Today, jewelers have easy access to an astounding array of metals in various colors. Platinum vs. white gold vs. yellow gold vs. rose gold… Confused by all these choices?
While options such as palladium and platinum are becoming more and more popular, gold remains a fantastic choice. It is a darling of many. Learning about the differences between white, rose and yellow gold is a great way to narrow down your options.
Here is our quick verdicts: Yellow gold looks amazing on everyone. Rose gold is trendy. White gold is affordable. Platinum is durable.
Afraid of wasting your money? Scared of getting ripped off? The current fashion, maintenance, durability, your skin tone and personal preferences should inform your final choice.[toc]
Platinum is naturally white metal. Many jewelers use it in an almost pure form for jewelry. So, is platinum better than gold? No! Visually, white gold and platinum are identical. Provided you maintain and care for it properly, it will maintain its look for many years on end.
So how expensive is platinum? The cost mainly depends on factors such as the vendor; the amount of platinum used and ring style. Platinum tends to look best with rosy and fair skin tones.
Thinking about buying platinum jewelry? Here are some pros and cons to help you make an informed decision:
- Rarer than gold
- More durable
- Might require polishing and cleaning after several years
- Can get dull and scratched over time
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When it comes to engagement rings, white gold is the most popular. On top of being affordable, it is also more durable and brighter. It comes four different karat weights – 24K, 18K, 14K, and 10K. Karat is simply a measure of purity or fineness of gold.
White gold is a mixture of white metals like palladium, silver, and nickel with pure gold. Its coating is made of rhodium. Other metals are handy at helping to strengthen the gold as well as increasing its durability. White gold’s value mainly depends on the karat and the amount of metal that was utilized to make the jewelry. The design of a ring can also affect its price.
- More affordable compared to platinum
- Popular than yellow gold
- Scratch-resistant and more durable
- Compliments white diamonds better
- Great for rosy and fair skin tones
- To retain its luster and color, you need to dip it every few years
- The nickel in its alloy can cause allergic reactions to some users
24K white gold
Technically, there’s no such thing as “24K white gold”. As mentioned above, karat measures gold purity, meaning that the yellow tone fades away gradually as content of alloy metals increases. Hallmark “24K” on a gold piece simply tells you that the gold purity reaches at least 99.9%
Gold pieces become extremely soft at such high level of purity. So, wearing a 24K gold jewelry every day is not advisable, and you can hardly find pure gold jewelry today.
10K white gold
Compared to the other three, 10K white gold is the most durable. It features the lowest percentage of actual gold. 10K white gold has around 41.7% gold making it the best for costume jewelry. Based on the alloy, it may turn your finger green, or cause itching and rashes.
14K white gold
14K white hold constitutes roughly 58% gold with alloy metals making up for the rest. Most brands utilize 14K for their fine jewelry. Often, it is the most affordable compared to 18K, 22K and 24K.
18K white gold
18K white gold is 75% gold. It is very popular for engagement rings.
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Pure gold is mixed with alloy metals like zinc and copper to form yellow gold. Often, most people think that yellow gold is pure gold. That is not the case.
Just like with the other types of gold, the higher the karat amount, the higher its actual gold content. However, the less durable it is. Consequently, 14K or 18K gold is a popular choice for engagement and wedding rings due to their striking golden hue.
There is no doubt that yellow gold looks great on almost anyone. Nonetheless, it is particularly beautiful when you contrast it with darker and olive skin tones. On rose to pale skin tones, yellow gold looks less impressive. Yellow gold rings are a lovely choice for vintage-inspired and modern styles.
Historically, they are the most popular for engagement and wedding rings. Due to their malleability and easy-to-manipulate nature, they are excellent choices for rings that might need to be resized later.
- Hypoallergenic (it is the most hypoallergenic of the three)
- Purest in terms of color
- Easiest to maintain
- The most malleable
- An excellent complement to darker and olive skin tones
- Appropriate for vintage style settings
- Subject to dents
- Needs to be cleaned and polished regularly
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Silver and copper alloys mixed with pure gold make rose gold. Silver and copper help to strengthen it as well as give rose gold its rose color. The redder it is, the more copper used. A common mix ratio is 25% copper and 75% gold.
Rose gold, which is a lustrous pinkish metal, comes in pink, rose, and red shades.
- Does not tarnish
- Its pinkish-red color makes a great choice for the romantics
- Durable because of copper’s strength (it is tougher than white or yellow gold)
- An excellent complement to every skin tone
- Not hypoallergenic (can cause allergic reactions)
- Not as widely available
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Rose Gold vs. Red Gold vs. Pink Gold
Rose gold, red gold and pink gold are almost similar. The only noticeable differences come in appearance and composition. All of them are made of 75% gold combined with silver and copper alloys.
Goldsmiths and jewelry vendors might use the three names interchangeably. Of the three, the most common is rose gold. It is particularly common for engagement rings. All of them have a pinkish and lustrous tone.
