When you are shopping around for top end, high quality jewelry, you will find that despite the endless array of designs available, almost all are made of either platinum or white gold. Their good looks and inherent value make these two metals the preferred choice for creating any type of high quality jewelry, whether it is wedding bands, engagement rings, dangling earrings, necklace pendants or bangles.
Most people find it difficult to choose between the two because they look almost similar. Learning a bit more about Platinum vs White Gold will help you make a more informed buying decision when you are looking for high quality jewelry.
Platinum vs White Gold – Composition & Appearance
Platinum is a naturally white metal. It has a luminescent white hue that is quite distinctive and differentiates it from other metals that are used in jewelry creation. When it is used to make jewelry, it is used in an almost pure form, so when you buy platinum jewelry, you should know that it will contain as much as 95% pure platinum. The remaining 5% metal is added to enhance the appearance and durability of the metal.
Unlike platinum, white gold is not a naturally white metal. Gold in its natural state is yellow in color. White gold is essentially an alloy that consists of a blend of gold and a few white metals. To create white gold artificially, pure yellow gold is first blended with palladium or silver to make it more durable. The resultant alloy is then plated with rhodium, which gives it the characteristic white color that is similar to platinum.
As with yellow gold, white gold too can be classified as 18K, 14k or 9K depending on the ratio of gold to other metals. For example, 18K white gold contains a blend of gold and copper or zinc in a ratio of 75: 25.
Ring Made of Platinum: 4.00 CT Asscher Cut VS Diamond Eternity Band
Platinum vs White Gold – Strength & Durability
Platinum and white gold are both strong and long wearing metals. They do not get damaged easily under normal conditions of wear and tear unless of course they are subjected to extreme conditions.
There is one major point of difference between the two metals however. Because platinum jewelry is made of pure platinum, the metal will not get discolored with the passage of time or if it happens to get scratched or scuffed. If you scratch the surface of a platinum ring, the lower surface will still look white.
White gold differs significantly in this regard. Because the white coloration is due to the rhodium plating, the color is limited only to the topmost layer. Although Rhodium is long lasting, over a period of time, this topmost white rhodium layer starts to look faded and dull. In addition, if the top surface happens to get scratched, the lower gold layer can be visible through the scratch mark. These scratches and fading of the white top layer can diminish the look and appeal of the jewelry.
Platinum does not need to be re-polished to restore its natural color. However, white gold needs to be polished or re-plated regularly to cover up the inevitable scratches, restore its white coloration and keep it looking good.
Platinum vs White Gold –Tendency to get scratched and scuffed
Platinum is very soft and pliable. It is softer than 14K white gold, which means it tends to get scratched more easily too. What is interesting to note however is that despite its tendency to get easily scratched, platinum does not get discolored. Over a period of time, it will develop a patina-like finish, which gives it the appearance of antique or vintage jewelry. A lot of people cherish this look and prefer to buy platinum jewelry only because of this.
White gold does not get as easily scratched as platinum but as we said earlier, when it does get scratched, it loses its white plating and exposes the lower yellow layer. This results in a ring that looks like it has patches of gold and white. Fortunately, a professional re-plating and polishing provides an easy solution. White gold is the preferred metal for people who like to have their jewelry looking shiny new even after several years.
Platinum vs White Gold – Wearing comfort
Platinum is denser and heavier than gold. When comparing two similar jewelry items, the one made with platinum will weigh much more than the one made of white gold. Some people find this heavier weight more to their preference, whereas others prefer the lighter version. If you are trying to decide between platinum and gold, this is another factor you should take into consideration. If you are more comfortable wearing lighter jewelry, you may find the heavier weight cumbersome after some time.
Platinum vs White Gold – Cost
Although white gold and platinum cost almost the same per gram, platinum jewelry is more expensive than a similar item of jewelry made from white gold. This is because platinum is denser than gold and more metal is required to create the item. This can also be seen in the heavier weight.