But there are a few things that I need clarified. You say that you prefer palladium white gold over nickel, but doesn’t that mix basically give you the same results (durability)as a platinum ring? Isn’t it the nickel that gives the ring it’s hardness? My main concern is durability, specifically the prongs. I don’t care about the color change and a bent prong versus a broken one makes no difference to me since in the end they both will need repairs, I just figured that the 14kt white gold prongs will be able to withstand more smaller hits than a platinum or in this case palladium white one. I really need help in deciding what is the best for strength. If getting a palladium white gold reacts the same as a platinum one, shouldn’t i then just get a platinum one instead or is the palladium WG still a little stronger than platinum (90/10 plat,Irid)? How much stronger is the nickel WG? Is the palladium or nickel WG still harder to dent than the 85/15 plat, Irid? Out of all the ones mentioned, which is the strongest durability wise for long-term wear? One last thing, what alloys were used for white gold rings in the 60’s and 70’s, nickel or palladium? Sorry for the long message just trying to figure out which is the best one to withstand hits. Btw, I’m probably not going to be wearing my ring on the job but I would still like to know just in case because I’m still very active in other parts of my life. Thank you!!

    • Hello Ashley,
      I’ll start with your last question. In asking a number of older jewelers the alloys in white gold from the 60’s and 70’s they didn’t remember. Keep in mind that metal prices of all kinds were much lower back then. Including platinum. In the making of white gold in a time of cheap metals there may have been harder white metals that have since skyrocketed in price. As a designer and not a metallurgist, I can suppose and opine about this, but I do not have a definite answer for you. I do know that the current alloy mixes for white gold used with nickel as the hardening metal are less expensive than palladium white gold. Palladium is significantly more expensive as a metal than nickel.
      You are correct that the palladium white gold is softer than the nickel white gold. Where nickel white gold needs to be rhodium plated as part of its maintenance to maintain its beautiful white color, palladium white gold should not be rhodium plated as it reacts poorly to it and tends to stay naturally white enough.
      For my active lifestyle clients I have frequently recommended the 85/15 platinum/ hardening alloy mix for a stronger platinum. It is noticeably harder than 95/5 platinum and 90/10 platinum. I don’t have any scientific data to prove that the 85/15 platinum mix is as strong as 14kt white gold. I’ll just say that it has done well.
      For long term lasting, platinum due to its nature tends to be longer lasting. It wears less. See the doorknob example in the blog to explain this metal behavior.
      The telling factor in which metal is best will always be in the delicate prongs, which are always the most vulnerable parts of any daily wear ring.
      If you won’t wear your diamond ring at work, that’ll help the longevity of your ring right there.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla Gold

  37. Hi Calla,
    I read your article and found it very helpful.Thank you.
    I want to gift my Mother a ring on her birthday. My question is what would be a better option between white gold and platinum with lasting terms as i have read platinum gets scratched much and white gold fades.. so if i want to buy a ring which would be a better choice.?

    • Hi Charmi,
      If you pick a design with hand engraving or sparkly diamond accents your platinum choice might be more long lasting. If you choose a design with polished metal as a vibrant part of the design choose white gold which will hold its shine much longer. Be sure to occasionally re-rhodium plate the white gold to keep it looking its best.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  38. Very informative. At times wearing a dull simple Platinum ring makes one feel dull as well. Maintenence part of your article will surly help.

  39. Hi Calla,

    Thanks so much for your response and link you shared, most helpful. I have chosen the style of ring I am going with but now have the choice of going with 18k or 19k gold or of course platinum. What advice do you have? Thanks!!
    Shelley

    • Hi Shelley,
      If you have chosen a bezel set style and are sticking with the eternity band style, I’ll say go platinum.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  40. Hi Calla,

    I have actually decided to get a custom one made that has multiple smaller diamonds with edging, instead of the bezel set eternity band. The diamonds will only go to the sides of the band and not the full way around. Doing some research and reading your articles I figured white gold maybe better than platinum with this setting?

