Once you’ve decided to choose a white metal for your engagement or wedding ring, the next step is to choose between 14k white gold and platinum. While both metals have a similar appearance, there are some key differences that will make one better than the other for you, depending on your lifestyle, preferences, and the style of ring you’re planning to purchase.
To help you choose, we’re going to guide you through all the differences between these two metals so you can rest assured knowing you made the right choice for you.
Platinum has a pale white-silver color and is a pure metal (though sometimes has a mixture of other alloys that does not change its appearance), so all platinum has the same look. Platinum looks very similar to white gold, however, the change in appearance can be seen as the metals age. As discussed, white gold will begin to yellow with normal wear, however, platinum begins to patina as it ages. Platinum patina is the slight loss in luster, creating a satiny or slightly frosted finish. Some appreciate the change in appearance, however, occasional polishing will also bring the metal back to its original shine.
14k White Gold
White gold is actually a yellow gold alloy, meaning it is a mix of yellow gold and other metals that have a more silvery-white hue, such as silver or palladium. It is then treated with a rhodium finish to create the shiny, lustrous look of white gold. As white gold ages through everyday wear and use, it will start to look more yellow. This is completely normal and is the yellow gold starting to show through the polish. When this starts to occur, most jewelers can re-coat the piece with rhodium and have it back to its original shine and luster!
Platinum is denser and less malleable than 14k white gold, however, due to the mixture of alloys that make it up, white gold is harder than platinum. While white gold will need to be replated every 2-3 years to maintain it’s lustre, Platinum will require regular polishing and cleaning to ensure it keeps its smooth appearance. This is important to consider especially if it’s for a ring you plan to wear at all times, like a wedding ring.
14k gold ring before and after rhodium plating/polishing
If you typically work a lot with your hands, whether for work or simply around the home and while doing hobbies, platinum may be the better choice. However, if you are more cautious with your jewelry, 14k white gold is a great choice, bearing in mind that it will require professional replating and polishing to maintain its white luster.
Learn more about our ring polishing and rhodium plating serives here.
Traditionally, platinum is around 40-50% more expensive than white gold jewelry, though the gap has been closing. Generally, 14k white gold is still more affordable to purchase than platinum, but due to global economic factors driving up the cost of all precious metals (they are seen as a safe haven for investors to weather global economic uncertainty), the gap is less derisive.
Since prices are changing so frequently as of late, the purchase cost may make little difference to your decision. White gold and platinum both hold their value well, so the future value of the ring will depend more on the stones you choose. (You can learn more about different stones here.)
Another factor to consider when choosing between the two is whether you have any allergies or sensitivities to other metals. Since white gold must be mixed with other metals to become white, those with nickel allergies will want to avoid white gold. Platinum is hypoallergenic and a better choice if the wearer has metal sensitivities. If you’re not sure if you are likely to react to white gold, you can find out more here.
Which Should I Choose?
When it comes to choosing between 14k white gold and platinum, it really comes down to personal choice and needs. If you’re looking for a ring that will be more durable, requires less trips to the jeweler for professional maintenance, and it is within your budget, choose platinum. However, if you are more delicate with your jewelry and don’t mind the additional maintenance for a metal that is just as luxurious but a bit more economical, 14k gold would be the better choice for you.
Whether you choose 14k white gold or platinum, you won’t be limited on style with Mabel & Main. All our rings are designed with beautiful plus-size brides in mind and so you won’t struggle to find what you want in your size or have to pay additional charges. To start your search for the perfect engagement or wedding ring, click here.
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Written by Kelsey Forrest