Platinum vs White Gold: What is the Difference?

Platinum vs White Gold: What is the Difference?

Curious about the superior choice between platinum and white gold when it comes to jewelry? Look no further!

Within this comprehensive Twirl Weddings guide, I will undertake a thorough examination of these two pale-hued metallic options, providing insightful responses to inquiries such as:

  • Does white gold possess hypoallergenic properties?
  • What is the price range of platinum, and is it considered costly?
  • Between these precious metals, which one demands more maintenance?

Differences Between Platinum and White Gold

When comparing platinum and white gold, several notable distinctions emerge:

  • Platinum proves hypoallergenic, while white gold might provoke discomfort in individuals with sensitive skin.
  • For those seeking affordability, 14K and 18K white gold present more accessible options, while platinum engagement rings tend to carry a higher price tag.
  • While platinum retains its lustrous silver-white hue over time, white gold necessitates periodic rhodium plating to maintain its appearance.
  • In terms of durability against scratches, white gold jewelry exhibits better resilience, whereas platinum is more susceptible to scratching.
  • When it comes to prongs, white gold prongs are more prone to breakage, whereas platinum prongs demonstrate greater resistance to such incidents.

Origin – Platinum vs White Gold


While not as widely embraced as its golden counterpart, platinum possesses a distinct allure that entices numerous artisans to proffer engagement rings and wedding bands crafted from this precious metal.

Before the advent of platinum in the early 20th century, yellow gold held sway as the favored choice. However, as soon as platinum made its grand entrance, it became the primary white metal of choice. The allure of this captivating metal captivated both royalty and celebrities, prompting their fervent desire for platinum jewelry.

Glistening with an ethereal radiance, platinum stands as an extraordinary white metal distinguished by its remarkable density. A key facet of its value lies in the fact that platinum jewelry boasts a purity of 95%, with the remaining 5% typically comprising a platinum alloy of palladium or cobalt.

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In contrast, a 14K white gold adornment contains a mere 58.5% of genuine gold, distinguishing it from platinum in terms of purity.

Platinum, an exquisite metal derived from mining operations, stands as a precious rarity coveted for its scarcity, contributing to its elevated worth. While South Africa serves as a prominent source of platinum, the quantities discovered remain relatively modest.

Presently, platinum has become increasingly prevalent in the realm of online jewelry commerce, particularly in the realm of engagement rings, although its availability in physical stores may not be as widespread.


White Gold

Engagement rings crafted from white gold dominate the realm of jewelry retail, both in physical stores and online marketplaces, emerging as the favored choice since the 1990s when people started veering away from yellow gold.

The use of gold in jewelry dates back to ancient civilizations, including the Mayans, Egyptians, and Aztecs, who adored its brilliance. During those eras, gold was esteemed for its 24K purity, free from any impurities.

However, due to its inherent softness, pure gold proves impractical for jewelry applications. Discovering a piece of 24K gold jewelry, whether it be white, yellow, or rose gold, without any plating is a daunting task. As a result, wedding bands crafted from 14K or 18K gold enjoy greater popularity than their platinum counterparts.

While pure gold may carry a steep price tag, it lacks the durability required for everyday wear. To enhance its resilience, gold is amalgamated with other natural metals, bolstering its strength and rendering it suitable for daily adornment.

In its natural state, gold possesses a distinct yellow hue. However, the process of transforming it into white gold involves the amalgamation of various white metals, yielding not only enhanced durability but also a subtly lighter shade of yellow. To achieve the desired luminous white appearance, a coating is applied, imparting a brilliant radiance to the final product.

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Appearance – Platinum vs White Gold


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Platinum, the precursor to white gold, made its entrance prior to the emergence of its counterpart. Adorning the fingers of the affluent and aristocratic, it remained an unattainable luxury for the average individual, bestowed upon only the privileged few. Remarkably, platinum held the distinction of being the very first available white metal.

To identify a platinum engagement ring, one might encounter inscriptions such as “95 Platinum,” “PT,” “pt,” or “950” etched on the inner surface of the band. This marking signifies the exceptional purity of the platinum, standing at an impressive 95%.

Renowned for its unparalleled purity, platinum stands out as a hypoallergenic metal, making it an optimal choice for individuals with sensitivities to other metals.

While it is generally assumed that most platinum jewelry consists entirely of platinum, it is essential to exercise caution when purchasing items from platforms like Amazon, as plating can be applied to certain pieces. To ascertain the authenticity of platinum, it is advisable to seek out the appropriate stamping, ensuring the presence of genuine platinum throughout the entirety of the piece.

The popularity of platinum as an engagement ring metal remains somewhat concealed, primarily due to its limited availability in local jewelry establishments. The acquisition of platinum engagement rings entails a higher cost for jewelry retailers compared to other alternatives.

