White Gold and Platinum are popular choices when it comes to buying jewellery, but what makes them different? Below are multiple factors to make it easier to choose which is best for you!
Quality and Purity
White Gold isn’t a naturally occurring metal: it is mostly made up of yellow gold, mixed with white metal alloys like Palladium, Nickel or Silver. To give it its luminous sheen, it is coated with a rare, silvery-white metal called Rhodium.
Platinum is a naturally occurring white metal, it’s much rarer than gold: making it more expensive. For jewellery to be sold as Platinum, it must contain at least 95% Platinum.
For Platinum to be labelled as pure, it must be between 90% and 95% pure (we only sell 95% pure, hence Platinum 950). Due to being much higher in purity, it is also naturally hypoallergenic.
Reactions due to White Gold are more common than Platinum due to the multiple alloys it’s made up of, though they are commonly caused by nickel which is used to make the metal lighter. The Karat depends on how pure you White Gold will be: 9K is 37.5% pure gold, 14K is 58% pure and 18K is 75% pure. The rhodium layer can prevent reactions caused by nickel as there is a barrier between them, 18K gold is purer making it most hypoallergenic but it’s more malleable in this state.
Platinum is durable and dense, meaning the quality of the metal is less likely to degrade over time. Rather than obtaining scratches, the surface will develop little bumps and ridges from being worn on a day to day basis. This is a natural occurrence (called the Patina finish) and is considered desirable, as it shows the jewellery is loved and used - giving it an antique heirloom feel. Platinum is also around 20% denser than White Gold, making the ring feel more substantial and luxurious (even if the jewellery is quite fine!).
White Gold is a cheaper alternative to Platinum, though it tends to be more malleable - making it more prone to dents. It’s mixed with harder metals to make it more rigid and durable, it’s natural gold metal on its own is extremely soft and would bend out of shape easily. Though the coating of Rhodium increases the durability of White Gold.
It may seem that Platinum is more durable, but if both metals are made properly they should last generations.
White Gold tends to be a lighter and more affordable option between the two metals, this is because less gold is required to make it: unlike the 95% you need of Platinum. As well as this, Nickel is a cheaper metal making White Gold less expensive when it is used as an alloy.
Platinum is more difficult to work with, and often needs a jeweller with experience to produce a good job. Therefore, the labour cost is roughly 20% more than white gold. It also can not be re-used and re-melted like white gold. Meaning, any scraps and filings must be sent to a refiner which is very expensive.
The cost of buying and cost of care should be taken into consideration when choosing between the two.
Platinum is way more durable and is less likely to need work done like repolishing. This metal has a very high melting point so the diamonds are at risk of getting burnt, though due to new technology - using lasers - this should be less and less of an issue.
White Gold is good to have if you have a lower budget and you wish to spend more money on the diamond(s). But you may need to put more money into the care of this metal even if more jewellers are able to repair and resize it over Platinum. The Rhodium layer can wear off over the years, leaving a yellowish finish though this can be replated. Depending on wear of the jewellery, Rhodium plating can last anything from 1 to 3 years. Meaning it would need replating this often if you wish to do so.
Overall Platinum is more expensive, but it is considered more cost-efficient as you won’t need to maintain it as regularly as White Gold. Neither is necessarily better than the other, it just depends on your priorities with the jewellery.
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