White Gold Versus Platinum – Ro Ma Jewelers
White gold and platinum look the same. Many people ask what the difference is. Why is platinum more expensive? What exactly is white gold?
Not everybody knows it, but white gold doesn’t exist naturally. It’s made from yellow gold mixed with white metal alloys like palladium or silver.
Afterwards, it’s given a beautiful coating with a rare, silvery-white metal called rhodium. This final rhodium finish gives white gold its luminous sheen.
Why is white gold mixed with other metals?
The reason why white gold is combined with alloys is because gold, as a metal, is extremely soft. If pure gold was used on its own in jewelry, it would bend out of shape very quickly.
For this reason, both yellow gold and white gold have to be mixed with harder alloy metals, to make them more rigid and durable.
So, is my white gold jewelry proper gold?
You may have heard the term “carat”, abbreviated with the letter ‘K’. This measurement is used to describe the purity of gold. It tells you how much gold is in your jewelry. The measurement is on a scale of 24. On this scale, 24K is the maximum and it represents pure gold.
All jewelry is therefore made with precious metal alloys, containing set carat weights of gold. The gold carat weights most commonly seen in jewelry are 14K and 18K:
14K gold contains 58 percent pure gold.
18K gold contains 75 percent pure gold.
What is Platinum?
Platinum is a naturally occurring white metal. It is rarer than gold, and because is about 95 percent pure, it is softer than white gold and consequently more expensive.
Is platinum scratch proof?
Many people believe platinum is “scratch-proof”. In a way this is true, but not exactly correct. What actually happens is that while platinum doesn’t actually scratch (in the sense of losing particles), its surface can develop little bumps and ridges.
This “ridging” is natural, as the metal gets pushed to one side and another while the jewelry’s owner wears it. This is especially true for engagement and wedding rings worn on your hand day in day out, as they come into constant contact with hard surfaces.
The main advantage of white gold over platinum is that it is much more affordable. However, the disadvantage is that you may need to recoat your white gold item. This is because wear and tear rubs away the outer coating. Eventually, the yellow gold underneath becomes visible. Recoating white gold jewelry with rhodium is not expensive, and it can be done quickly at most jewelers.
But it does mean that you’ll need to maintain your jewelry regularly – over the years this cost can build up. In the case of engagement rings, you may also need to be without your ring for a few days, while it’s being recoated.
Platinum jewelry is initially more expensive than white gold. However, it can be argued that platinum is more cost-effective in the long run, because it does not need to be recoated.
For more information please call Ro Ma Jewelers at 661-254-6414.
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