Posted on Thursday, June 1st, 2017 at 4:32 pm by Sara
Does this sounds familiar: “Platinum and white gold look the same but they sure aren’t priced the same. The difference isn’t a vast amount but... what gives? Which is the better deal?”
Although there are some similarities between platinum and white gold, there is no short answer to which is the superior precious metal. Let’s take a look at a professional’s side-by-side comparison!
Purity: Platinum is typically 90-95% pure which makes it the finest precious metal available! The most common alloys for platinum include iridium, ruthenium, and cobalt! White gold is typically composed into 14K and 18K gold, which means that the precious metal is alloyed between 25-41.5% with other durable metals, such as nickel, palladium, and zinc. The purity of any piece can be determined by locating and identifying the stamp, which is typically placed along the inside of a ring, back of an earring back, or clasp of a pendant.
Rarity: If melted in an Olympic sized pool, all the world’s platinum wouldn’t reach your ankles.
Durability: Due to it molecular properties, platinum is dense and malleable which also makes it Earth’s strongest natural metal. Should your piece knock against something hard, the platinum will displace but it will not chip off! A common example used by jewelers (pretending you have strength like Arnold Schwarzenegger) is that if you took a 3-foot bar of platinum and bent it in half, straightened it out, bent it again, and kept repeating the process, eventually the bar of platinum would become extremely strong and dense in the area that it was being bent. Adversely, performing this same process on a 3-foot bar of white gold would cause it to break in the middle. White gold is naturally soft so it is alloyed with other metals to help its strength! Over time, the gold and alloys will wear away so pieces that are worn regularly may have areas that need to be re-tipped or replaced over its lifetime of wear. Should your white gold piece need any repair work, it is easier for most jewelers to work with than its platinum counterpart, which typically requires a more skilled jeweler.
Finish: Antique-inspired pieces tend to lend themselves to looking best in platinum since the patina will add “years” to the of the piece. Meaning? A platinum piece will tend to look closer to 15-20 years old after being worn for 5 years. Platinum is naturally white and, therefore, will never have to be re-polished or rhodium plated but the surface of platinum will develop a patina (natural sheen) over time. White gold is naturally light, yellowish in color and rhodium plating will be necessary to keep up the bright, white look that is present when the piece is brand new. However, rhodium plating is a quick process once the piece has been re-polished and cleaned it will look almost identical to the day that it was purchased! Rhodium plating will also help prevent any allergic reaction to the alloyed metals within the white gold.
Popularity and Price: White gold is still a top choice among customers, although it is partially due to the absence of knowledge about platinum. In previous years, platinum rings out-priced their white gold look-alikes by a few thousand dollars which helped make white gold the more affordable and obvious choice. In more recent years however, the difference in price has been considerably reduced and the price of platinum is now typically within a few hundred dollars of the white gold version. This is, in part, due to the price of gold going up while the price of platinum has remained more constant. Even designers are jumping onboard with the choice of platinum and are crafting more pieces from this precious metal because of all the reasons we listed above (see who we are referring to here)!
We hope this helps you understand the differences in platinum and white gold a little bit better! If you’re interested more personal help, please reach out to us here!