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Platinum Rings or Gold Rings?

A Brief Synopsis

When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, the question of what metal type to choose will invariably come up. Although whatever your choice, platinum engagement ring, or white gold engagement ring, you are certainly a winner, there are however certain distinguishing characteristics between the two metals.

Platinum Rings

Platinum is a heavier and denser metal than white gold and is more expensive than gold which contains a combination of alloys. Platinum rings are extremely appealing for the following reasons:

Platinum is incredibly durable (much more so than white gold.)
Platinum will hold your loose diamond or gemstone more securely than white gold which is a softer, more pliable metal.
Platinum develops a beautiful sheen or patina over time.
Platinum rings are hypoallergenic and will resist tarnishing better than gold.

Gold Rings

Gold rings are much less expensive than platinum rings and have the following characteristics:

Gold will not scratch as easy as platinum.
Because gold also contains other alloys its color will fluctuate depending on the purity of the gold that is used.
Gold will tend to fade eventually and will require repolishing.

In Depth Analysis

Platinum is valued as the finest metal for jewelry. It is the strongest metal and weighs twice as much as its gold counterpart. Additionally, the exceptional weight and density of this precious metal make it extremely attractive and desirable, and will increase its value significantly. Platinum engagement rings, and platinum diamond rings, have taken the market by storm due to the fact that the sheen or patina of the metal does a better job than gold of highlighting/contrasting the beauty of the set diamonds. The platinum metal is part of a group of six metals including; platinum, iridium, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, and osmium. These metals are all extremely similar to platinum in their chemistry, density, and weight. As a matter of fact, they are often difficult to distinguish from each other. Platinum jewelry is also unique in that it is the only metal that is of 90% to 95% purity.

Gold in its purest form is an extremely soft and pliable metal. Because it is so soft and malleable it cannot be used in jewelry since it would disfigure with normal wear. Because of this problem jewelers resort to an alloyed gold known as karat gold (different from "carat" measurement used to characterize diamond weight) Adding alloys to the gold will make the metal tougher and harder so that it may be used in jewelry applications. It will also result in different colors depending on the different combinations used. White gold contains combinations of platinum, zinc, copper, nickel, and palladium. This combination makes white gold a tougher metal than yellow gold. The amount of gold in any given combination is described by karat number. Examples of these numbers would be 14k, 18k, or 24k. The number indicates how many components of pure gold are included in the 24 components that make up the alloy. The following chart illustrates these combinations:

10k = 10/24 = 41.67% purity of gold
14k = 14/24 = 58.33% purity of gold
18k = 18/24 = 75.00% purity of gold
24k = 24/24 = 100% pure gold

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