While all jewelry speaks the same language, its metallic composition significantly changes the dialect. Gold, silver, and platinum each possess unique characteristics that make them favorable for a variety of reasons. Astute shoppers understand that a jewelry designer selects a particular metal for their newest creations for these reasons. What metal should you choose when designing your next custom piece of jewelry? Why should you consider platinum vs. gold jewelry or platinum vs. silver? Today, we examine the relative look and feel, durability, and value of gold, silver and platinum in the ultimate comparison test.
Is platinum better than gold?
You’ve likely noticed platinum’s more expensive price tag when compared to white gold, which appears to be similar and equally popular for quality jewelry. This must mean that platinum is better than gold, right? It depends on what you’re looking for in a piece of jewelry. Here are several key differences between platinum vs. white gold.
Color: Platinum and white gold have a similar shiny metallic tone. However, platinum is always a monotonal bright white, while white gold can sometimes take on a yellow or greyish tint. Why is this? Platinum jewelry is significantly more pure than white gold jewelry in terms of elemental composition. Since gold is naturally yellow, it takes a bit of manipulation to make it into white gold. White gold jewelry is a mix of gold with alloys and coated in rhodium to ensure a nice shiny finish. On the other hand, platinum jewelry does not require alloys or plating to result in the desired white sheen.
Weight: If you were given two identical rings, one made of platinum, and one made of white gold, and asked to close your eyes and pick which ring was made of which metal, would you be able to? The answer is an easy “yes!” Platinum jewelry is heavier than gold jewelry because it is a denser metal. One can physically feel the difference.
Rarity: It is both rarer and harder to extract platinum from the earth than it is to extract gold. This is a major contributing factor to why platinum jewelry is indeed more expensive than gold jewelry. It’s a fact of nature that the more difficult it is to obtain something precious, the more luxurious and covetable it becomes. The beauty of gold is undeniable. Yet, there is a certain amount of prestige that accompanies a platinum piece of jewelry.
Hardness: Platinum does scratch more easily than gold. However, because platinum is so pure in composition, the color revealed underneath a scratch will match the rest of the ring and hardly be seen as a blemish. When a piece of gold jewelry scratches, the mark will be more obvious due to the alloyed nature of gold jewelry. Also, when polishing platinum, with its immense density, very little metal is removed insuring platinum’s lasting value.
Platinum vs. Silver
The difference between platinum and silver can be even more subtle than platinum and gold, particularly when it comes to tonality. Both metals have cooler, silvery undertones. In addition, both platinum and sterling silver are hypoallergenic. However, silver is much softer and more susceptible to tarnish than platinum, which is highly durable. Again, we find that platinum’s rareness makes it tens of times more expensive than silver. If your budget allows for platinum when purchasing a piece of jewelry that’s meant to last a lifetime such as an engagement ring or wedding ring, we recommend you take the plunge.
More Modern Metals
There are even more metals that you could imagine on the jewelry market today, besides silver, gold, and platinum. Damascus, tantalum, zirconium, chrome, titanium, carbon fiber, and meteorite are just a few. Again, each metal comes with unique properties that make it appealing to different wearers. For example, Damascus has a one-of-a-kind ribbon-like grain that is created by folding steel together; zirconium is a dark, pitch-black metal, and carbon fiber boasts extreme durability. Still, if purity and luxury are what you seek, keep platinum in mind. Hardly any other metal used for jewelry today comes close.
Expertly Made & Customized Jewelry
The best way to better understand platinum jewelry is to experience it yourself. Lux Bond & Green has an extensive collection of platinum designs, including platinum diamond engagement rings, platinum diamond wedding rings, as well as platinum diamond earrings. In fact, Lux Bond & Green has one of the largest collections of platinum jewelry found on the east coast. While we select each piece of jewelry with care and attention, if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you can employ the assistance of our expertly trained and non-commissioned staff. Lux Bond & Green’s team of gemologists, designers, and master metalsmiths allow you to enjoy our custom jewelry creation services. We’ll work with you on creating your vision from start to finish, and from diamond selection to sketching, drafting, and model-making, you'll stay informed throughout the process.
Now you can shop platinum vs. gold jewelry savvily online, or at your nearest Lux Bond & Green with a greater understanding of the most popular jewelry metals available today. Whether you’re browsing a favorite designer’s new collection or dreaming up the perfect engagement ring, we’re here to match you with your next beautiful and meaningful piece of jewelry. Remember that regardless of your metal choice, the investment will be a valuable one that you can cherish for your lifetime and pass on to loved ones.