Posted on 13th Jun 2012 @ 3:44 PM
When you buy jewelry you have a choice in terms of the metal used to make it. While both gold and silver are popular metals for all types of jewelry, platinum has become an increasingly popular choice, particularly for engagement and wedding rings.
So what’s the difference between platinum jewelry and gold jewelry?
- Hardness. Gold is a relatively soft metal that requires the addition of metal alloys to harden it. You can tell how much pure gold has been used in jewelry from the stamp that indicates how many carats (or karats) the gold contains. The lower the carat quality, the harder the piece will be. Common international carat qualities include 9 k, 14 k, 18 k and 22 k, although 22 k gold is considered by many designers to be too soft for wedding rings because they are worn constantly, usually for many years. Platinum is a hard metal that is used in an almost pure form (about 95%) for jewelry. However it is dense and so heavier than gold, which might be a consideration.
- Appearance. While platinum is a white metal, the addition of alloys to pure gold (which has a typically “golden” color in its pure form) produces a range of different colors. This varies from white gold to pink gold and even a darker coppery rose color. Yellow gold is also common. Today white gold is often rhodium-plated to make it look whiter.
- Cost. Platinum is considerably more expensive than gold – about double the price of 18 k white gold. The more pure gold there is in jewelry the more it will cost. So you can expect an 18 k gold ring to cost more than a 14 k gold ring. However, if stones or diamonds are part of the design, these will also affect price – and you might find an 18 k gold ring with small diamonds studs costing less than a 14 k ring that has been set with a valuable diamond. Whatever alloys are used to change the character and hardness of gold will also affect cost.
- Suitability. While gold in its various forms can be used for all types of jewelry, platinum is not normally used for necklaces, bracelets or earrings. Platinum is ideal for jewelry that will be worn constantly, because it is very long wearing.
Knowing the difference between gold jewelry and platinum jewelry will enable you to make a more informed choice when it comes to buying new jewelry.