When it comes time to purchase a ring, choosing between gold and platinum can be difficult because they have many similarities. They are both valuable, beautiful, resilient and versatile. Both precious metals complement a variety of styles, gems, and skin tones.
Being familiar with the history behind these two precious metals and understanding their differences in value, appearance and required care will help you know how to choose between gold and platinum.
Gold Mining Has Been Around for More Than 7,000 Years
Archeologists still regularly unearth golden artifacts, including jewellery. Some of the oldest gold rings, bracelets and necklaces that have ever been found were discovered in a Bulgarian cemetery in the early 1970s. The gold in these pieces of jewellery was mined and crafted between 4,600 and 4,200 BC – which is hundreds of years before the Egyptian and Roman Empires began!
Gold can be found on every continent, but most of it is concentrated in Africa and India. This precious metal is rarely found in a pure state. Instead, it is almost always mixed with other metals and minerals and must be refined in order to be useful.
During the refining process, gold is heated multiple times and often also mixed with an alkaline cyanide solution to remove secondary metals, minerals and impurities. Gradually the refining process produces pure gold, a dense but soft and malleable precious metal with a bright yellow colour.
A little over 50% of all refined gold goes into jewellery. The rest becomes gold bullion and coins, as well as the electrical connectors that are used in some industries.
Gold destined for the jewellery market is generally mixed with other precious metals to form gold mixtures or alloys. Jewellers make these alloys because gold in its pure state is soft and can be easily scratched and deformed. Gold mixtures, in comparison, are much stronger and can resist the bumps and scratches of everyday wear for more than a lifetime.
The Purity of Gold is Measured in Karats
The karat metric is used to measure the purity or percentage of gold in a particular piece of jewellery. Each karat represents 1/24 part of the whole. Pure gold is said to be 24k because all 24 parts of the whole are pure gold, whereas 18k gold has 18 parts of pure gold and 6 parts of other metals.
Beware not to confuse Karat with a K which is used as a gold purity metric and Carat with a C which is a unit of weight used for diamonds and other precious stones.
Most jewellery has 24k, 18k, 14k or 10k of pure gold in it. Each of these levels of gold purity has specific advantages and disadvantages, which are as follows:
24k gold – This is 99% pure gold. It is rarely used in jewellery, because its disadvantages outweigh its advantages.
Advantages: Highest level of purity.
Disadvantages: Soft and easily damaged. Bright orange-yellow colour that doesn’t always blend well with other colours. Most expensive.
18k gold – 18k gold is composed of 75% gold and 25% other metals, for instance zinc, copper and palladium.
Advantages: Rich yellow colour. Scratch-resistant and durable.
Disadvantages: Slightly malleable, but it is only susceptible to be damaged if the ring is made too thin.
14k gold – 14k gold has 58.5% gold and 41.5% other metals.
Advantages: Descent yellow colour. Strong, not easily damaged.
Disadvantages: Colour lacks in richness and saturation. The large percentage of metals other than gold can cause skin irritation.
10k gold – 10k gold is made of only 42% gold and 58% other metals.
Advantages: Strong, not easily damaged. Low price.
Disadvantages: Poor yellow colour. It can trigger skin allergies. Low value.
We only sell and recommend 18k gold jewellery in order to give our clients the best possible value. Jewellery that is 75% gold and 25% complementary metals captures the natural rich colour and luster of gold, while also being reasonably priced and strong enough to withstand normal usage for many years.
For decades, 18k gold was only available in the colour yellow, but today you can also find it in the form of rose gold and white gold.
Yellow Gold: The Timeless and Prestigious Choice
How is yellow gold made?
Gold is naturally yellow. Natural gold’s beauty and strength are enhanced by blending it with small amounts of zinc and copper. The amounts of zinc and copper can be varied to make the gold a lighter or darker shade of yellow.
What are yellow gold’s advantages?
Yellow gold is well-loved because it never loses its colour and goes especially well with matte skin. It is also resistant against the wear and tear of daily life.
