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01 Aug

Platinum vs Gold - is it worth the extra cost in custom jewelry?

Have you ever wondered why most wedding jewelry is set in platinum and everything else in gold?

Natural Platinum  vs Natural White Gold

With gold and platinum prices reaching record levels, knowing which metal to use, and when, is a decision that is just as much about budget as it is about durability and feel.

Historically the cost difference between platinum and gold can be as high as 50% more for platinum since platinum is naturally a heavier, more dense mental, it weighs more. Hence, the same ring cast in platinum will be about 30% heavier, resulting in a very steep price difference.

So why is most wedding jewelry in platinum?

In its natural state, platinum is very dense and white and will not need to be “dipped in rhodium” for a white look. Due to it's weight many say it feels heavier and more luxurious. Platinum has a certain "feel" about it that gold does not. Also, because white gold has a slight grey look most gold jewelry is dipped in a material called rhodium which is a very durable plating. Rhodium plating has similar properties to platinum and make your jewelry look white and bright. Over time it does need to get re-dipped with wear but this process is readily available and not expensive. Also, after it's done your ring looks "like new" again.

So if it's less expensive, can be dipped in rhodium, why not always use gold?

The decision to spend the extra on platinum is a personal one beyond a budget. As consumers we make these decisions on many items we buy and wear all the time. Take sneakers for example. There are basketball sneakers for $35, $75, and I have even seen them as high as $150. Will the more expensive pair make you play better? Technically not - but they might wear better. Even so, if one pair is more comfortable or has more cushion to it you might actually play better or at least have a more enjoyable time doing so. And that's not to say that for one person the $35 pair isn't a better fit.

Buying jewelry is the same thing - we look at budget and fit.  Even if there are not budgetary concerns it is the weight of the ring that will decide the metal we use - and when I say weight, it's as much about the feel as anything else.

For a typical engagement ring that is worn every day for years and years, if the budget can absorb the cost of platinum there is nothing like it - which is why so many brides choose platinum. The differential in the weight lets the wearer know the ring is on her finger and the ring is essentially maintenance free. There are exceptions - of course - and since each situation is different  that is why working with an experienced jeweler to review you options is always best.

The good news is that there is really not a "wrong" choice. Just like choosing the style of the ring is a personal decision - the materials the ring is made of can and should be a personal decision as well.