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Platinum vs. White Gold

If you love the silvery look of a white precious metal, chances are you have been debating with yourself whether you should choose an 18K white gold engagement ring or a platinum engagement ring.

At first glance these two metals might seem visually very similar, but there are significant differences in their composition, durability, and price. Both are beautiful and popular choices, but which metal is best suited for you?

We spoke to our jewelry experts to uncover the key differences between white gold and platinum help you make the best decision for your engagement ring. Here’s what you should know about white gold vs. platinum.

Platinum vs. White Gold: Composition

Although white gold has been one of the most popular engagement ring setting metal choice for decades, many ring shoppers still may not know important information about how white gold is made. White gold is not a pure white metal, but a combination of metals. White gold is created with, of course, gold – which is naturally yellow in color. The gold is then alloyed with other white metals, like palladium or silver, to increase its hardness and create a white shiny luster. At Brilliant Earth, our 18K white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium to provide a bright white finish.

On the other hand, platinum is naturally white in color and is rarer than gold. There is no need for the addition of alloys or plating as it keeps its natural white luster throughout time and will never burnish to a more yellow color. Because platinum is one of the densest precious metals used to make jewelry, platinum rings tend to be heavier than white gold. Because of this, many people opt for platinum when they are concerned about longevity and durability. We do not recommend stacking platinum with gold since the differences in density may cause more wear and tear on your gold jewelry.

Platinum vs. White Gold: Durability and Care

When choosing which precious metal is best suited for you, everyday wear is one of the most important factors to consider. Both white gold and platinum are strong and durable metals, but the performance of the two differs greatly.

White gold is suitable for everyday wear, making it a popular choice for wedding and engagement rings. The addition of alloys helps to strengthen and increase white gold’s performance compared to softer golds. While, white gold is more scratch resistant than platinum, it is important to note that when scratched, some of the gold is lost and a scratch mark can be visible. Occasional professional polishing will help to reduce the signs of any visible surface scratching.

One of the most important things to know about white gold care is that daily wear will eventually cause the rhodium plating to gradually come off over time and expose the natural, yellowish-white tone of metal underneath. Exposure to chemicals like hand sanitizer and other household cleaners or disinfectants may accelerate this process. People who shop for white gold should be aware that this is an inevitability with white gold and Many people like this more “champagne” gold and continue to wear white gold long after the rhodium plating has worn off, but you also have the option of having your jewelry professionally re-plated to return it to its bright white color.

With daily wear, platinum sustains small scratches more easily than other metals, and may start to take on a matte or patina appearance. Contrary to white gold, when platinum is scratched, the platinum gets moved from one place on the ring to another rather than being completely removed. Many people enjoy the visual appeal of this unique luster, but you may also have the platinum surface professionally re-polished to return a more reflective shine.

Platinum vs. White Gold: Price

One of the more well-known differences between white gold and platinum is the cost. On average, platinum costs 25% more than white gold due to its rarity and density. When comparing both metals by their price per gram, you won’t see much of a price difference, but because of the different densities and the amount of each metal is needed to make the same ring, the prices will be different. Because white gold is a mixture of durable metals, it is more affordable than platinum.

It is important to note that although the upfront cost of a white gold setting is lower than platinum, white gold does require more frequent professional maintenance to maintain its sparkly white luster, and may not be a more affordable option in the long term.

Platinum vs. White Gold: Hypoallergenic Potential

Platinum is 95% pure making it the only true hypoallergenic precious jewelry metal you can buy. Because white gold is made from a mix of metals, some of these metals could cause skin irritation if you have a skin allergy or sensitivity. If you are aware or suspect any allergies, a platinum setting may be best suited for you.

Final Thoughts

Have more questions about these precious metals? Let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! If you are interested in learning more or comparing these metals in person, we recommend making an appointment at one of our showrooms to get a personalized consultation with one of our jewelry specialists. You can book an appointment at the showroom nearest you directly on our website here: Our Showrooms.

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