Does yellow gold have any disadvantages?
In rare cases, people who are allergic to metal can react to one of the components in yellow gold. Yellow gold is, however, the most hypoallergenic of all gold variations and it is unusual for someone to have an allergy to it.
What type of care does yellow gold require?
Yellow gold needs to be cleaned and polished occasionally, but does not require any special care.
Yellow gold is timeless. Fashions change, but yellow gold maintains its prestigious beauty and is often matched with diamonds to create stunning engagement and wedding rings.
Rose Gold: The Modern and Romantic Choice
How is rose gold made?
Copper is used to transform naturally yellow gold into beautiful shades of rose. Darker shades of rose gold are made by mixing 75% gold with 25% copper, while the lighter shades are made by decreasing the copper and adding in a small percentage of a white metal, such as silver.
What are rose gold’s advantages?
One of rose gold’s best advantages is that it has a contemporary beauty and modern style. It is also great because it never loses its colour and is strong to resist scratches and deformation.
Does rose gold have any disadvantages?
Similar to yellow gold, there are some people who may have an allergic reaction to one of the components in rose gold, but this is rare.
What type of care does rose gold require?
It doesn’t require any special care and only needs to be cleaned and polished occasionally.
Rose gold is particularly feminine and when combined with pavé set diamonds, it creates especially romantic engagement rings.
White Gold: The Simple and Popular Choice
How is white gold made?
Yellow gold is turned almost white by mixing it with white metals, such as palladium and silver.
Since white gold is never completely white, rings and all other jewellery made from white gold are given an external coating of rhodium. This coating gives them a glossy white colour, as well as extra strength and durability.
What are white gold’s advantages?
White gold is currently the most popular precious metal for engagement and wedding rings. It goes well with any skin tone and most gemstones. It is strong and damage-resistant.
Does white gold have any disadvantages?
White gold rings often develop a light yellow tint over time. This happens because the rhodium coating slowly wears away revealing the slightly yellow gold underneath. Thankfully, this tint can be easily removed by applying a new coating of rhodium. A ring that is worn frequently will probably need to be re-plated with rhodium once every few years.
What type of care does white gold require?
White gold requires occasional cleaning and polishing, as well as a new coat of rhodium whenever it begins to look yellow.
White gold has earned its popularity by having a simple, but modern beauty. It can be combined with other colours of gold and a wide variety of gemstones to make elegant engagement and wedding rings.
We are happy to provide a lifetime of rhodium services to all our clients who purchase a white gold engagement or wedding ring to help them keep their jewellery looking its best.
Recycled Gold and Fairtrade Mining
The majority of the world’s gold mines are located in Africa and India. Unfortunately, some of these gold mines often have a negative impact on the environment and the communities around them, for example:
- Proceeds from the gold mines sometimes fund civil wars.
- Gold miners usually work long hours and receive little pay.
- Many gold miners and their families do not have access to education and basic health care.
- The gold mining process frequently damages the local landscape and ecosystems.
- Gold mining produces a variety of heavy metals and toxic chemicals that often leak into the atmosphere and surrounding groundwater.
It is important to note that gold mining activities are employing many rural people in the poorest regions of the world. That’s why it’s important to buy gold from mines that are using fair practices and focus on improving people’s lives.
In order to decrease the negative aspects of gold mining, we have chosen to only use recycled gold and gold from ethical mines in our jewellery.
The recycled gold that we use has the same quality as freshly-mined gold. All metals, including precious metals, can be melted down and recycled without any loss of quality. Gold can actually be considered a renewable resource.
By recycling any gold you might have at home you can help us decrease the negative impact of mining and save on the purchase of a new jewellery.
Platinum: the Strongest and Most Durable Alternative
Platinum is a dense, but malleable precious metal. History suggests that it was first mined in Ecuador about 2,500 years ago. At that time, indigenous people used it for decorating figurines and making jewellery.
