Platinum vs. White Gold

Posted on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 in Informational, Precious Metals.

white gold diamond band

Platinum and white gold may look alike, but they’re actually very different metals. When it comes to durability, affordability, care, and other characteristics, these two precious metals differ greatly. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding between platinum and white gold jewelry:

Durability: Since platinum is stronger than gold, your gemstones will be more secure in a platinum setting. Compared to platinum, gold is a relatively soft metal. Over time, gold prongs can bend and loosen their grip on gemstones, which unfortunately might lead to lost gemstones. Because of this, it’s important to have your gold jewelry checked by a professional jeweler at least once a year just in case your prongs need tightening.

Metal Lost: Unlike platinum, gold jewelry wears down over time. Every time gold is scratched or polished, it loses small flakes. Not only are you losing a bit of value every time gold disappears from your jewelry, but you’re also losing some support as well. When gold prongs get smaller, you risk the chance of losing a gemstone. To avoid this, you may need to have your prongs re-tipped or recreated. Platinum jewelry, on the other hand, will never lose metal when scratched. Instead, the metal just gets moved around the jewelry piece.

Weight: Platinum weighs 60% more than 14 karat gold. Some people prefer wearing heavier jewelry, but if you’re someone who prefers lightweight jewelry, you may want to consider going with white gold instead of platinum.

Affordability: One of the most noticeable differences between platinum and white gold is their prices. White gold jewelry costs significantly less than platinum jewelry. Since platinum is denser than white gold, more of it is needed when creating a jewelry piece. Another reason why platinum is more valuable is because it’s 35 times more rare than gold.

Care: Unlike platinum, white gold jewelry is not naturally white. Gold is yellow, so in order to create its white appearance, it needs to be mixed with other white metals. Typically, white gold jewelry will be coated with rhodium to give it a brighter, whiter finish. Unfortunately, the layer of rhodium wears down over time, causing your jewelry to take on its initial yellow appearance. Because of this, you’ll need to get your white gold jewelry re-plated every few years, which is something to consider when comparing the price tags of platinum and white gold jewelry.

Hypoallergenic: Both platinum and white gold are alloyed with other metals. Platinum is 90-95% pure while 14 karat gold is 58% pure. The two metals commonly added to platinum alloys are iridium and ruthenium, which are both hypoallergenic and part of the platinum metal group. White gold, on the other hand, is usually alloyed with nickel, which is the metal that tends to trigger allergic reactions. Typically, the amount of nickel present in white gold alloys is small enough that it won’t usually cause an allergic reaction, but those with highly sensitive metal allergies might want to consider avoiding the metal altogether and select platinum instead.

As you can see, there are numerous benefits to selecting platinum over white gold. However, these benefits come at a cost (platinum’s higher price tag). When deciding between these two metals, weigh the pros and cons so that you can feel confident selecting one metal over the other. If you have any questions regarding platinum or white gold jewelry, please contact us at 414-276-2457 or