White Gold vs Platinum

Which is better? The answer might not be as simple as you think. This guide will walk you through the pros and cons of each and help you decide which is the better choice for you.

Which is better? The answer might not be as simple as you think. This guide will walk you through the pros and cons of each and help you decide which is the better choice for you.

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Which Is Better?

When you’re shopping for an engagement ring, wedding ring or other custom-made jewellery , most people know from the beginning what their preference is for metal colour. If you’ve decided you like to look of a white metal, then there is one more choice to make and that is to decide between Platinum and White Gold.

Although similar in appearance, these two metals are actually quite different materials with very different properties. This sometimes means a particular design is better made in one metal over the other. Our jewellers work with these metals every day and if your design lends itself to a particular choice, we will be happy to give you our guidance.

One question our jewellers are frequently asked is “Which metal is better…White Gold or Platinum?” It turns out, the answer to that is not quite so straight forward. They both have their advantages and disadvantages and your design choices can play a big part in determining which metal is best for your piece.

Durability

Platinum and White Gold are both durable metals which respond to impact, pressure and scratches in different ways.

Platinum is a very dense metal which means it has excellent resistance to wearing away. A wedding ring made in Platinum could be worn for decades and barely lose any thickness at all. The downside of Platinum is that it tends to lose its high polish and sharp edges fairly quickly. This is not because they are being worn away but, more accurately, they are being moulded like clay around the surface of the ring. This can result in small ‘bruises’ and dents on the metal surface that over time creates its own unique finish called a patina. It is this particular characteristic that can mean some design elements are better in White Gold.

Although not as dense as Platinum, White Gold is intrinsically strong and fine details have more rigidity. If a design features hand engraving, mill grain or square edges, these details will be retained by White Gold better than Platinum. The downside of White Gold is that it is more susceptible to wearing away. If you have ever seen an old White Gold ring, it is likely you would have noticed that it has become very thin due to the metal wearing off over time.

Your jeweller will assess your design and ask you questions about your lifestyle, occupation and how often you’re most likely to wear your piece to determine which metal’s durability is better suited for you.

Colour

Another separating factor is colour. While Platinum is a naturally white metal, White Gold is made by combining pure gold (which is yellow in colour) with alloying metals such as Palladium. Because of the yellow metal content, White Gold is actually slightly grey/off-white in colour. This can be corrected by a surface treatment called Rhodium plating.

Rhodium plating is the application of a very thin layer of a metal called Rhodium that is electrically plated on to the surface of the White Gold to change it to a brighter white colour. This plating wears off over time and needs to be reapplied throughout the life of the jewellery. The plating can last around 3 years if you take good care of your jewellery.

Cost

The final consideration is cost. Platinum jewellery is typically more expensive than White Gold jewellery, however the need to replate White Gold means there are additional maintenance costs over time when compared with Platinum, which only requires a polish every few years. We offer discounted plating and polishing for all of the pieces we create.

Pairing

When choosing your metal, it is important to keep in mind any future purchases of jewellery too. Any jewellery that may rub up against each other, like an engagement ring and wedding ring, will need to be made of the same metal, in order to ensure that one is not wearing the other away over time.

At a Glance

The below infographic provides a summary of the differences between these two popular metals.

If you would like more advice regarding which metal to choose, feel free to book an obligation free appointment with one of our jewellers to discuss which option suits your requirements better. Contact us here.

Platinum
VS
18ct White Gold

AT A GLANCE

Platinum

18ct White Gold

Cost

$$

More expensive than 18ct White Gold

$

Less expensive than Platinum

Purity

95% pure Platinum

75% pure Gold

Hardness

More prone to dullness caused by small bruises on the surface

Stays polished longer and is more resistant to small scratches on surface

Weight

1.28 x

1 x

Colour

Bright silvery-white colour remains over time

Naturally warm-grey in colour, requires Rhodium plating to achieve a bright white finish

Maintenance

Repolishing every few years

Repolishing and re-application of Rhodium plating every few years

Response to pressure

More likely to bend and reshape without losing metal

More rigid and more likely to become thinner with wear and tear

Best choice for designs with engraved patterns on the outside

Best choice for designs with small diamonds set in fine claws

Best choice for square or bevelled edge designs

Best choice for fine, delicate rings

Best choice for mens classic wedding rings

We specialise in designing and crafting exquisite engagement rings that are as individual as you.

Come in for a design consultation with one of our friendly jewellers, and choose from a carefully sourced selection of loose diamonds, sapphires or other coloured gemstones. All engagement rings are lovingly made in our studio workshops and are covered by our lifetime guarantee.

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Select from our wide range of women’s and men’s wedding ring designs or create your own unique design.

Choose from a wide selection of metal types, diamonds and gemstones and receive expert advice on the perfect wedding band for you. You can even experience our workshops first-hand by literally making your own wedding bands.

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Talk to an expert

Sydney: (02) 9223 2006

Melbourne: (03) 9662 3005

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Please enter your details below to ask us a question or to schedule an appointment with one of our jewellers. SYD (02) 9223 2006 MELB (03) 9662 3005
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