White Gold vs. Platinum Rings: Choosing an Engagement Ring or Wedding Band Metal

Fink's Jewelers engagement rings and wedding bands in white gold and platinum

As you are searching for the perfect engagement ring or wedding band for her, you will be confronted with an array of choices: What will the center stone be? What kind of diamond/gem cut will you choose? What about the overall ring style? And, of course, from which type of metal will the ring be made?

In the course of these many decisions, you will probably be faced with the choice between two similar-looking metals: white gold and platinum. These two white metals can look nearly identical, so what is the difference between them?

What Is White Gold?

18K White Gold Round Three Stone Engagement Ring

As far as engagement rings go, white gold rings are the most popular choice (according to a 2021 survey by The Knot), accounting for 41 percent of engagement rings. White gold is actually an alloy (a composite of two or more elements) of gold, made up of at least one additional white metal such as palladium, nickel, zinc, copper, or silver.

White gold gets its silvery-white color from an extremely thin layer of rhodium, a rare reflective and corrosion-resistant metallic element. Initially, when yellow gold is combined with another white metal, the color is gray or brownish yellow. This is why rhodium plating is added to give white gold its signature hue and luster.

White gold is such a popular choice thanks to its beauty, versatility, and relatively easy care. A beautiful, classic example of a white gold ring is our Fink’s round three-stone engagement ring. This romantic, exquisite ring features three diamonds set in gorgeous, glistening 18K white gold. 

Key Features of White Gold Rings:

  • Composed of mixed alloys
  • Less expensive than platinum
  • Will need to be replated
  • Can withstand everyday wear

What is Platinum?

Platinum Round Diamond Halo and Diamond Shank Engagement Ring

Platinum rings are another highly popular choice for engagement rings. Platinum is a rare, silvery-white precious metal that is one of the most expensive jewelry metals thanks to its luster and exceptional durability. It was widely used by fine jewelry designer Louis Cartier at the end of the 19th century, became more popular in the 20th century, and remains a favorite ring material choice today.

Through the years, platinum rings have maintained their popularity as engagement rings and wedding bands due to their beautiful color, durability, and luster. A jaw-droppingly gorgeous example of a platinum ring for you to consider is our Fink’s round diamond halo engagement ring. This sparkling beauty features a 2.20ct round diamond with a diamond halo and shank accents.

Key Features of Platinum Rings:

  • Inherently white
  • Rarer and more expensive than gold
  • Keeps its luster
  • More pliable

White Gold vs. Platinum

Platinum Round Diamond Engagement Ring

Although both white gold and platinum are silvery-white metals and extremely popular choices for engagement rings and wedding bands alike, they are different metals with differing attributes. Below you will find out more about each metal type and how it holds up as a ring. 

3 Major Differences Between Platinum and White Gold Rings:

  1. Color
  2. Price
  3. Durability 

The Color of White Gold vs. Platinum

White gold is not, in fact, a pure white metal but rather a combination of yellow gold and other metals. A white gold ring is plated with rhodium in order to look and stay bright white (otherwise, it can look gray or even yellow). Some white gold is mixed with palladium, another precious metal, to give it more durability and a white shine that does not require rhodium plating — but this makes it more expensive. 

However, platinum is naturally a lustrous white color that is not mixed with other alloys, so a platinum ring will always keep its shiny white color. Platinum is also a much rarer metal than white gold. Platinum is also hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for women with metal sensitivities or allergies.

The Price of White Gold vs. Platinum

Fink's Half Way Diamond Band in 14K White Gold

Platinum can be about 40-50 percent more expensive than white gold. Some reasons for this are that platinum is denser than gold, which means more of it is required to make a platinum ring. It is also rarer than gold, making it more expensive.

Another reason white gold rings are more affordable is that they are made of a mix of durable metals that are less expensive than platinum. However, in the long run, white gold rings will accrue costs as they need to be replated with rhodium every 5-10 years. While more expensive in the beginning, a platinum ring’s maintenance costs can be less than white gold’s over time.   

The Durability of White Gold vs. Platinum

Although platinum is purer, heavier, and more pliable than gold, it can scratch more easily over time due to its density. Platinum rings will require routine upkeep (polishing and cleaning) in order to keep their smooth surface.

White gold rings are hardy enough to wear every day because they are strengthened by their mixture of durable metals (and can be even stronger depending on which metals are mixed in). You may think that the higher the gold’s karat, the better, but that’s not actually true for durability — pure 24K gold is very soft and easily scratched or damaged.

Choosing a Platinum or White Gold Ring

Couple shopping for a ring

Although it can be difficult to choose between a platinum or white gold ring for your engagement or wedding band, both make excellent choices with varying positive attributes for each metal type. As you make your decision, be sure to consider your budget, matching the metal of the engagement ring and the wedding band, and if your bride has sensitive skin (a platinum ring would be the way to go).

If you still are struggling with the choice, find a trusted jeweler who can give you help and advice. At Fink’s Jewelers, online or in-store, we would be happy to provide you with our expert, friendly assistance in choosing a gorgeous ring that will delight your bride-to-be.

Whichever metal type you choose, don’t forget to care for your engagement or wedding ring with regular cleaning and maintenance. You want those sparklers looking their best for many wonderful years to come.