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What’s the Difference Between White Gold and Platinum?

White gold and platinum are two metals that produce beautiful jewelry in white, which is always in fashion. The differences between the two are not always understood by the buyer, but both metals have benefits unique to themselves.

bvr-11cHere are two main factors to consider: hardness and malleability. Hardness refers to the tendency to scratch and dent, and malleability to the ability to shape and form the metal without its breaking. White gold is a more malleable substance, but in 18k is harder than platinum. That’s because 18k gold is 75% gold mixed with 25% palladium, silver and copper to make it harder. Platinum is 95% platinum and only 5% other metals, rendering it softer and thus easier to scratch and dent. It is superior for holding settings of diamonds and other precious gemstones because it is less malleable and therefore less likely to bend.

White gold is usually rhodium plated to keep its whiteness, which will wear off after a time. Platinum is not plated, so stands up to wear better. However, most jewelers can replate your white gold jewelry without problem and at little cost. A well-made ring, whether white gold or platinum, should last for generations.

Platinum is about 20% denser than white gold, which results in a more substantial piece of jewelry, feeling more luxurious.

fm6cDo you wonder why platinum is more expensive than white gold? There are four main reasons for this differential.

  1. Platinum is denser, so requires more material to make the same ring.
  2. Because platinum is more brittle than white gold, it takes a more skillful craftsman to fashion the jewelry, resulting in a higher labor cost.
  3. Platinum used in jewelry is purer than gold, so it takes less gold to make a ring, for instance.
  4. Platinum cannot be reused and remelted like gold can. Scraps and filings of white gold can be melted down and made into new jewelry; platinum leftovers must be sent to a refiner.

Is platinum hypoallergenic? Yes, it is. White gold made with nickel can cause allergic reactions in some people, but most white gold today is not made with nickel, but with palladium, silver, and copper.

What about serviceability? White gold is more serviceable, meaning that more jewelers are able to repair or resize it than platinum, which requires a much higher temperature to do the same repairs. That temperature difference can harm gemstones. However, with the use of lasers and other specialty tools can help eliminate these problems.

Which is a better investment?

Because gold is a more widely-traded commodity, it will always be easier to sell gold than platinum. But jewelry should be more than a financial investment. Ultimately, it’s more about what you find aesthetically pleasing than what you can sell it for.

Apples of Gold Jewelry offers a wide variety of jewelry in both white gold and platinum for your enjoyment. Take a look around our site. We think you’ll like what you see!



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