White gold vs platinum
If you’re interested in a silver-colored engagement ring, you have two options: white gold or platinum. There are pros and cons to each, so let’s talk about the differences!
So here’s the deal: there’s no such thing as “white gold.” White gold is just pure yellow gold alloyed with metals that make it whiter, like zinc and nickel. When a white gold ring comes out of casting, it’s actually a light gold, champagne color. Then we electroplate it with something called rhodium that turns the ring a bright silvery color, like what you expect from white gold. This is purely cosmetic; some people love the champagne color and even choose to keep the ring unplated! This plating degrades over time and will need to be redone occasionally. Depending on how often you wear your ring, your skin chemistry, and other factors, most people have their white gold rings replated every 2-4 years. Compared to platinum, white gold is more scratch-resistant but also a bit less durable and more prone to bending. Because it is alloyed with base metals like nickel, it can (very rarely) cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin.
Unlike white gold, platinum engagement rings are 95% pure platinum, which means that these rings are both hypoallergenic and a pure white color all on their own - no rhodium plating required. Platinum is denser than gold, so it’s more durable, but its surface is also softer. It sounds a little strange, but yes, platinum engagement rings are both stronger than white gold and scratch more easily! Your platinum engagement ring or wedding band will scratch within the first couple of days you wear it. Over time, these scratches will wear into a lovely patina with a subtle sheen, but if you’re looking for a ring that will stay shiny as long as possible, platinum might not be the right choice for you. Platinum is also more expensive than white gold.