Protip For Grooms

ring-1.jpgIf you’re considering buying a ring in the future Platinum rings are very desirable. Not only are they expensive, they look “fresh” and “modern”, where as Gold seems to be associated with older people, and certain ethnic groups which you may not identify with. Although in reality Gold has been prized around the world for thousands of years. Because Platinum is so expensive, you may not have considered it, or perhaps you have, but either way you’ve probably thought about white Gold.

It’s my opinion that white Gold isn’t a great choice for a ring. Especially if you want the look of Platinum (rather than the value as a precious metal.) People often select white Gold, like I said, because they either like the look of it, or they don’t like the look of yellow Gold. So if money weren’t an object Platinum would be the way to go. Fair enough; my wife has a white Gold ring because it was cheaper than Platinum, and she didn’t like the look of yellow Gold at the time (I still don’t, more on that later).

As I write this, Platinum is at $1,717 USD per ounce, Gold is at $1,168. Platinum is 47% more expensive than Gold, but it looks nice, so people compromise and get white Gold. Expensive stuff eh?

White Gold was invented by man to simulate Platinum. This is done by mixing “other stuff” into the molten Gold. That “other stuff” they mix in is often the worthless (toxic) heavy metal Nickel ($0.73/oz) which makes the metal more durable and “whiter”.

However about 1/8 (13%) of the population has a contact allergy to Nickel, so your white Gold ring, which you paid more for (because it was “watered down” with Nickel?!?) might discolor your finger or give you a rash.

That’s partially why you have to pay (or buy a warranty / service plan) to have your white Gold ring Rhodium plated every few months. Rhodium runs about $2,268/oz, however it’s inert and durable, and you don’t need much. When the Rhodium wears off the ring shows is silvery yellow color (white gold still has a yellow tint.) As a matter of fact, my wife’s white Gold ring has been out for two weeks (as it is every six-eight months) for Rhodium plating right now.

That means if you go with white Gold you’ve paid more for a ring with less valuable contents, that has to be coated in something more valuable every so often to keep it looking good, and possibly to stop it from turning your skin black, green, brown, and or giving you blisters etc. Yay!

So what’s the solution? Silver. That’s right Silver, the other white metal. You know, the stuff they make fancy beer mugs and spoons out of. Silver has been valuable since time immemorial, it looks very much like Platinum, (or Rhodium plated white Gold.) However it’s a fraction of the price, and virtualy nobody is allergic to it. Sterling (alloyed) Silver is also quite durable, great for making rings. Currently Silver is $18.14/oz. just 1% the price of Platinum.

I have a Silver ring, I quite like it, everyone assumes it’s white Gold or Platinum. Never once has anyone ever asked “Oh is that Silver?!” It’s always “Oh, I like white Gold!” or “Wow is that Platinum?” Also Silver rings are the same color all the way through, polish it up and it looks fantastic, wear it like normal and it goes a bit dull, like a real Platinum ring (rather than a Rhodium plated one) would. That makes it look less flashy and like you’ve been wearing it longer, I think that’s a good thing.

Another critical point is the cost. My ring was ≈$40, and that’s a very good thing, because when my first ring was stolen I was only upset about the loss of the sentimental object, not the loss of a thousand dollar asset. Also the prospect of getting it sized isn’t intimidating, as it costs all of $7.

So I really do recommend you to get a Silver ring if you’re considering white Gold, it looks better, costs less, wears well, and yes you can have diamonds mounted in it too.

However, I do understand, my wife has a white Gold ring, sometimes people can’t get over having a “cheap” ring. Then again some of us can’t get over paying a fortune for Nickel. I suppose that’s why I’d rather have a Factory Five than a real 1965 Cobra. They’re faster, handle better, look better and cost less.

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