Platinum vs White Gold Jewellery
by Lars Larsen
December 2, 2010 / Wedding Rings
There are several differences between platinum and white gold. Both metals have strengths and weaknesses, however there are a few variables to be considered when making your decision.
First of all, it is important to understand that while virtually all platinum jewellery is 96% platinum, gold comes in a variety of mixtures. The most common are 9ct (37.5% gold) and 18ct (75% gold). 24ct (pure gold) is too soft to use for jewellery. Also, all gold is yellow – there is no such thing as natural white gold. Gold can be made to look white by alloying (mixing) it with white metals such as palladium, then plating it with Rhodium (which is in the Platinum family).
One of the main difference between platinum and white gold is price. Pure platinum costs roughly twice as much as pure gold. Because there is a higher percentage of platinum used (95% versus 75% for 18ct gold) in making jewellery, the same design can cost significantly more in platinum than it does in gold.
Both metals have different benefits, and determining which set of benefits is most attractive to you largely comes down to preference. So, here is a breakdown of the differences:
Platinum wears better than gold. When you scratch it, you’re actually just rearranging the metal as opposed to removing it. You can wear a platinum ring for 70 years, and it won’t wear out. You may have to repair a gold ring to add material where it has worn off over time. However platinum is a softer metal. This means that it will bend and scratch easier than white gold, and because it is softer, platinum will lose its polish and appear dull faster than white gold.
Platinum is naturally white, whereas white Gold will need to be Rhodium plated every now and then to maintain its bright white appearance. Because white gold is harder, it will maintain that shiny polished look longer than platinum will. All our jewellery comes with a lifetime of annual cleaning and polishing (if the piece is white gold we will also rhodium plate it once a year).
As you can see, there is no clear cut winner in this contest. If your priority is longevity without wear, you might select platinum. If affordability or maintaining a shiny polish is more important than maintaining a bright white colour, gold may be the way to go.