    • Hi Shelley,
      The fact that you’re choosing a design that doesn’t require the diamonds to go all the way around changes things. In this case with the little data I have about your design it sounds like white gold or platinum would work well. The white gold would probably hold that milgrain edging detail longer.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  41. Hi Calla, have you ever heard of white gold that will stay “forever white” I am interested in a Simon G setting and was told that the mixture of gold and the other metals used are more white in color and when the rhodium plating wears off it would still look white, have you experienced this? I recently lost my wedding set and looking to find something to wear sine I can’t replace what I lost and since I really can’t afford a really nice diamond ring I am thinking of getting a really nice setting and buying an Amora Gem for it. Have you seen or worked with them, are they a good choice for a diamond substitute? The Simon G setting is a little over my budget but the “forever white” and the design are really strong selling points for me, it would have to be resized bigger though, will it be better to just find a ring that could be ordered in my size. I think I’m around a size 7 1/2 and all the rings I try on are more like a 6. I would love to hear your opinion and suggestions and thank you for all the information I am reading on all your posts.

    • Hi Rosemarie,
      Simon G may be using palladium white gold in which white palladium is used in the allow helping the white gold stay “whiter.” I have made white gold settings with palladium and they shouldn’t be rhodium plating because the rhodium and palladium react with each other and can cause a darkening effect. Just slight darkening, but I’m not a fan.
      Amora is a moissanite-like gem, but I have not worked with it so I shall not state and opinion on it. Re-sizing isn’t a big deal. I’d go with the design you like. If someone is a Simon G representative they should be able to help you by ordering it in your size from Simon G.
      Good luck in successfully getting a new wedding ring that is right for you.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  42. Hello Calla,

    This has been the best article I have read – thank you. It is so informative.

    I am in the UK and am about to have my wedding ring made so am going round in circles about white metal to have. My EGring is a beautiful 18kt white gold with a ruby and diamonds (I looked at it and removed the link – C) and my wedding band has a channel set of rainbow stones 1/2 way around.
    The metal in the WR is 9kt gold and I was worried that I had heard this might damage the 18kt White Gold ring. But I now think this will be fine as the White Gold is harder than 18kt Gold.

    So thank you!

    Kim

    • Dear Kim,
      I’d say you’re probably right about how the 9kt yellow gold and the 18kt white gold will behave with each other. After a number of years of daily wear one of them will slowly grind away at the other. It’s hard to know which one will be the grinder and which one will be ground. Just have them checked yearly.
      This is a normal thing and not something to be super worried about.
      I’m delighted that you found the article informative.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  43. Is there any reason you would have to replate with rhodium on 14k white gold? I have had my e-ring for almost 6 years and never bothered, I like the warm finish it has taken on. My wedding band is a metal alloy called platinaire (92% silver, 5% platinum, 3% undisclosed metal) that is the same color as unplated white gold, it matches my e-ring perfectly and is 5 years old. I also have a less than a year old 10k anniversary band that is still holding onto itd rhodium plating pretty well so is cooler in color than my other 2 rings on the same finger. Is there a reason to have to replate with rhodium or can I leave it to personal preference. Also, I can say that to anyone unfamiliar with platinaire, although mainly a silver alloy it wears quite like gold with zero tarnishing. It does not however have hardly ANY availability so it would take awhile I think to take a hold in the market, if at all. 5 years later and the same band I purchased is still for sale………and not much else lol.

    • Hello Becky,
      You do not have to rhodium plate your white gold e-ring. The color of metal is a personal taste issue. The natural look with no rhodium of white gold is a bit warm like you say. I have clients who are fine with that. Most of my clients like the sharp white that rhodium gives and so they continue to rhodium plate their rings.
      Thanks for sharing your experience with platinaire which I have never heard of.
      Thank you for sharing your veiws.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  44. Hi, I am wondering what happens to a platinum ring and a 14k white gold ring when either one receives scratches light or heavy or receives dents. Does the purity of the platinum or of the gold get rubbed off? Same goes for when either metal ring gets polished. Is the purity of the 14k white gold ring and the platinum ring loosing their purity when they are professionally polished?