In the 1700s, platinum made its way from South America to Europe where scientists spent years experimenting with it before it began to be used for household items and decorations.
In the late 1800s platinum began to be popular for jewellery. It was used for rings, bracelets, necklaces and even a crown. This crown was made for Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother to use for her husband’s coronation. The entire frame of the crown was made of platinum and then covered with close to 3,000 diamonds.
Platinum jewellery was almost forgotten during World War 1 and 2, but in the last few decades, it has been steadily regaining ground in the jewellery market. Once again brides and grooms are exchanging platinum rings that represent the strength and endurance of true love.
Is pure platinum used in jewellery?
No. Pure platinum is too soft to be used for jewellery. However, platinum only needs to be mixed with a very small amount of other metals in order to be hard enough for jewellery.
The purity of platinum is measured in 1000 parts and in general, the platinum used for jewellery has 950 parts of platinum and 50 parts of other metals. This means that platinum rings have a greater percentage of precious metal than the 18k gold rings which have 750 parts of gold and 250 parts of other metals.
The most common metals to be mixed with platinum are palladium, rhodium, iridium and other platinum group metals, as well as common metals, such as copper and cobalt.
What are the advantages of platinum?
Among all precious metals, platinum is the most precious, as well as the strongest and most durable. Platinum’s exceptional strength makes it ideal for holding gemstones.
Platinum also has the benefit of being hypoallergenic and beautiful. Its naturally white colour never fades or becomes discoloured.
What are the disadvantages of platinum?
Although platinum is strong, it is prone to scratches and in rare cases can even be deformed if the ring is made too thin. Platinum is also usually more expensive than gold.
Why is platinum more expensive than gold?
More than 1,000 tons of gold are mined every year, but only a little over 150 tons of platinum are mined in a year. This scarcity makes platinum more expensive than gold most of the time. There are periods, though, when the jewellery market changes and platinum becomes cheaper than gold.
Platinum rings also tend to be more expensive than gold because more pure platinum is used in each ring and platinum is a heavy metal. You can have two identical rings – one made of gold and the other of platinum. The platinum ring will weigh more than the gold one and so it will cost more.
What type of care does platinum require?
Platinum only needs routine cleaning and polishing, unless it becomes scratched. Thankfully scratched platinum is relatively easy to repair. Jewellers are able to buff out small scratches and fill deeper ones with fresh platinum.
As platinum ages, it often develops a soft patina. This patina is a dull gray film caused by normal oxidation. This film changes the way that the platinum interacts with light and leaves the ring slightly darker than when it was new. The patina on platinum is not ugly, but it can be removed by regular polishing.
Platinum is a stylish choice for wedding and engagement rings. It goes well with solitaire diamonds, as well as a primary diamond and entourage gems. If you like the qualities and beauty of white gold but don’t like the idea of needing to replace the rhodium, consider purchasing a platinum ring. Platinum rings are durable, have the same colour as white gold and they never become discoloured.
Hallmarks on Gold and Platinum Engagement Rings
As you look for the perfect engagement or wedding ring, it is important that you be aware of the hallmarks located on the inside of the ring’s band.
Hallmarks are small symbols that guarantee the purity of the precious metal used in the ring.
The number of hallmarks that a ring has depends on its country of origin. The United Kingdom, for example, requires hallmarked rings to have three symbols, while here in Belgium we usually only put one.
The three most common hallmarks on a ring provide the following information:
- Sponsor –The symbol of the person or company who submitted the ring to be hallmarked. Along with other possibilities, the sponsor can be the ring’s manufacturer, an importer or its retailer.
- Assay Office –The symbol of the assay office that tested the precious metal and gave the ring its hallmark.
- Standard of Fineness –This symbol is the hallmark that is primarily used here in Belgium. It is perhaps the most important hallmark of all because it indicates the fineness or purity of the precious metal.The standard of fineness measures the purity of the precious metal content in 1000 parts.