A notable advantage of platinum lies in its inherent whiteness, obviating the need for additional jewelry maintenance to preserve its alluring color. This characteristic serves as one of its most appealing qualities, adding to its allure and desirability.

White Gold

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The advent of white gold followed the surge in popularity of platinum jewelry, driven by the desire for an alternative white metal that was more affordable than platinum.

Creating a white gold engagement ring involves the blending of yellow gold with various other white metals, which serve to mitigate the inherent yellow hue. However, this amalgamation does not bestow upon it the lustrous silvery-white tone that has captured our collective admiration.

To achieve the desired brilliant silver appearance, white gold jewelry undergoes a plating process with rhodium, a member of the prestigious platinum group of metals. Rhodium is responsible for endowing it with that distinctively dazzling, sharp silver aesthetic.

It is important to note that rhodium plating is not permanent. Its durability fares better when applied to other jewelry pieces such as bracelets and necklaces.

The longevity of rhodium plating on a white gold ring tends to diminish at a swifter pace. Jewelry experts suggest reapplying rhodium plating annually to maintain its optimal appearance. To streamline this process, it is advantageous to seek out online retailers that offer comprehensive service plans, such as James Allen or Ritani, which include rhodium plating as part of their offerings.

It is worth noting that the rate at which rhodium plating fades can vary among individuals. I happen to belong to the category where it diminishes more rapidly, owing to the natural oils present in one’s skin. The chemical composition unique to each person can accelerate the wear-down process.

In certain cases, white gold may contain minimal traces of nickel, which stands as the most prevalent metal allergen.

Determining the need for rhodium reapplication becomes apparent when the underside of the ring appears lackluster and faintly tinged with a yellowish hue when your hand is turned over. This indicates the emergence of the underlying alloyed white gold peeking through the fading rhodium.

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Price – Platinum vs White Gold

The jewelry industry introduced white gold as an economical substitute for platinum, aiming to provide a more affordable choice. Nevertheless, the disparity in price between platinum and white gold is not readily apparent when comparing their spot prices. This discrepancy becomes apparent when considering the realm of exquisite jewelry.

Platinum possesses a significantly higher density compared to white gold, approximately 20% more. Consequently, crafting a platinum engagement ring necessitates a larger quantity of the metal due to its density.

In contrast, white gold engagement rings do not encounter this predicament. Additionally, purchasers have a wider range of options with white gold, depending on the karat they choose.

In general, platinum is reputed to be approximately 40-50% more costly than white gold. However, this disparity appears altered when viewed within the context of the jewelry industry.

Value – Platinum vs White Gold

It’s undeniable that platinum holds a superior economic worth compared to gold.

Should you decide to resell an engagement ring or wedding band made of platinum, chances are higher that you would obtain a more substantial sum than with white gold.

However, it’s not advisable to invest in platinum jewelry. Despite its rarity, platinum lacks significant demand. With the emergence of white gold, people shifted their preferences towards it.

White gold still possesses value, but it’s crucial to consider that 14K white gold isn’t pure gold. The inclusion of alloy metals in white gold brings down its price, necessitating a larger quantity to enhance its value.

For those seeking enduring value, both of these metals are excellent choices for everyday wear. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that both will experience wear and tear over time.

Platinum stands as an exceptionally durable metal. Some engagement rings feature platinum ring heads alongside white gold ring settings.

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Platinum boasts strength and resistance to breakage, it falls short in terms of scratch resistance compared to white gold. Regular polishing and meticulous cleaning become necessary to maintain its pristine appearance. Nonetheless, platinum exhibits a higher resistance to damage for prongs and other delicate metal embellishments when subjected to impact.

White gold, despite its rhodium plating, offers lasting value suitable for everyday use. However, it’s essential to consider that without a warranty covering it, the cost of rhodium plating maintenance falls on your shoulders.

The expense of rhodium plating can vary, ranging between $40 and $120, depending on the intricacy of the process and whether your rings require soldering. If this procedure needs to be carried out annually for several years, the cumulative cost can become burdensome.

When it comes to upkeep expenses, white gold engagement rings surpass platinum engagement rings. However, in terms of upfront costs, white gold serves as a more affordable option.

Final Thoughts – Platinum vs White Gold

Struggling with the ongoing dilemma of whether to opt for a platinum ring or a white gold ring?

Allow me to propose a suggestion: when it comes to engagement rings, consider the allure of 14K white gold instead of platinum. Here’s why:

  • 14K white gold boasts exceptional resistance to scratches, unlike its counterpart, platinum.
  • The widespread availability of 14K white gold makes it easily accessible, whereas locating platinum can prove to be more challenging.
  • Opting for 14K white gold allows for greater affordability, granting you the opportunity to allocate additional funds toward the centerpiece of your ring.
  • Furthermore, it’s worth noting that platinum possesses a weightier feel, which may not be appealing to everyone.
  • In terms of repair costs, platinum jewelry tends to be more expensive to restore compared to white gold jewelry.

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