    Thank you

    • Hello Jessica,
      Both a platinum and 14kt white gold ring lose a tiny bit of metal when scratches are polished out. The purity of the metal itself remains the same. Platinum and 14kt white gold are the exact same metal all the way from the surface to the interior of the ring. If a ring is plated on top and you polish that ring then the nice plated color is polished off leaving the costume or fake metal exposed. In the case of real jewelry in platinum and 14kt white gold they are real metal all the way through.
      Professionally polishing your real jewelry just makes it shiny and beautiful.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla Gold

  45. I am so overwhelmed at the amount of information in your article and also your responses. You are so well informed. I wish you were in fact my personal jeweler. If I had a choice between platinum and white gold i would definitely choose white gold based on my preferences and your information.

    My dilemma is white vs yellow gold. My fiancé prefers white gold but it seems such a bother to keep it sparkly. I was married before, and my rings were yellow gold and they still look great after 20 years although I haven’t worn them for the last six, and neither have I ever had them cleaned. I’m giving them to my oldest daughter when she turns 21. Is yellow gold really making a come back? Secretly I believe that yellow looks better against my skin-I’m black with yellowish orange undertones, but I want to make my future husband happy and he is adamant that white gold is the way to go. Should I just go with the flow? We have five adult daughters between us and they all think white gold is better. I think they are basing their opinions purely on fashion. I need help!

    • Dear Rachel,
      Allow me to climb up on my soapbox for a moment. Yellow gold is making a comeback. The popularity of white metal in wedding jewelry is in huge part a response to heavy advertising in bridal magazines and toward our young people. It drives me nuts when I see some pretty girl with warm skin undertones wearing white metal. It can make your hand look a bit blotchy when you wear the wrong metal color.
      Your rings are supposed to make you look more beautiful, that is there job. You are not a model showing off the awesomeness that is your ring. Your ring is supposed to set off your best features. If tapering styles look better on you and super thin shanks are in fashion, to heck with fashion, get the tapering ring shank style. The same goes for metal color. The older our hands get the more metal color influences how others see our skin.
      The wrong metal color ultimately makes our skin look less attractive to a greater or lesser degree.
      I personally say it’s the ring you’ll wear everyday. If you love yellow gold and it makes your skin look pretty go for it. Your daughters will understand in ten to twenty years. Your fiance, if you catch him in an indulgent moment will go for it. One hopes.
      I have many yellow gold rings that look fantastic twenty years after I made them. Yellow gold is buttery, it’s rich looking and I for one never went to the white metal when the trend turned so hard that way.
      I wish you luck.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  46. Calla, just wanted to give you kudos on the outstanding service you are doing in educating people about jewelry design and durability. We live across the country but in looking for engagement rings the past several months your blog posts have been an invaluable resource for us. In particular your writings about Gold vs Platinum, and Re-tipping have been so helpful. Beyond that, reading through people’s questions and seeing your individual responses have answered so many of our questions- and informed and prepared us about topics we didn’t even know we’d encounter. Thank you thank you thank you for taking the time to do what you do and help so many people. You are a true gem!

    • Dear Randy,
      It is pure joy reading this beautiful comment from you, telling me that this blog has answered questions for you.
      Back in my pre-blogging days I answered individual questions as they came up with my design clients.
      One of my clients is a writer of nonfiction.
      She suggested I write a book. I must have looked like the show horse questioning the double oxer (giant jump) at the Olympics, because she said, “or you could blog.”
      And thus I blog.
      Today you make me feel so happy that I blog.
      Blessings on you and your husband to be.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  47. Hello Calla,

    I can only agree with Randi, I’m impressed with your level of involvement and service with everyone, even for a blog!

    You’re very informative, and that’s very much appreciated! However, I’m still stuck with a dilemma. I was actually going to write it all here, but I have too much to discuss, too many questions and variables in play, so I think I’ll just give you a call!