Platinum rings generally have a greater percentage of platinum than other metals. Their standard of fineness mark is usually 950 parts of pure platinum out of a total of 1,000 parts.
There are a few secondary symbols that can also be put on a hallmarked ring. The two most popular secondary symbols are for the year that the ring was hallmarked, as well as for the type of precious metal that the ring is made of.
The symbol used to represent the year of the hallmark is always a letter. S represents the year 2017, T is for 2018 and U represents 2019.
The symbols that represent the type of precious metal in a ring vary. A lion represents silver, a crown symbolizes gold and platinum is represented by the sovereign’s orb, a globe that has a cross on top and is encircled by gems.
White Gold Vs. Platinum: Which Should You Choose?
White gold and platinum are currently very popular for engagement and wedding rings. Both of these metals have a captivating modern beauty.
They go well with all skin tones, styles and the wide majority of gemstones. Best of all, they represent the preciousness and endurance of true love.
If you are having a hard time choosing between white gold and platinum, there’s a way that you can take advantage of the best aspects of both of these precious metals and that is to consider a ring that has an 18k white gold band and platinum prongs. This combination of white gold and platinum provides great value. The strong platinum prongs are ideal for holding gemstones, while the white gold band is beautiful and wears well. A ring like this comes with our lifetime guarantee of rhodium services.
Platinum and gold make beautiful engagement and wedding rings – rings that will express your love for eternity. As you continue to consider which ring to choose, remember that we will be happy to answer any questions that you have.
The purity of platinum is measured in 1000 parts and in general, the platinum used for jewellery has 950 parts of platinum and 50 parts of other metals. This means that platinum rings have a greater percentage of precious metal than the 18k gold rings which have 750 parts of gold and 250 parts of other metals.What is the difference between gold & platinum value? ›
Platinum (Pt) is the rarest & the most precious of the 3. Platinum (Pt 950) is currently around 50% more expensive than Gold. It is naturally white & resistant to tarnish.Can you visually tell the difference between platinum and white gold? ›
Platinum is also used to make jewelry and looks similar to white gold, but when compared side by side with white gold you can see that platinum has a more grayish color.What makes platinum better than gold? ›
Strength. While both gold and platinum are strong, platinum is harder. Platinum is denser than gold, which means it's more durable, and is less likely to break. That means there's a smaller risk of you losing any of the precious metal.Is platinum more powerful than gold? ›
Despite being stronger and more durable than gold, platinum can get scratched easily on the surface.What is so special about platinum? ›
Pure platinum is a lustrous, ductile, and malleable, silver-white metal. Platinum is more ductile than gold, silver or copper, thus being the most ductile of pure metals, but it is less malleable than gold. Its physical characteristics and chemical stability make it useful for industrial applications.What is more precious than gold? ›
Diamonds are much more expensive than gold. However, red diamonds are extremely rare on our planet. Only 30 of them are currently known, and most of them do not weigh more than half a carat (about 0.1 grams). They are worth a lot, and 1 gram can cost around $ 5 million.Is 14k gold worth more than platinum? ›
Platinum is more dense and so you need more of it to make a ring. Additionally, platinum rings are usually 95% pure platinum, while 14k gold is only 58.5% gold. Therefore, platinum rings are more expensive.What is more valuable than gold? ›
1. RHODIUM: TOP MOST VALUABLE METAL. Rhodium is the most valuable metal and exists within the platinum group of metals. It is used in jewelry for a final finish on white gold jewelry.Does gold stick to magnet? ›
(Fun fact: Real gold is not magnetic.) Fake gold, on the other hand, will stick to the magnet.
