Differences Between Platinum And White Gold
Many people do not understand the differences between platinum and white gold. They are similar in appearance, but they are actually quite different. Is platinum worth paying more for? Read on to help you decide which precious metal you should choose for your wedding, anniversary or special occasion.
The most obvious difference between platinum and white gold is composition. By its elemental nature, platinum is the stronger of the two metals. It has a denser composition than gold meaning it feels heavier than gold. Platinum is a noble metal that is highly durable and malleable. This unusual combination means it is highly sought after for jewelry. Platinum is typically alloyed with small amounts of cobalt or iridium. White gold is yellow gold that is combined with lighter colored metals, such as nickel, palladium or zinc to create its white appearance. Of the two, platinum is the stronger metal that will last longer while showing less wear and tear. These two metals also differ in their composition of hypoallergenic elements. For instance, platinum is a highly hypoallergenic metal with very few occurrences of allergic reactions. White gold often uses nickel as part of the composition which can lead to irritation and reactions for certain individuals.
A big reason why people confuse these two metals is the similarity in appearance. They both offer a white, bright luster. While their appearance is similar, there are a few differences between platinum and white gold that are easy to spot. First, platinum is naturally white and gold is yellow. Gold must be alloyed with other white metals to give it a white color. What's more, the white luster of platinum has more of a glossy sheen than white gold. White gold tends to take on a creamy color. White gold often features rhodium plating to reduce tarnishing and improve durability.
The other big difference between the two is value, which in turn affects the price. Platinum is the rarest among the big 3 metals used in jewelry. Gold is far more abundant than platinum. The value of a piece of jewelry is determined by several key factors. The biggest factor is the abundance or the lack thereof of the metal type. For example, platinum is 30 times rarer than gold. With this connection of abundance and rarity in mind, the logic follows that platinum has a much higher value and cost than gold. The abundance is not the only factor affecting the price. The purity of the metal composition is also crucial. For instance, platinum 950 contains 95% platinum vs. 18k gold which contains only 75% gold. While we don't recommend 18k gold for wedding bands [18k gold is too soft!] the point is that platinum rings contain a higher purity of precious metal.
Historically, platinum has always been more expensive than gold because of the worldwide demand for platinum for industrial, electronic, medical and jewelry purposes. But in the last two years, the spot price of raw platinum has fallen below gold per ounce. This is an exceptional situation and we strongly recommend all of our customers to take advantage and purchase platinum jewelry and save money during this lull in demand.
Another way these two metals differ is that platinum is slightly more likely to scratch than 14k white gold. However, platinum will not lose metal from the surface when scratched, meaning the metal is displaced but not eliminated. A scratch in white gold typically means a loss of metal from the piece of jewelry. In fact, over many years gold rings get thinner and thinner from everyday use. Ask one of your older relatives or friends to show you a ring they've worn for decades and you will notice the thinner bit on the palm side of their ring. Every white gold ring requires re-plating at some point. Of course, both metals can be easily polished and cleaned by a professional jeweler.
By now, you know what makes platinum superior to white gold. From durability to appearance, platinum wins. Your wedding band is a symbol of your commitment. We cordially invite you to shop our amazing selection and save on hundreds of styles.