    Thanks in advance as I know you’ll be a great help as you have been to everyone else here!
    Ben

    • Hello Benjamin,
      Thank you for your kind words. My office number is 805-963-4157. I look forward to hearing about your metal choice situation.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

    • Hello Alex,
      The Ganoskin Project has discussions on many topics in the jewelry world. This one discusses the alloy metals used in platinum alloying. It tells why copper, palladium, irridium and cobalt are choices used. Use their search function to find more information like this once you get to the site if you seek more information that that in this thread:
      http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nenam/jewelry-platinum-alloy.htm
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  48. I am a white gold and platinum lover. But I was just researching the price of platinum wedding rings in comparison of the gold wedding rings. I am satisfied after reading this article. It is very useful for the people like me. Thanks for sharing.

  49. Hi Calla,

    Thanks for your very informative articles. I’ve spent hours poring through each one, now I feel confident enough to buy an engagement ring!

    Anyway, my question is regarding rhodium plated platinum vs rhodium plated white gold. You mention above that it can be done.

    Is wear/durability about the same? I figure if we find that platinum dulls or scratches too quickly, we could rhodium plate the ring to keep it shiny for longer. If we did that, is it irreversible (ie not possible to polish back to bare platinum again)?

    Grateful reader from NZ,

    Ken

    • Dear Ken,
      It looks like you have indeed read more than one of the blogs. I love that! The people I have rhodium plated over platinum have been letting me know that the platinum holds its shine longer with the rhodium treatment than without.
      If you decided you do not like the shiny white finish that the rhodium treatment gives your platinum, it can be polished off. In hard to reach areas it would have to wear off naturally unless your jeweler had incredibly tiny brushes for little nooks and crannies.
      Congratulations on your upcoming engagement!
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

    • Dear Ken,
      I couldn’t resist going to your adventureunicyclist.com site. Wow, the videos of you and Anna on your unicycles going to amazing places and the speed you get up to are amazing.
      I’m glad you included that with your comment.
      Would I be right in congratulating you and Anna on your future nuptials?
      There is a unicyling community in Santa Barbara. This is an article about them in case you and Anna ever want to vacay in Santa Barbara, you can show me your rings and hit the front country mountains with your tribe. http://www.noozhawk.com/noozhawk/print/0315_santa_barbara_mountain_unicycle_club
      Thank you for the Himalayan unicycle video, that was just amazing.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  50. Shhh! She doesn’t know yet. Hopefully she’s not reading the Internet 😉

    Thanks for checking out my blog. Hope to pop the question when we unicycle around Iceland in August.

    Ken

    • Hi Ken,
      Do hide a friend in the bushes, because I want to see pictures on your blog. I am so happy you found each other. If she’s a unicycle athlete as her main focus, she won’t be on my part of the blogosphere. So I think we are safe Ken!
      Iceland has fascinated me for years I love that you’ll be unicycling there. That’ll be a blog I’ll love to read, with hopefully pictures to love.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  51. I never write on forums, but I just wanted to express my gratitude for the information you provided in yours. It has made it easier for me to select a ring now

    • Dear Jay,
      Congratulations on your upcoming proposal and marriage. Thank you for letting me be a part of your process. I appreciate your kind words.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  52. Calla, thank you so much for taking the time to write this article and provide such valuable information. I had a metal allergy test done last month in anticipation of buying our wedding bands. Turns out I’m allergic to Palladium. It seems that all white gold rings have palladium in them, so we thought we would go with Platinum… but apparently the 5% of “other metal” in platinum is palladium. This is getting so frustrating. We don’t want a high maintenance ring, we don’t even care about diamonds at this point, we just want matching rings that won’t irritate my skin to the point that I can’t wear it. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Gilbert,
      You can specify that you’d like iridium platinum and it can be cast with just 90% platinum and 10% iridium. When you go custom you can request no palladium. Palladium is in the platinum metals group, but does not have to be one of your alloy metals.
      If you work with the person creating your ring you can be sure you know what is in your ring as opposed to buying one that is already made up.
      Your Personal Jewelry,
      Calla

  53. Hi Calla.
    Nassani here from Jamaica. I found this article to be of a tremendous help in me choosing a wedding band (Thanx much). Even today, my boyfriend asked me which ring would I prefer, White Gold or Plain Gold? I can now give an answer knowing that I have the knowledge in making the right and most importantly, the best decision.

