Don’t Know How to Choose Between Platinum, Palladium or White Gold for an Engagement Ring?
These Pointers will help your decision
I’m a very lucky gal in that I get to play and see all kinds of magnificent jewelry pieces on a daily basis and having been in the jewelry business for 20 years, I’ve seen how different kinds of jewelry wears over time. I have noticed many customers who come in to Mark Diamond’s Jewelers requesting white gold for their engagement rings either have done their research and really know that’s what they want or they’ve been shopping elsewhere and have been grossly misinformed about the other noble metals.
Traditional metals that are used in jewelry are part of the “noble metals” group; the platinum group, silver and gold. These metals contain several metallic chemical elements that have outstanding resistance to oxidation, even at high temperatures.
Since pure 24k yellow gold is naturally yellow, it has to be alloyed with other metals in order to make it “white gold”. For instance 14k white gold can be alloyed with silver, palladium and nickel in order to make it “white” in appearance. Although all white gold is typically plated with a rhodium finish, this plating will eventually wear off and will need to be re-plated.
However a pro to owning white gold is that it is a much less expensive alternative to platinum and it scratches very differently. Every scratch made in gold actually removes metal like taking your finger nail and scratching a piece of chalk. You end up with chunks of chalk under your nail.
Palladium is slightly harder than platinum on the Mohs scale and is slightly more scratch resistant than platinum. Compared to platinum, palladium jewelry is generally less expensive (about 0.6-0.8 times) and more in line with the cost of gold jewelry.
Another thing to look at is the density of the metals themselves. Platinum is very dense per volume compared to palladium. The weight of a finished piece in platinum is much higher (and therefore more costly) than the same piece made in palladium.
A downside to owning palladium vs. white gold rings is that white gold rings are typically harder and more scratch resistant than palladium rings because of their alloy composition.
Why isn’t palladium jewelry more popular since it offers such great luster which enhances gems?
Platinum is much rarer than both gold and silver — so rare, in fact, that all of the platinum ever mined could fit into your living room. Palladium,well it is even rarer than that!
Well firstly, palladium is typically more lightweight and doesn’t offer that usual feel of durability or heft that platinum or gold offer. Secondly, most bench jewelers are not very well versed in working with palladium. It has slightly different properties for casting and soldering that many jewelers do not have experience with and therefore often prefer to avoid.
Here at Mark Diamond’s Jewelers however, our bench jeweler knows how to work with palladium and actually wishes there was more of it out there.
Now knowing the pros and cons of each, well personally, I’m a platinum girl. I love the feel of it and how well it wears. Of course my husband still remembers to this day that he bought my ring when platinum was the highest per oz it had EVER been!
In order to keep the cost down, 14k or 18k white gold is definitely the most popular, however keep in mind, depending on the wearer depends on how often you will need to maintain it by retipping, rebuilding and/or re-plating.