Platinum vs. Silver: Same Color, Very Different Metals
Line up a bunch of jewelry from afar and the most basic distinction you can make is between silver and gold.
While deciding broadly between these two hues is mostly a matter of style and preference, choosing an exact type of metal jewelry is a bit more involved.
Let's say you decide on silver-hued jewelry. Do you actually want silver? Or perhaps platinum? (Or maybe even white gold?)
Platinum vs. Silver
Let's get the differences in appearance addressed first.
While at first glance both silver and platinum appear silver in color, the two metals are actually easily discernible to the naked eye. Both have gray undertones, unlike white gold which has a warmer, yellow undertone, but platinum is much brighter and shinier and silver has a duller, gray appearance.
The difference in durability is really no contest between platinum and silver.
Silver is a soft metal that wears down quickly and tarnishes easily. One of the biggest advantages of platinum is its high melting point, making it hard enough to not require any alloys.
Platinum rings are often 90-95% pure platinum, perfect for standing up to the test of the everyday wear of an engagement ring.
Silver is one of the most affordable jewelry metals. It's great for costume jewelry that goes in and out of style.
However, when the item of interest is a piece of fine jewelry you'll wear quite often, if not daily, platinum is well worth the investment. It's one of the most expensive metals for jewelry making, second to rhodium, which is typically only found as a coating over gold to increase its durability.
Wear & Care
Platinum is a metal of choice for jewelry wearers with sensitive skin. It's naturally hypoallergenic and shouldn't cause any skin irritation.
While most people aren't directly allergic to silver or gold, many of the metals that can be alloyed with them are common allergens.
Looking for low maintenance? Another point for platinum.
While all fine jewelry should be professionally cleaned by your jeweler a couple times a year, you won't need to do much else to maintain the hallmark luster of platinum. Silver, on the other hand, requires frequent polishing to keep tarnish at bay.
If you're researching for an engagement ring or other fine jewelry, the choice is pretty clear between platinum and silver. We also happen to know a great place to start your search for platinum jewelry - Platinum Guild International. Happy jewelry shopping!