    • Hello Nassani from Jamaica,
      Thank you for letting me know you were helped. That is a very happy thing for me.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  54. MY QUESTION IS I AM GETTING MARRIED IN A WEEK AND WANT TO TRY WHITE GOLD THIS TIME. I READ THE BLOG NOW I AM CONFUSED ON WHEATER TO GET WHITE GOLD OR JUST YELLOW GOLD COULD YOU HELP ME.

    • Hello Candy,
      Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. I wrote about the difference between platinum and white gold. Yellow gold is the normal yellow color of gold with some hardening alloy metals to allow it to be made into jewelry.
      I’d choose the metal look that is most complimentary on your hand. If your skin tone is warm, (pink tones) yellow gold will look best. If your skin has a cool look (blue-ish undertones) go with the white metal.
      May you love your ring choice.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  55. Hello!
    Your article is very informative. I have a 14k white gold setting with 1ct of side diamonds and halo. I have the opportunity to change it out to a platinum setting of the same design for no addition charge due to a sale. I can’t decide if I should change it out. What would you recommend?

    • Hello Sharon,
      You have offered an interesting choice. I am a fan of white gold for tiny prongs because of the malleable nature of platinum. But I do like how platinum is a dense and lasting metal. It really comes down to how your lifestyle impacts your daily wear ring. If you are more active with your hands, white gold may just give those tiny halo prongs more hardness to hold their shape because of the alloys.
      Platinum is certainly worth more than white gold. From an intrinsic value of metals your platinum ring would have more metal value. I feel like I’m not being a big help here. But there are my thoughts.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  56. I also have the matching band with 1/2ct prong set diamonds which would be changed out for platinum. Im so torn! Bottom line I will go with setting which will hold up best.

    • Hi Sharon,
      Due to the differing characteristics of white gold and platinum as metals you are right to be torn. Platinum dulls faster and can loose shape in little prongs over time, but in its favor its shanks last longer. Where in ten years your white gold ring may need to be re-shanked, your platinum shank will last longer. The problem really is in the prongs.
      Here’s a post about re-shanking:
      http://www.callagold.com/jewelry-repair/re-shanking-your-rings-what-why-and-when/
      I wish you great happiness with your rings regardless of which metal you choose.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  57. Hi Calla,
    I may just stick with the 14k as I don’t baby my rings as much as I probably should. :). Thanks so much for your input!

  58. Hi Calla,

    Thanks for sharing all your valuable knowledge regarding gold and platinum! What metal do you recommend for a vintage milgrain band with small diamonds? Not eternity. The design is being called marquis and dot. I am a little nervous the platinum will eventually move over the diamonds? Have you ever experienced this?

    Thanks!

    • Hello Kristy,
      Your ring will do better not being an eternity band. The white gold holds the shape of milgrain more crisply for a bit longer by virtue of its hardening metal alloys, but on the other hand platinum takes engraving just beautifully. It’s malleability makes the work of the engraver sing as the metal is a bit more yielding.
      Your marquis and dot design sounds beautiful. If your ring were to get a lot of banging around the platinum would probably soften the design, but it can be re-done by your engraving jeweler. So if it loses its beauty, you can have the milgrain re-worked and all will not be lost.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

    • Hi Ken,
      Congratulations to you both. Nice proposal, it’s like you were on the edge of the world and the penguin was pretty cute too.
      Your ring choice was beautiful. Glad to help.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  59. Hi Calla,

    I would like to buy men wedding ring for my fiancee. I can’t decide which one is better. May I know in your opinion which one is the better option;

    1. platinum 375
    37.5% platinum
    62.5% mixed of zinc,alloy,rhodium,iridium

    or

    2. palladium 950
    75% palladium
    25% alloy

    Thank you.