Platinum is commonly used in jewellery and electronics. Although this precious metal looks great and is an excellent conductor, it has no magnetic properties.Does platinum turn yellow? ›
To be considered platinum, a piece must contain 95% or more of the metal, making it one of the purest precious metals you can buy. Over time, platinum will fade in a different way. It won't turn yellow, like yellow gold; but, it will begin to lose its shiny finish and build a natural patina (more on this in a bit).Why do people buy gold instead of platinum? ›
Some investors may want to prioritize stability and long-term investing. In that case, gold is likely the better option. The precious metal has a longstanding history of reliable demand which often spikes during economic downturns. On the other hand, platinum usually performs better during times of economic growth.Why choose platinum over white gold? ›
Platinum is easier to maintain over time than white gold. Platinum is also the most hypoallergenic of all metals, because of its purity. Platinum is made of 95% pure platinum, where white gold is made out of 75% pure gold, and 25% other metals.What are the disadvantages of wearing platinum? ›
The downside of Platinum is that it tends to lose its high polish and sharp edges fairly quickly. This is not because they are being worn away but, more accurately, they are being moulded like clay around the surface of the ring.Is it worth it to buy platinum? ›
If you look at the material value of precious metals, platinum sits at the top. The shiny white metal is considered a strong symbol of value and quality. The supply of platinum is much lower vs that of gold. It's also far more difficult to extract than the yellow metal.Why is platinum so cheap? ›
Experts posit that platinum is about 15–20 times scarcer than gold and approximately 60–100 times scarcer than silver, on the basis of annual mine production. Since 2014, platinum prices have fallen lower than gold. Approximately 75% of global platinum is mined in South Africa.Does platinum tarnish? ›
does platinum tarnish? No. Platinum will not change color or fade over time, unlike some other metals.What are 3 fun facts about platinum? ›
- Meteorites and our moon contain a higher percentage of platinum than can be found on the Earth.
- The melting point of platinum is 3,215 °F (1,768.4 °C) and the boiling point is 6,917 °F (3,825 °C).
- Typically 95% pure, platinum is one of the purest precious metals.
Platinum is more rare than gold and will last a lifetime, resisting chipping and tarnishing.
After all, gold is a treasure that can be lost. The Bible indicates that there is something higher and better: the laws and judgments of God. As the Psalmist says: “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold” (19:9, 10).What does the Bible say about gold? ›
Exodus 25:17-18: “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.”What is more precious than gold Bible verse? ›
“They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.What can scratch platinum? ›
It is 4 – 4.5 on the MOHs scale of hardness. This means it can be scratched by anything harder than it is. Diamond is ten on the MOHs scale and can easily scratch platinum. An amethyst is a seven on the MOHs scale and can scratch platinum.Why is platinum so expensive? ›
Platinum's high price point can be attributed to its rarity and density as precious metals are often priced by their weight. In addition, platinum is highly coveted as it is considered a status symbol in the fine jewelry industry resulting in an increase in overall value.What is the current price of platinum? ›
"Platinum and Palladium Are 30 Times Rarer Than Gold."How much is platinum worth a pound? ›
Antimatter: how the world's most expensive — and explosive — substance is made. It's the most expensive substance on Earth, costing quadrillions of dollars for a single gram. It's also likely the most explosive substance on the planet.How can I tell if a chain is real gold? ›
Look for Stamps or Hallmarks in Your Gold Jewelry
Most real gold is stamped with a hallmark that indicates its purity, aka its karat. The karat is the unit used to measure the purity of gold. The higher the karat, the purer the gold. The most common karats you'll see are 10k, 14k, 18k, 22K, and 24k.
Since gold is both paramagnetic and diamagnetic, both cancel one another out and become weak. So a strong magnet will attract gold ever so slightly and will also repel it.How do you verify platinum? ›
Identifying Platinum Through Visual Cues and Weight
Pure platinum jewelry, or jewelry that is at least 50% platinum, is typically marked with a stamp (also known as a hallmark). Usually, this mark will include a number like 850 followed by “plat or “pt”, which indicates the piece is 85% pure.
