- When it comes to choosing an engagement ring, many people choose white gold over platinum.
- This, however, is actually a mistake, according to a bespoke jeweller.
- White gold has a rhodium plating which will wear away over time, meaning the ring requires more maintenance than a platinum equivalent.
- Thanks to prices converging, platinum is now only slightly more expensive than white gold.
Asking someone to marry you can be one of the most nerve-wracking moments in a person’s life.
Even the most progressive of couples often find themselves feeling surprisingly traditional when it comes to proposals, finding a desire either to get down on one knee, or be proposed to themselves.
But of course, the focal point of a proposal is the ring.
While one man recently decided to propose with a choice of six rings, most pop the question with just the one. And choosing the right one can be difficult.
An engagement ring should be personal, so it’s hard to come up with hard and fast rules on how to pick the right one.
But according to a bespoke jeweller, there are certain mistakes everyone should avoid.
The main one? Choosing white gold over platinum.
If your partner favours silver jewellery over gold or rose gold, it can be tempting to get them a white gold engagement ring. However, according to Nikolay Piriankov, founder of bespoke jeweller Taylor & Hart, this is in fact an error.
“Most people aren’t aware of the difference between the two,” Piriankov explained to Business Insider. “They look the same but the reality is that there’s no such thing as white gold in nature.”
White gold is in fact yellow gold that’s been blended into an alloy with other metals to give it its colour, then given a rhodium plating on top of that.
The trouble is, that plating doesn’t last, meaning a white gold ring requires a lot of upkeep.
“Over time, the plating wears away and you have to take a white gold ring back to have it replated,” says Piriankov. “It’s an ongoing thing you have to be aware of.”
With that in mind, platinum – which makes up 80% of Taylor & Hart’s sales – is often a better choice.
While platinum is a little more expensive than white gold, it doesn’t cost as much as it used to, with the prices of the two having converged.
“Platinum used to cost almost double white gold but now it’s only about £100 or £150 ($128 or $192) more,” Piriankov adds.
Unlike white gold, platinum is a naturally white metal – 95% of a platinum ring is pure platinum, with the remaining 5% being other white metals which make the ring more workable.
In contrast, 75% of a white gold ring is yellow gold mixed in with metals like palladium and silver, which give it the silverish colour.
“There’s nothing wrong with white gold,” Piriankov says. “But given the small price difference, platinum is better value for the customer in the long term.”