Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs platinum?

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Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs platinum?

Postby lochnessie » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:26 pm

I'm shopping for wedding rings, and plan on purchasing a basic thin band to go with my 14k white gold engagement ring. I can purchase the 14k white gold band for ~$100, and a platinum one for ~$300 - neither one is going to break the bank, and I'm not concerned about the potential color difference. I can be rough on jewelry - any insight as to which metal is more durable? I understand that platinum is harder, but I also read that it may scratch more easily.

I also wonder about the long-term maintenance costs - I don't relish the idea of regularly having to get the rhodium plating redone on a white gold ring, and can see that adding up over time. The Boglehead in me wonders if the premium for platinum is really worth it, though, or if it's all just marketing hype trying to upsell me to the more expensive metal.

Any thoughts/experiences you have are certainly helpful - this is a purchase that I only want to make once! Many thanks from a lurker finally turning poster. :happy
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:15 pm

I wear a platinum band - does it scratch? Yes. Does it lose metal when scratched? No, it is simply displaced. Gold band - does it scratch? Why yes, gold is softer than platinum when comparing purity of the ring metal. A higher content gold ring will be softer than platinum. My band is .950 - a gold band with that level of purity would be too soft and you would wreck it with the level of activity you indicated. Platinum doesn't need any maintainance - you can use a jewler's cloth to wipe it down from time to time, otherwise it just develops a patina over time, and nothing unsightly. On the other hand, a friend of mine has a platinum ring that has gouge marks in it - obviously if you abuse it, it can be damaged. But there are examples of my folks gold bands lasting nearly 50 years, scratched/polished - why yes, they've seen the test of time. Gouged, abused - no. Treat your ring like you treat your marriage. :wink:

BTW, $300 is cheap for a platinum ring - either you have really small hands or you are getting a good Boglehead price on it. :wink:
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby kitteh » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:18 pm

I've worn my gold class ring for decades with no problems. I obviously don't wear it when I'm digging in the garden.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby Jay69 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:36 pm

I have a simple 14k gold band, its never off. I dig in the garden with it, work around the shop, fix cars etc, I'm hard on it. It looks well used and thats just fine with me. The ring is about 10 years now. The ring before this one I had for about 10 years before I lost it to the bottom of a lake fishing one day, oops!
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby Random Poster » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:29 pm

A $50 silver ring works for me.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby Dulocracy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:40 pm

My wife is allergic to nickel, which is found in white gold. We therefore went with platinum. I joke with her about her "allergy" getting an upgrade. She and I have loved our rings thus far. The minimal scratching that my ring has looks more like it has minor texturing, so it does not look unnatural. (I should take it off before working out or working in the yard). Hers is still without scratches at all. Unless you look very closely, you cannot see the scratches on mine. We have been happy with platinum.

I will also echo Grt2bOutdoors in saying $300 is insanely cheap for platinum. Do make sure you are buying from a credible jeweler.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby jepetto » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:49 pm

You might also consider palladium. It's the same chemical group as platinum, so it shares many of properties, including color and hardness. However, it's less expensive per ounce and less dense, so your a palladium ring will be cheaper than platinum, without the hassle of recoating white gold.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby mhc » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:59 pm

I have a gold and platinum ring. It has not been off for almost 10 years. I'm sure it has a few minor scratches, but it looks just fine next to my $15 casio watch.

I would recommend a ring with nice rounded edges. Some rings are more comfortable than others. Try some different ones on.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby hsfan92 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:32 pm

No one will be looking at your ring anyway. I have had white gold for ten years with no problems.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby Eldendor » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:59 pm

I think color should be a consideration too. My wife and I are firmly in the silver-looking camp. Goes with my watch (and all the door knobs in my house). The platinum does scratch but isn't really damaged from it under normal use. In fact I really like the patina it developed. There is a lady in my office though that prefers the pristine gleam of brand-new platinum. She takes it to a jeweler annually to be polished.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby TxAg » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:15 pm