    • Hello Ash,
      The 375 stamp is a stamp denoting 9ct. gold. As far as I know there is no such thing as 375 platinum. I’m guessing the band stamped 375 is less expensive with than the platinum band. I would recommend the platinum 950 as it has 95% pure platinum. And for a daily wear ring I wouldn’t recommend 9ct gold as there are so many alloys in it that the color of the gold can become less attractive as the other metals assert their presence. The stamp 375 means there is only 35% gold present in the ring. That’s not a lot.
      If indeed this 375 platinum is a thing, I know nothing about it and were I you I wouldn’t want to be the guinea pig testing it out. However, it is possible it is some new thing only offered by one reputable company. If so there should be online reviews, one hopes or better someone who has it and can speak to whether it is good or not.
      I do not know about it.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  60. Hi Calla,
    I love your blog due to all the information you provide. However I noticed that most of your comparisons are between Platinum and 18k white gold. I’m interested in purchasing a white gold half eternity band with 1 ct total weight E-F VS1 diamonds. I’m torn between a 14k and 18k white gold setting. I like my rings to look bright white but I’m also concerned about durability. Not sure if the 18k WG will look darker in comparison to 14k WG. What do you recommend.

    Thanks
    Sleepless in New York

    • Dear Sleepless,
      I generally use 14kt white gold to allow for larger amounts of whitening metal alloys. You’ll probably need to rhodium plate your ring from time to time regardless of whether you choose 14kt or 18kt. I feel that 14kt will be sturdier and I’d go that way.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  61. Hello. I have a 4mm wide platinum wedding band which has gone as dull as ditch water. What sort of cost would I be looking at to turn it into the gorgeous wedding band you created for one of your clients to give it sparkle and interest, i love the the one in the picture. Can’t stand this any longer. Many kinds regards.

    • Hi Susan,
      I understand your frustration.
      I have a number of pictures of rings on this blog. If you mean the one where I added hand engraving That’d cost in the $400.00 to 500.00 range.
      Perhaps you could email me the picture of the ring you like the most at callagold@gmail.com.
      I’d be happy to work with you.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  62. Hi Calla,
    Thanks for all of the info! I custom ordered my halo engagement ring in yellow gold. At the time they asked me if I wanted the halo in white gold and I said no. When I received it the halo was in white gold and the band in yellow. As much as I love the ring, I am a little disappointed in the two-tone look, as I have been quite adamant that I want only yellow. Is there a reason for this? Is the white gold more durable to wear?
    I think I may need to contact the jeweller, just not sure how to express being disappointed in the ring that my fiancé is so happy with.
    Thanks in advance

    • Hello Andrea,
      If you specified yellow gold to the jeweler, you should have received yellow gold or they should have explained their choice before going with it. Yes white gold is more durable, but like car maintenance, rings need maintenance too. Your yellow gold choice might have needed a bit more maintenance, but that’s not the end of the world. I believe that your aesthetic metal choice should have priority over what someone ‘thinks’ you should do.
      I have made a number of all yellow gold engagement rings with all yellow gold.
      It’s tough since your fiance loves your ring. That said, you’ll wear it everyday and you should love the ring of your dreams too. It is possible that the jeweler talked your fiance into that change and he’s good with it and that complicates things.
      I wish you a long and happy marriage. And may your ring in whatever iteration, bring you joy.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  63. Also if it is white gold what would be better for going with which, should I use14kt or 18kt. Thank you

    • Hello Rob,
      If you’re choosing a white gold ring, I usually go with 14kt so it has more alloys and is nice and strong.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  64. Hi Calla,
    Thanks for this esteemed info.
    I have a platinum ring that I want to sale.

    I want to know if you buys.

    Regards

    Theophilus

    • Hello Theophilus,
      My business model is mostly custom design, not the purchase of pre-owned jewelry, but thank you for asking.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  65. I am confused between yellow gold and platinum.According to you which is better and which would you prefer. I’m mostly a fan of yellow gold but for a change I was thinking of going for platinum.

    • Hello Humble Soul,
      I generally make my metal choice recommendations based on the design and whether their is some intricacy in your design that calls for a particular metal. For example if you wanted a high polished wedding band for daily wear and you wanted white metal, white gold would stay shiny longer than platinum by a long shot.
      I’d need to know which design details you would incorporate into your ring and how often you’d wear it to give my opinion.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

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