Ask the Expert: To White Gold or To Platinum?

Local jewelry expert Jeff Kellmer sheds some light on the band-buying debate

Question: My fiancé and I were planning on getting white gold for our wedding bands since it’s less expensive than platinum — but now I keep hearing that white gold gets really nicked up, and that platinum lasts a lot longer, so I’m not sure what to do. What’s the deal with both of them?

Answer: Platinum is much more likely to last you for a very long time, says Jeff Kellmer, owner of Jeff Kellmer Private Jeweler in Conshohocken and Center City. “The molecules of white gold flake over time, but with platinum, the material sort of mends within itself, and therefore does not thin out the way white gold does,” he says. White gold is a more brittle than platinum, which makes platinum a much better material for jewelry that’s going to be in vulnerable places, such as a ring. “It’s one of the reasons all the finest jewelry stores in the world” favor platinum, he says.

Platinum does tend to be more expensive than white gold because it is much more rare. “There is far less platinum being mined out of the earth than there is gold,” Kellmer says. Your best bet is to look around at jewelry stores, compare styles and prices, and figure out what works best for you, between your lifestyle (how much do you work with your hands?), and budget.