Platinum stays the same color. White gold eventually starts to yellow as the rhodium coating wears off. It looks ok with other white gold so no big deal. If your engagement ring is white gold then pick the same for your band....otherwise they'll mismatch in a few years.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby serbeer » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:27 pm

Wow, where can you get platinum band for $300 nowadays? I got mine over 6 years ago (4.5 mm, 950) for nearly $600 and it was considered to be exceptional deal that I only got thanks to some size-related pricing anomalies on the jeweler's site I purchased from, even after another $50 spent to resize it.
If you can get a decent (not hair-thin) platinum band for $300--hurry, hurry.
Mine stays in excellent shape despite sports and gym workouts.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby Ricola » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:33 pm

I didn't have to worry about durability because after a few years of marriage my fingers got too fat to wear it comfortably anymore. See if they have an adjustable model. :D
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby lochnessie » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:43 pm

serbeer wrote:Wow, where can you get platinum band for $300 nowadays? I got mine over 6 years ago (4.5 mm, 950) for nearly $600 and it was considered to be exceptional deal that I only got thanks to some size-related pricing anomalies on the jeweler's site I purchased from, even after another $50 spent to resize it.
If you can get a decent (not hair-thin) platinum band for $300--hurry, hurry.
Mine stays in excellent shape despite sports and gym workouts.


I managed to find the deal through a particular large, reputable online jeweler that's currently running a Living Social deal. I'm looking at a thin (2 mm wide) "comfort fit" band since my engagement ring is pretty thick (about 5.5mm). I've tried on a few different widths and settled on that style. I was surprised at the reasonable cost, though!

Thanks for all the input so far, all! Definitely gives me some more to think about.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby bottomfisher » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:19 pm

I'm shopping for wedding rings, and plan on purchasing a basic thin band to go with my 14k white gold engagement ring. I can purchase the 14k white gold band for ~$100, and a platinum one for ~$300 - neither one is going to break the bank, and I'm not concerned about the potential color difference. I can be rough on jewelry - any insight as to which metal is more durable? I understand that platinum is harder, but I also read that it may scratch more easily.


I purchased a white gold band from a jewelry store in the mall for $200-300 right before our honeymoon (thats another story). Went to cruise ship gym first day on honeymoon cruise. Wasn't in the mindset of removing jewelry. I grabbed a steel gripped dumbbell and felt this immediate crunch from the ring. Sure enough sustained some gashes in the new wedding band. Told my wife and she picked up a few other $10-20 bands from the first port of call. I'm not even sure which one is the gold one anymore. I wear the imposter ring at all times now (including gym and lawn work) despite the wear and tear; its not that noticeable and even so it doesn't bother me.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby serbeer » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:26 pm

lochnessie wrote:
serbeer wrote:Wow, where can you get platinum band for $300 nowadays? I got mine over 6 years ago (4.5 mm, 950) for nearly $600 and it was considered to be exceptional deal that I only got thanks to some size-related pricing anomalies on the jeweler's site I purchased from, even after another $50 spent to resize it.
If you can get a decent (not hair-thin) platinum band for $300--hurry, hurry.
Mine stays in excellent shape despite sports and gym workouts.


I managed to find the deal through a particular large, reputable online jeweler that's currently running a Living Social deal. I'm looking at a thin (2 mm wide) "comfort fit" band since my engagement ring is pretty thick (about 5.5mm). I've tried on a few different widths and settled on that style. I was surprised at the reasonable cost, though!

Thanks for all the input so far, all! Definitely gives me some more to think about.


I suppose it makes sense that if my 4.5 mm was great deal at $600, then 2mm one is great deal at $300, and living social did for you what size pricing anomaly did for me at the time...
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby midareff » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:48 pm

lochnessie wrote:I'm shopping for wedding rings, and plan on purchasing a basic thin band to go with my 14k white gold engagement ring. I can purchase the 14k white gold band for ~$100, and a platinum one for ~$300 - neither one is going to break the bank, and I'm not concerned about the potential color difference. I can be rough on jewelry - any insight as to which metal is more durable? I understand that platinum is harder, but I also read that it may scratch more easily.

