May 2011 - Andrew Geoghegan

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Platinum or white gold for an engagement ring?

This is a question I get asked pretty frequently, and I often see the same question cropping up around the web. I’ll do my best to provide you with the information you need to make an informed choice…

Choosing an engagement ring is one of the most significant purchases that a man will make in his lifetime. It signifies the bond of love and commitment between couples, and as such requires a great deal of consideration. Many couples opt to choose the Engagement ring together, whilst some men bravely make the choice alone, to surprise their future wife. Regardless of who makes the final decision the design and quality of the ring will permanently be on display, so it is important to get it right. Traditionally gold was always the first choice, as it was perceived as classic and timeless, but over the years Platinum has become ever more popular. Ultimately the decision will be based on cost and personal preference, but here’s a few pointers to help you to decide.

Platinum

The qualities of Platinum are certainly impressive. It has a higher percentage purity than gold and is thirty times more rare (which is reflected in the cost). It is an extremely durable and resistant metal and can remain looking like new for years, emphasizing its excellent quality. This durability naturally lends itself to the security of gems. The last thing you want is loose stones or heaven forbid, lost stones! Platinum rings don’t actually lose their weight; wear and tear simply pushes the material around rather than actually removing it from the piece. This means that pieces will retain their material value.

Another important consideration for some is that Platinum is hypoallergenic, due to its 90 to 95 per cent purity. This makes it an excellent choice for those with particularly sensitive skin.

White Gold

Pure Gold is an element, and precious metal that is naturally always yellow in colour. To create white gold, yellow gold is combined with other metals. Gold in its purest form is actually too soft to be used for jewellery. It is combined with such metals as nickel, silver or palladium to make it harder, coloured (if required) and more durable. When you hear someone discussing the carat of gold (9, 14 18 or 22ct) they are referring to the percentage of gold in relation to other metals. 18ct  white gold, for example, is 75 per cent pure gold combined with approximately 15 per cent palladium and some other metals. White gold rings are also coated with another metal called Rhodium – a metal that is similar to platinum, particularly in its colour. The plating makes the white gold appear “whiter” and offers extra durability. However, this plating doesn’t last forever. In fact it’s advisable to have Rhodium plated jewellery, re-plated every 12 to 18 months to keep it looking new. This is something that should probably be considered when looking at the cost difference between white gold and platinum. Generally 18ct golds are hard metals and usually harder than their lower carat cousins. But this does depend on how the piece is produced. 18ct White gold can be an exceptionally hard metal approaching even the toughness of platinum.

Whether you opt for white gold or platinum, if you choose a designer engagement ring from Andrew Geoghegan we’ll provide free servicing to ensure the piece remains as beautiful as the day you chose it.