The varying percentage of silver and copper indicates the color of gold. For example, the higher copper percentage present in red gold gives it a slightly stronger rose color.
Additionally, silver and copper alloys strength the gold. By itself, pure gold is not strong enough to form jewelry that you can put on regularly.
Platinum vs. White Gold
The two major differences between white gold and platinum are price and composition. White gold comprises of a mixture of highly durable metals such as copper, zinc, and nickel.
Platinum, on the other hand, tends to be more pure with 95-98% composition of platinum. The fact that jewelers need more platinum to make platinum jewelry causes its price to be 40%-50% higher.
White gold vs. platinum – composition
14K and 18K white gold jewelry constitute some gold and a mix of durable metal such as copper, zinc, nickel, as well as rhodium plating.
As we indicated earlier, platinum that jewelers use in platinum jewelry tends to be purer. It is typically 95% – 98%. The remaining percentage is silver and rhodium. More durable and stronger than gold, platinum is the densest and heaviest precious metal.
White gold vs. platinum – color and care
To the naked eye, the difference in color between white gold and platinum is unnoticeable. When compared to white gold and platinum, rose and yellow gold show unique colors.
Platinum tends to scratch more easily in comparison to 14K or 18K white gold. Upkeep or maintenance of platinum is higher than white gold as you have to polish and clean it regularly to preserve its smooth appearance. You will need to re-plate and re-polish gold but generally not as frequent as platinum.
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White gold vs. platinum – price
By now, you already know that platinum is costlier than white gold although their prices might be similar per gram. What informs the costlier nature of platinum is the fact that jewelers need more of it to make platinum jewelry.
Is platinum better than white gold?
No! You should always remember that platinum looks almost identical to white gold although it costs significantly more.
White gold, especially the 18K and 14K, is durable enough for daily wear. Therefore, if you are stuck for cash, buying platinum jewelry might be unnecessary.
In addition to that, platinum not only require maintenance, it also scratches more easily. White gold stands out due to its beautiful metal mixture coupled with a classic appearance.
Q: Does yellow gold make diamonds look yellow?
A: Yes, most definitely! It can be a good thing. Once diamonds are set in yellow gold, they reflect the beautiful nature of the beautiful metal.
It is very normal for a colorless diamond to look more yellow it is set in yellow gold. Consequently, yellow gold is an excellent match for a diamond with a bit more color.
Q: Is yellow gold high maintenance?
A: Well, yes and no! Yellow gold does not need the frequent re-plating of white gold. However, it is quite soft. Yellow gold can scratch or dent with wear. When taking part in vigorous activities, it is prudent to take off your yellow gold ring.
On top of that, you need to polish it once or twice annually to ensure it maintains its incredible look.
Q: Is it true that rose gold is very soft?
A: A myth is circulating that rose gold is extremely soft. The opposite is true. Of the three types of gold, rose gold is the toughest or hardest. Additionally, it has a high copper content that makes it highly durable.
If you are looking for a ring that you can wear every day regardless of your type of lifestyle, then rose gold is an excellent choice.
Q: How does a platinum ring age?
A: Unlike white gold that turns yellow, platinum loses its shiny finish and gains a patina. The slightly darker color not only accentuates your diamond, but also makes it look brighter.
Just a quick and gentle polish should restore the metal’s original shine.
Q: How do I tell it is time to re-plate my white gold jewelry?
A: All you need to do is keenly look at the base area of the inside lip’s band. If it has begun to turn yellow, then that is the natural white gold that is showing, meaning it is time to re-plate.
You can have a professional handle the complete polishing, cleaning, as well as rhodium plating of your ring.
After learning the basics regarding platinum vs. white gold vs. yellow gold vs. rose gold, it is prudent to consider these factors when in the market for jewelry:
This should be a chief consideration. For example, if you are into white diamonds, you will notice that they look remarkable in a setting that is made with all the three types of gold.
Have you ever noticed that fancy colored diamonds or colored stones tend to look best in yellow or gold settings? However, some like sapphires tend to look magnificent in settings characterized by white gold.
If your lifestyle is active, you should choose jewelry that will maintain its shine and great look for years.
Note: Rose and white gold are the strongest. Yellow gold is the most prone to dents, dings, and scratches.
Some people prefer the appearance or look of a particular type of metal to another. For example, if you tend to wear plenty of white gold or anything bright, you will be more inclined towards a white gold wedding or engagement ring than yellow or rose gold.
If you are into mixing up things with various colored jewelry, a ring that combines various colors should be a great choice.
If you are a trendy wearer of rings or any other ornaments, chances are high that you will appreciate those in white gold compared to yellow or rose gold, as they are the most popular.
On the flip side, if your style leans towards vintage or classic looks, you might prefer yellow or rose gold.
The final consideration is price. Just as with any other purchase, you want to derive the best quality from the type of jewelry you buy.
White gold vs. yellow gold prices vary by the actual gold content just as rose gold vs. white gold prices. Furnished with all the details we have offered on this primer, making an informed decision should be a walk in the park.
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