I also wonder about the long-term maintenance costs - I don't relish the idea of regularly having to get the rhodium plating redone on a white gold ring, and can see that adding up over time. The Boglehead in me wonders if the premium for platinum is really worth it, though, or if it's all just marketing hype trying to upsell me to the more expensive metal.

Any thoughts/experiences you have are certainly helpful - this is a purchase that I only want to make once! Many thanks from a lurker finally turning poster. :happy



Why would you have a white gold band rhodium plated? It's already white and can be finished shiny, satin, rough, or anyway you want. I have a white gold ring done part shiny and part satin finish (no rhodium). About every ten years or so it needs to have the scratches buffed out and the satin redone. It was maybe $10 or $20, very inexpensive. I'm a guy, I work on cars, do stuff around the apartment, etc., and I'm picky so about every ten years or so I get finishes redone IF they need it. My mom's wedding rings were platinum. After 50 years she had to have some platinum added to a part where it had worn thin.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:29 pm

Eldendor wrote:I think color should be a consideration too. My wife and I are firmly in the silver-looking camp. Goes with my watch (and all the door knobs in my house). The platinum does scratch but isn't really damaged from it under normal use. In fact I really like the patina it developed. There is a lady in my office though that prefers the pristine gleam of brand-new platinum. She takes it to a jeweler annually to be polished.


That's a mistake, the polishing will take a little bit off the ring, each year. She is litterally wearing it down. :oops:
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby midareff » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:00 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Eldendor wrote:I think color should be a consideration too. My wife and I are firmly in the silver-looking camp. Goes with my watch (and all the door knobs in my house). The platinum does scratch but isn't really damaged from it under normal use. In fact I really like the patina it developed. There is a lady in my office though that prefers the pristine gleam of brand-new platinum. She takes it to a jeweler annually to be polished.


That's a mistake, the polishing will take a little bit off the ring, each year. She is litterally wearing it down. :oops:


+1 ... maybe once a decade would be more like it IMHO.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby Sam I Am » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:22 pm

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby midareff » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:47 pm

Sam I Am wrote:Anyone here wear a tungsten ring? Seems they would be very, very durable. They are inexpensive, and can by dressed up a bit, if you desire.

I am considering buying a tungsten set for wife and I to use as "exit" rings. No way do I want our current set to be buried with us.

Of course the frugal solution would be a garbage bag twist-tie. :D

Sam I Am



There is decorative stainless also, with imitation or real gemstones and almost any combination of enameling.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby PowDay » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:50 pm

One Google search for "degloved finger' was enough to convince me that I will only every wear a soft gold band that can easily be removed my emergency personnel, and is less likely to be caught in machinery. (even if I do sit behind a computer M-F.

I ordered a standard white gold benchmark ring from amazon.com, this way If I ever lose it I have it saved in my amazon history and can reorder before the wife finds out.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby Quidnam » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:01 pm

I have a plain stainless steel band that has held up nicely for the last 8 years...
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby dratkinson » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:03 pm

Engagement/wedding sets also come in titanium---inexpensive, tough, shinny silver color, and they wear like steel.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby ossipago » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:39 pm

Cobalt chrome, stainless steel, tungsten, titanium, and palladium are all hypoallergenic, silvery, durable, and much cheaper than gold/platinum.

midareff wrote:Why would you have a white gold band rhodium plated? It's already white and can be finished shiny, satin, rough, or anyway you want. I have a white gold ring done part shiny and part satin finish (no rhodium). About every ten years or so it needs to have the scratches buffed out and the satin redone. It was maybe $10 or $20, very inexpensive. I'm a guy, I work on cars, do stuff around the apartment, etc., and I'm picky so about every ten years or so I get finishes redone IF they need it. My mom's wedding rings were platinum. After 50 years she had to have some platinum added to a part where it had worn thin.


