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Jewelry shopping can be intimidating. That’s why we started Ask Holden, our blog where we answer your FAQs, break down scary industry lingo, and guide you in finding the perfect piece of jewelry.
If you've been frantically googling "Does gold scratch?", "Does white gold scratch?", or "Does platinum scratch?", rest assured, there's no need to panic! Scratches and blemishes are completely normal and to be expected when it comes to precious metals like solid gold and platinum.
Why? You definitely aren’t alone in asking this, since for many, the engagement ring is their first-ever fine jewelry purchase. At Holden, we’re here to help make the ring shopping experience as uncomplicated and stress-free as possible, so we wrote this blog to set the record straight on everything you need to know about gold and platinum ring scratches.
Precious Metals Are Softer Than You’d Think!
To answer our earlier question, precious metals are a lot softer than many of the surfaces you may come into contact with on a daily basis, so light scratches and scuffs will begin to develop on any solid gold or platinum piece as you first start to wear it. Generally speaking, we’ve found that the initial scratches and scuffs on platinum and gold jewelry will always look the most noticeable!
As you continue wearing your engagement ring, it’ll actually start to accumulate more and more scratches until they blend together over time, developing into a lovely, soft sheen. Think of the rings of married friends and family members—they don't look as brand new and shiny (or matte) as yours, do they?
Most of our customers have let us know that they really love the way their jewelry wears over time, and we’re huge fans of it as well. The little scratches and scuffs that your ring develops are somewhat of a poetic parallel to marriage—not always a perfectly paved road, but the detours and missteps you make along the way are what ultimately bond you closer together.
Is Gold or Platinum Softer? The Mohs Scale
If you’re wondering whether a platinum ring will scratch more easily than a gold ring or vice versa, it’s important to remember that all precious metals will scratch and wear similarly over time. However, the Mohs Scale, which is used to classify the hardness of minerals, does provide a bit more clarity into the minute differences.
Platinum will typically rank at a 4 to 4.5 on the Mohs Scale, whereas a diamond has the highest grade of 10. This means that it’s relatively soft, although pure gold is even softer—18k gold will rank around 2.8 and 14k gold will rank between 3.5 to 4. This is because 14k gold has a higher alloy metal composition, and the alloy metals used in solid gold rings tend to be harder. Interestingly, white gold engagement rings can be a little more resistant to scratching in the beginning, since its rhodium plating will rank at about a 6.
However, all precious metals will inevitably scratch—so we typically recommend choosing your preferred metal based on your color preference! To learn more about alloy metals and how to choose a metal for your ring, you can read this we wrote on the topic.
Finish is a Factor…
The finish you choose for your engagement or wedding ring can also play a factor in the appearance of the initial scratches. With a mirror finish, your ring will eventually develop a bit of a patina and become less shiny. With a matte finish, the ring will gradually develop a bit of a shine.
To restore the original finish on your ring, you can always take it to a professional jeweler for re-polishing. If you bought your ring from us, simply send us an email at to get the re-polishing process started! Our re-polishing services start at just $40/item. If you purchased your ring from us with an Extend Protection Plan and are within the coverage term, you can reach out to their virtual claims assistant or call to file a re-polishing claim.
Generally speaking, we don’t recommend getting your ring re-polished too often since your ring can lose metal with each professional re-polishing service. In between polishings, we recommend cleaning your ring at home with a . If that doesn’t quite cut it, here’s a link to a we wrote on how to clean your ring with warm water, dish soap, and a soft toothbrush.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, there’s nothing you can really do to completely avoid platinum or gold ring scratches unless you want to avoid these metals entirely, which can be a good option for many! We’ve heard that some even consider purchasing replicas of their precious metal rings for traveling or work purposes—particularly when work might expose their ring to high temperatures or chemicals, which can be permanently damaging.
Whether you chose yellow gold, rose gold, or a white metal like 14k white gold, 18k white gold, or platinum for your engagement ring, trust that the initial scratches are going to look way more obvious than those that will develop as you continue wearing your ring. Don’t think of it as damage, but as marking the milestones of your relationship!
By the time you’re ready to purchase your platinum or gold wedding bands, you’ll barely even remember the alarm you felt when you discovered the first scratch on your engagement ring. Since you now understand how beautifully gold and platinum wear over time, you’ll never need to search for “white gold ring scratches” again!Shop All Rings