cart Cart (0)

Platinum vs white gold: What's the difference?

Platinum has become an increasingly popular choice of metal for engagement rings and other types of jewellery in recent years - and it’s easy to see why. Dazzling in colour, contemporary in style and incredible durable, platinum ticks a lot of the boxes that many consumers are looking for in jewellery.
 
Thinking about committing to a custom-designed piece of platinum jewellery? We’ve put together a comprehensive list of pros and cons to help you make a more informed decision:

handmade sapphire and diamond platinum engagement ring SilverStone jewellery


What are the benefits of platinum jewellery?

 
- Durability
 
Perhaps the biggest advantage to platinum lies in its durability. Gold, even in its purest form, will slowly erode over time as the metal rubs against your skin and sustains the occasional knock here and there. No matter how well a gold ring is made, at some point it will require reshanking as the band wears thin.
 
In contrast, platinum simply does not wear away. A platinum engagement ring or wedding band will, in all likelihood, be durable enough to easily survive a lifetime of daily wear. In fact, in all our years in business, we’ve never once seen a platinum ring that had sustained damage through regular wear and tear!
 
- True white colour
 
While the brilliant shine of white gold always makes for an eye-catching piece, it might surprise you to learn that white gold is not actually white. Rather, it is simply yellow gold that has been plated in rhodium, a dazzlingly reflective metal that gives white gold that special lustrous shine. Over time, this coating wears off to reveal the original yellow gold beneath, and will require you to get the piece rhodium plated.
 
Platinum, on the other hand, is blessed with a natural, rich white lustre that will retain its shine forever, doesn’t require rhodium plating and will never turn yellow or tarnish.
 
- Hypoallergenic metal
 
Those with sensitive skin know all too well that gold jewellery can trigger all sorts of allergies.
 
Why does this happen?
 
Blame the alloys.
 
You see, 9ct gold is just 37.5 percent pure, 14ct gold is 58.5 percent pure and even 18ct gold, the purest gold used in jewellery making, is only 75 percent pure. The rest of the metal is made up of all sorts of alloys (copper, nickel, zinc, silver), which your  body may or may not have a negative reaction to.
 
Platinum offers a welcome reprieve from gold-induced allergies - the metal is 95 percent pure and is classed as a hypoallergenic. If you don’t suffer from allergies, this may not seem like much a of big deal, but for the people who do it is the metal’s biggest selling point.
 
- Affordable
 
One big misconception surrounding platinum jewellery is the idea that platinum is exorbitantly expensive. In years gone by this was certainly true, with platinum sometimes commanding twice the price of gold. Since then, however, the price has steadily dropped, and now platinum more or less costs the same as 18ct gold (at the time of writing, platinum is about $1 cheaper gram-for-gram than 18ct gold).
 
Do keep in mind that platinum is more dense than gold, so you typically require a couple more grams of platinum than gold to create the same design.
 

What are the drawbacks of platinum jewellery?

 
- High melting point
 
Platinum has a substantially higher melting point than gold (a whopping 700°C higher, in case you were curious), which can make repairs a little tricky. This level of heat can potentially damage diamonds and other precious gemstones, so they will typically have to be removed if a jeweller ever needs to retip a claw or carry out any other repairs near the stones. This may add extra cost to the repair service (though this expense is almost always far outweighed by platinum’s sheer durability).
 
- Easily scratched
 
Although platinum is an incredibly dense and durable metal, it is still quite susceptible to scratching - more so than gold. The good news is that these scratches are very different to those sustained by gold.
 
Why?
 
Well, when you scratch gold, the metal is removed from the jewellery altogether, typically resulting in an unsightly blemish that most people are quick to get removed. However, when you scratch platinum, the metal is simply moved from one place to another. Over time, and with enough of these ‘scratches’, the metal developes what is known as a patina finish, a natural layering of visible wear and tear that can give platinum jewellery a beautiful, time-worn appearance.
 
- Not as shiny as white gold
 
Despite the fact that platinum is naturally a vibrant white, it has to be said that it’s not quite as blindingly shiny as rhodium plated white gold. While many appreciate the comparative subtlety of platinum, those in search of a more flashy shine may be better suited to white gold jewellery.
 
Thinking about getting custom platinum jewellery made? Send us an email to book an appointment to come into our North Shore studio for a chat.

Customer service

+64 9 473 5299
lori@silverstonejewellery.co.nz
trusted member

 
 

Join our mailing list

Discounts, special offers, news & new arrivals
Email