My understanding is that most very white looking white gold is rhodium-plated - the underlying alloy is too yellowish otherwise. I think some white gold alloys are switching to Au-Pd/Au-Pt instead of Au-Ni; maybe that makes a difference.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby Kernschatten » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:38 am

ossipago wrote:Cobalt chrome, stainless steel, tungsten, titanium, and palladium are all hypoallergenic, silvery, durable, and much cheaper than gold/platinum.
I would advise staying away from tungsten. I heard stories of issues with the metal as a ring, but thought I could make mine last. It lasted about 2 years before a tiny chip appeared in the metal. It lasted a little under three years before a crack went through the entire ring.

Plus side... it never did scratch.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby pennstater2005 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:47 am

As far as the rhodium plating is concerned, with some places if you purchase a warranty rhodium plating is included with it. That's the case with my wife's rings. I purchased a warranty for each ($99) and she has each of them re plated once a year at no cost.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby midareff » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:35 am

ossipago wrote:Cobalt chrome, stainless steel, tungsten, titanium, and palladium are all hypoallergenic, silvery, durable, and much cheaper than gold/platinum.

midareff wrote:Why would you have a white gold band rhodium plated? It's already white and can be finished shiny, satin, rough, or anyway you want. I have a white gold ring done part shiny and part satin finish (no rhodium). About every ten years or so it needs to have the scratches buffed out and the satin redone. It was maybe $10 or $20, very inexpensive. I'm a guy, I work on cars, do stuff around the apartment, etc., and I'm picky so about every ten years or so I get finishes redone IF they need it. My mom's wedding rings were platinum. After 50 years she had to have some platinum added to a part where it had worn thin.


My understanding is that most very white looking white gold is rhodium-plated - the underlying alloy is too yellowish otherwise. I think some white gold alloys are switching to Au-Pd/Au-Pt instead of Au-Ni; maybe that makes a difference.



I had a white gold ring made for me maybe a dozen years ago with an heirloom stone in it. I had them finish it satin and part shiny..... after a decade it had become a little scratchy and it was polished out and the satin redone. My jeweler said they had to be careful, and were, that they don't turn the metal into a yellowish. Those who work on white gold jewelry with clumsy hands, insufficient knowledge and a lack of caring ... ...... can turn anything yellow. Old world custom craftsmen know what and how to do it and do not have this problem. If by some chance it did happen you could always rhodium plate it then, not upfront.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby dm200 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:45 am

Just my 2 cents, but I think durability of the marriage is a much higher priority than durability of a ring. :happy
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby lochnessie » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:39 am

dm200 wrote:Just my 2 cents, but I think durability of the marriage is a much higher priority than durability of a ring. :happy


Absolutely agree! I just want to have a ring that can last as long as I hope my marriage does :wink:
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby ossipago » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:39 pm

Kernschatten wrote:
ossipago wrote:Cobalt chrome, stainless steel, tungsten, titanium, and palladium are all hypoallergenic, silvery, durable, and much cheaper than gold/platinum.
I would advise staying away from tungsten. I heard stories of issues with the metal as a ring, but thought I could make mine last. It lasted about 2 years before a tiny chip appeared in the metal. It lasted a little under three years before a crack went through the entire ring.

Plus side... it never did scratch.


Tungsten (technically, tungsten carbide) is very, very hard, but also brittle. It can be broken by the right kind of sharp blows. Many people consider this an advantage, as it makes getting the ring off in an emergency much easier - just use a hammer and chisel. Even if they do break, you can find nice tungsten carbide rings for $50 - 100 - one reason people like them is because losing or breaking them is not such a big deal.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby dm200 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:39 pm

My wedding ring is actually my father's. He stopped wearing it because he was around farm equipment. It is a plain gold band, and it has my parents' initials and date of their wedding.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby AustenNut » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:45 pm

Be careful mixing your metals. If you get a platinum band next to a gold one, the platinum band can eventually rub down the gold one. I don't know how long it would take, but it is a concern I would address before proceeding.

