- Color is the most distinguishable difference between platinum and gold. Platinum is exclusively white, and most people associate gold with yellow. However, gold comes in many shades with white gold being the closest to platinum in appearance.
- White gold contains alloys of durable metals like nickel, zinc, and copper with a rhodium plating. Platinum, on the other hand, has a pure 95-98% platinum composition with minimal alloys mixed in.
- With white gold, you have a rhodium plating that gives it a bright silvery-white color and protects your ring. But, over time, the rhodium plating wears away and the white gold shows a more yellow appearance. When that happens, you can have it replated by your jeweler to restore its silvery white color. Platinum, on the other hand, will never turn yellow as its white color occurs naturally.
- Both gold and platinum have a lustrous surface, but platinum maintains the shiny look longer than white gold. White gold will lose its brilliance with normal to heavy wear and need polishing and replating.
- When creating jewelry, other alloys (metals) are mixed in to change the color, strength, shine, etc. However, some of these metals can trigger skin reactions. The most notable offender is nickel. If you have sensitive skin or an allergy to nickel, then opt for “hypoallergenic” options.
- Platinum, for example, is a hypoallergenic metal, so it is highly unlikely to trigger a skin allergy. When considering gold, yellow gold is the most hypoallergenic version of gold (white gold, rose gold, etc. all have higher percentages of other metals mixed in).
- When it comes to the weight of your piece, gold is lighter and less dense than platinum, so it may prove more comfortable to wear.
- In terms of scratches, platinum scratches more readily than 14k gold because it’s softer. 14k gold has approximately 58.3% gold composition, with the rest being alloys that make it hard to scratch or dent.
- However, the advantage of platinum is that it doesn’t lose any platinum when it’s scratched. Instead, the platinum metal just shifts to another part of the surface. This can be easily repaired and buffed to restore the flawless surface. When you scratch gold, the actual metal can come off the surface which makes buffing a little more challenging.
- Also, scratched platinum rings have an antique-looking patina finish, which is often considered desirable.
- Platinum and white gold look very similar to each other, but platinum will retain its “new” appearance for longer because of its purity and strength. White gold will have to be re-plated every few years, depending on the amount of wear it receives.
- Yellow, pink, and rose golds all have different mixes of copper and silver with the gold to alter the color. This can be a great option if you like the rosey color and want a durable piece of jewelry that’s also affordable.
- White gold needs the most upkeep to maintain its color. You will need to polish and replate it every few years to prevent it from turning yellow. Yellow gold and rose gold require polishing to maintain their appearance.
- Like all jewelry, platinum also tends to scratch and becomes dull over time. When you polish platinum, it smooths the piece rather than thinning the metal which means you can do it as often as you like.
- Platinum is the lowest maintenance and white gold is the highest.
STRENGTH AND DURABILITY
- While both precious metals are strong, platinum is more durable than gold. Its high density and chemical composition make it less likely to break than gold, so it lasts longer. The chemical structure also means that the metal displaces on the surface when it is hit so you don’t lose any of the precious metal.
- Despite being stronger, platinum is also softer than 14k gold. As a result, it scratches faster. However, higher karat golds (18k & 24k) are significantly softer and on par with platinum.
- The most durable of the golds is rose gold due to its high copper content.
- Platinum is almost always more valuable than gold. It’s a rarer metal, and platinum rings have higher densities and purities than gold rings. You also need more platinum to make a ring, so they often cost 40-50% more than gold.
- Platinum rings also tend to be more expensive than gold because more pure platinum is used in each ring and platinum is a heavy metal. You can have two identical rings – one made of gold and the other of platinum. The platinum ring will weigh more than the gold one and so it will cost more.
- The cost to manufacture platinum is more expensive than gold due to the higher melting point required during the casting process.
- A white gold ring costs much less than platinum for a similar appearance. And while its value depends on the karat, you will almost always pay less for gold than platinum.
Frequently Asked Questions
IS PLATINUM BETTER THAN GOLD?
Platinum lasts longer and can require less upkeep than gold. It’s pure, hypoallergenic, and a classic option. However, gold is more malleable, scratch-resistant, and affordable. Gold also comes in several color options whereas platinum is always silver-white colored. Neither is inherently better than the other as they each have their benefits.
HOW DO YOU KEEP PLATINUM FROM SCRATCHING?
Jewelry, whether platinum or gold, will get scratched. However, the best way to minimize the scratches is to consciously wear your piece. For example, don’t wear it to the gym where it’s likely to make contact with the metal bar and get scratched.
Over time, with normal wear, it will naturally incur some scratching no matter how careful you are. It’s natural for this to happen.
CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLATINUM AND WHITE GOLD?
It’s hard to tell the difference between the two with the naked eye at first. But over time, the rhodium plating on white gold can wear down and begin to show a yellowish tint. If you re-plate it when the white fades, they go back to being nearly indistinguishable.
WHICH IS THE BETTER CHOICE IF I WANT MY RING TO BE ENGRAVED?
Both platinum and gold can be engraved without issue, so you don’t need to factor that in when making a decision.
WHICH IS A BETTER INVESTMENT?
Platinum lasts longer and has a higher value, making it a better investment than gold. However, gold is still an excellent choice and still a very precious metal. More than 1,000 tons of gold are mined every year, but only a little over 150 tons of platinum are mined in a year. This scarcity makes platinum more expensive than gold most of the time. There are periods, though, when the jewelry market changes and platinum becomes less expensive than gold.
The Final Decision
Platinum and gold are both attractive options when shopping for precious metals.
Regardless of the metal you choose, there are tons of pieces available to match your style. So choose something that makes sense when you consider your budget, other jewelry, and personal preference.
Stop in our store to consult with our design team in order to determine which precious metal would be best for you!