Now that you’ve narrowed down your perfect diamond, be it round or princess, oval or pear, the next question you’ll most likely ask yourself is: Should I look at platinum wedding bands? Though gold is still immensely popular, over the last decade platinum wedding bands and settings have gained steady ground. While there’s no wrong decision, there are a few factors that may impact which precious metal to choose. So keep these tips in mind when meeting with your jeweler and deciding on whether or not you want to look at platinum wedding bands or engagement ring settings (grooms, this applies to your wedding ring, too!)
1. Culture and Tradition
Gold has long been a tradition in weddings of many cultures. In Swedish tradition, the bride would have a silver coin from her father, and a gold coin from her mother in each shoe ensuring that she’d never be without. Indian families start investing in gold when their daughters are still young, in the hopes that she has plenty to wear on her wedding day and take with her into marriage. Jewish weddings traditionally state one must be married in a solid gold, unadorned ring, symbolizing many things, including the continuous love between a bride and groom (though many now use any platinum or silver, and switch to a diamond band after the ceremony). So, if your culture values gold, you might want to consider taking platinum wedding bands off your list! Otherwise, it’s entirely up to you to make your own traditions ☺.
2. Understanding Precious Metals and Alloys
- Yellow gold is the only pure form of gold. While 24K is the purest form (99.9% pure gold) your engagement ring will be set in 14K (58.3% pure gold) or 18K (75% pure gold). This is because pure gold is not incredibly durable, so it is mixed with alloys such as copper and zinc.
- The maintenance: Engagement and wedding rings set in yellow gold should be polished regularly to retain a shiny finish.
- Yellow gold is mixed with alloys such as silver, nickel, manganese and/or palladium to produce its white metal color. It’s coated in rhodium for a white, shiny finish.
- The maintenance: White gold rings should be polished regularly, and must also be re-dipped every few years to retain its color, or it will eventually revert to a yellow gold color, since that is its main ingredient. This is a fairly inexpensive process that can be done at many jewelers, some even doing it for free.
- Like white gold, rose gold is created through mixing pure gold with alloys. Yellow gold is mixed with copper to produce the pink hues (75% gold, 25% copper).
- The maintenance: Like yellow and white gold rings, they should be polished regularly.
- Platinum is a much more durable metal and in its rare form, comes in a gray, white hue. That being said, platinum wedding bands must have at least 90% platinum to be sold as platinum (or it must be advertised as platinum alloy).
- The maintenance: Though it’s finish may dull over the years, platinum wedding bands won’t change color and have to be re-dipped like white gold. It can be polished to retain a shiny finish.
3. The Cost
When looking at platinum wedding bands vs. white gold wedding bands or settings, the price difference can range $500-$1,000 or more for the same ring. There are two reasons a platinum wedding band will be more expensive than gold:
- Platinum is mined much less than gold, meaning it’s rarer, thus more expensive.
- Platinum is a denser metal than gold, so the weight of your ring will be higher. And since metals are priced by weight, the same ring will cost you more.
4. The Allergy Factor
Allergic to nickel or copper? Thank platinum wedding bands are the way to go, since it’s considered hypoallergenic since it is purer. Some jewelers may be able to source white gold without nickel, so be sure to discuss any allergies with your jeweler when you meet.
The bottom line when trying to decide whether a platinum wedding band is worth it is totally up to your preference, maintenance needs, and most importantly, your budget!
Brides! We want to hear from you! Are you going with white gold, gold, or platinum?