Platinum is a naturally white metal that maintains its white color and finish for a lifetime. Platinum is also a hypoallergenic metal because little alloys are used to make the metal jewelry quality. Platinum reigns supreme in the jewelry industry because it is a solid, heavy metal that will maintain its density for generations.
Though platinum is dense, it is still very malleable- which works in the ring's favor. When a platinum ring is polished, bumped, dropped, or nicked, the platinum simply moves to the side, and can be polished back into place to look good as new. Many jewelers refer to platinum as ‘heirloom quality' for this reason.
Gold is a precious metal that is naturally yellow. It comes from the earth very soft and is mixed with alloys to make it hard enough to use in jewelry design. The ratio of gold to alloys is denoted by the karat. For example, 24 karat gold is pure gold, 18 karat gold is 75% pure gold and 14 karat gold is about 58.33% pure gold.
Gold can also be mixed with different alloys to make it appear different colors such as black, green, red, and most commonly white. White gold is mixed with alloys like palladium, nickel, and zinc to give it a white tint. A white gold piece of jewelry is dipped in rhodium once it is polished and complete and this is what makes a white gold piece of jewelry rival a platinum piece. Through time, it is common for the rhodium plating to wear off the surface of the ring and to reveal a more yellow patina. A white gold ring can be re-dipped in rhodium easily and often to help maintain its white finish.