If you're open to mixing metals, I would highly recommend palladium. It is strong but doesn't get the scratch patina of platinum. It stays white without rhodium plating, and one can go swimming in chlorinated pools with it without causing any damage (unlike gold...this is assuming you swim in a chlorinated pool regularly, not once in a blue moon). And it costs less than either gold or platinum. The only problem we had with palladium was that none of the local jewelers would create in the work, so when they created the design, they had to send it off to have it created. But, the local jeweler can work on the ring if it ever needs to be resized, or something like that.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby TxAg » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:02 pm

ossipago wrote:
Kernschatten wrote:
ossipago wrote:Cobalt chrome, stainless steel, tungsten, titanium, and palladium are all hypoallergenic, silvery, durable, and much cheaper than gold/platinum.
I would advise staying away from tungsten. I heard stories of issues with the metal as a ring, but thought I could make mine last. It lasted about 2 years before a tiny chip appeared in the metal. It lasted a little under three years before a crack went through the entire ring.

Plus side... it never did scratch.


Tungsten (technically, tungsten carbide) is very, very hard, but also brittle. It can be broken by the right kind of sharp blows. Many people consider this an advantage, as it makes getting the ring off in an emergency much easier - just use a hammer and chisel. Even if they do break, you can find nice tungsten carbide rings for $50 - 100 - one reason people like them is because losing or breaking them is not such a big deal.



Bingo. That's what I have....although I don't really like wearing a ring (love my wife...just not the jewelry)
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby TxAg » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:03 pm

AustenNut wrote:Be careful mixing your metals. If you get a platinum band next to a gold one, the platinum band can eventually rub down the gold one. I don't know how long it would take, but it is a concern I would address before proceeding.

If you're open to mixing metals, I would highly recommend palladium. It is strong but doesn't get the scratch patina of platinum. It stays white without rhodium plating, and one can go swimming in chlorinated pools with it without causing any damage (unlike gold...this is assuming you swim in a chlorinated pool regularly, not once in a blue moon). And it costs less than either gold or platinum. The only problem we had with palladium was that none of the local jewelers would create in the work, so when they created the design, they had to send it off to have it created. But, the local jeweler can work on the ring if it ever needs to be resized, or something like that.



x2 My wife's engagement ring is platinum and wedding band is palladium.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby ossipago » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:07 pm

TxAg wrote:Bingo. That's what I have....although I don't really like wearing a ring (love my wife...just not the jewelry)


If you don't like wearing a ring, tungsten carbide is a strange choice - it's very dense. Titanium is very, very light in comparison, and might work better,
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby musbane » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:41 pm

I guess I'm a traditionalist.

Plain gold sort of rounded rectangular 14 carat gold.

Many small scratches that only make it look like a slightly matte finish.

Bought new in 1976. Other than the above matte effect, doesn't appear to have actually worn at all.

There is a neat method of emergency removal using string wrapping around finger in a clever way, described by Brian Toss - a master marine rigger. I think you can google it.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby Blister » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:09 am

Have had a gold band for 38 years and not worn out yet. Does get a little tight at times. :D
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Postby Taylor Larimore » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:35 am

lochnessie:
Any thoughts/experiences you have are certainly helpful.

I dropped my wedding band overboard 30 years ago and never replaced it. We celebrated our 62nd anniversary last week.
"We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.” - Henry David Thoreau ...

Best wishes.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby dm200 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:50 pm

When my wife and I got married, we needed a wedding ring for her. She wanted a simple, gold band. However, all the rings we saw on display were the fancy ones. What we found is that they have the simple, gold ones -- BUT they keep them under the counter or in the back. I guess they want to sell the more expensive ones.
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Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Postby TxAg » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:03 pm

ossipago wrote:
TxAg wrote:Bingo. That's what I have....although I don't really like wearing a ring (love my wife...just not the jewelry)


If you don't like wearing a ring, tungsten carbide is a strange choice - it's very dense. Titanium is very, very light in comparison, and might work better,



I liked the weight in the beginning. It complemented the weight of my class ring which I wore on my right hand. Lately, I don't wear either.....just feels constricting to me. I'm kinda weird like that.....don't like wearing a watch or necklace either.
TxAg
 
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