Diagnostic properties: Platinum is a metallic white to silver-gray colour. Its streak is a shiny silver-gray. Crystals, if found, tent to be distorted cubes.How do you detect platinum? ›
The simplest tests are heating and discoloration. If the item is heated, for example, in a Bunsen flame, platinum will be more difficult or impossible to melt and the platinum will not discolour. The effect of acid is another basic test. None of the common acids will attack Pt.Does water ruin platinum? ›
Chlorine can damage and discolor metals (like gold and platinum) and can slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones.Is water bad for platinum? ›
A: Durable materials like platinum and fine gold should be fine as long as you take them off before going in the water. It's the same with diamonds or precious stones because they're harder materials.Does platinum get rusted? ›
Gold and platinum are metals which do not get rust.Do banks hold platinum? ›
That accounts for why gold is the only precious metal held by central banks. In fact, not only do central banks hold no silver, platinum, or palladium in their official monetary reserves, they can't hold them.Can we sell platinum like gold? ›
Platinum can be sold by the ounce or by the gram. The price fluctuates daily depending on the current market for the metal, just as it does for gold, silver, diamonds.Has gold ever lost value? ›
It's important to note that gold prices have historically been volatile and have fluctuated quite a bit over time. The price of gold, like any other commodity, is subject to the laws of supply and demand.
Platinum is considered a biologically compatible metal because it is non-toxic and stable, so it does not react with, or negatively affect body tissues. Recent research has also shown platinum to inhibit the growth of certain cancerous cells.What shines more white gold or platinum? ›
Platinum and white gold are both shiny, but platinum is shinier because it reflects more visible light than gold. Most white gold alloys used for jewelry contain at least 58.3% gold content, which makes them less shiny than platinum. However, keep in mind that polished metals shine more than unpolished metals.Does platinum go black? ›
Does it tarnish? Platinum does not fade, tarnish, or turn color. However, with age, it does take on a patina and show slight scratches.Why is platinum jewelry not popular? ›
On the downside, platinum is very expensive to purchase and repair, and some jewelers cannot even work with the metal because they don't have the equipment, materials, or experience to deal with its unique chemical properties.Can you wear platinum all day? ›
Platinum is extremely durable and strong making it ideal for jewellery that's worn on a daily basis. It's highly resistant to stress and withstands both extreme heat and extreme cold, which means platinum jewellery will retain its good looks better than any other metal.Can you swim with platinum ring? ›
These alloy metals get corroded when exposed to harsh chemicals such as chlorine. You should thus avoid wearing your engagement band into the pool or hot tub if it contains any of these alloy metals. However, if your ring is made out of pure gold, platinum, or palladium then you need not worry about chlorine.Is 14K gold or platinum better? ›
Additionally, platinum rings are usually 95% pure platinum, while 14k gold is only 58.5% gold. Therefore, platinum rings are more expensive. Platinum is a strong and sturdy metal however, it does scratch a bit more easily than 14K White Gold and will develop a matte finish over time.What are the disadvantages of platinum? ›
The only disadvantages to platinum are the higher cost and heavier weight. For example, platinum is a great metal for necklaces, bracelets and rings but not earrings, because the heavy weight may pull down more on your ears and cause discomfort.How long does platinum jewelry last? ›
The cool, elegant look of platinum for engagement rings and other jewelry is especially popular today and with good reason: it is the strongest, most pure metal. Platinum is more rare than gold and will last a lifetime, resisting chipping and tarnishing.Why did platinum become less valuable than gold? ›
Gold is more stable
Gold is more steadily in demand than platinum. The industries that gold is most commonly used in—jewelry, electrical, and medical—rely less on economic factors to influence its demand. In fact, in times of economic downturn, gold's value often increases!
Platinum, gold & silver
Known as the precious metals, platinum, gold and silver are all pure metals, therefore they contain no iron and cannot rust. Platinum and gold are highly non-reactive, and although silver can tarnish, it is fairly corrosion-resistant and relatively affordable by comparison.
Can you wear platinum in the shower? A similar scenario to gold, you should refrain from wearing your platinum jewelry in the shower as it will reduce its shine and luster. Water itself will not harm the platinum, but it well affect the overall look of it down the road.