Learning the ins and outs of jewelry is like learning a new language. Nowhere is this more clear than the differences between white gold and platinum jewelry.
The materials used to create jewelry are done for both form and function. When you purchase a ring or a necklace, you do so with the hopes your jewelry will last a long time. Certain materials hold up better than others to touch, temperature changes, and age. White gold and platinum may seem similar at a glance, but are pretty different in several ways.
Give yourself the gift of knowledge before the gift of jewelry. Below we’ll break down the differences between white gold and platinum jewelry. If you want an easier time finding authentic materials, check out our handmade necklaces, earrings, and charms.
What’s the Difference Between White Gold and Platinum?
White gold and platinum are both used to a great extent in celebrative jewelry. Engagement rings, wedding rings, and necklaces commonly use these materials for form and function purposes.
Both metals look similar because they have a silvery, white finish to them, but the difference lies in the minerals and alloys that make up the metal. White gold is made up of 75% pure gold and 25% palladium, and platinum jewelry is made from 95% platinum and 5% cobalt.
The Benefits of White Gold
Want a beautiful material for a great price? You can’t go wrong with white gold. Despite the fancy title, this material isn’t as expensive as its pure gold counterparts.
Jewelry alternatives allow you to enjoy a beautiful appearance without a high price tag. White gold has a shiny white luster, though cheaper versions will have a gray tint.
White Gold is Made of Several Alloys
White gold is not a pure material. This substance uses several alloys to create a sturdy result, which has the additional benefit of reducing its price.
Mixed metal is a popular solution not just in jewelry, but silverware and everyday appliances. The most common alloys used in white gold are:
White Gold is More Affordable
If you’re on a budget, white gold is the way to go. We love this material for how easy it is on the wallet and the eyes.
While a pure gold engagement ring could cost you thousands of dollars, white gold is easily less than half the price.
White Gold is Highly Durable
When you mix metals, you get all the best traits in one place. Pure gold is a very soft substance that doesn’t hold up well to wear and tear.
The best thing about white gold is that it’s hard to scratch or dent because the metal is a lot harder than platinum. The reason it’s harder than platinum is because the white gold alloy is mixed with metals like copper and silver, which are also hard.
White gold is quite tough and holds strong against dents, scratches, and temperature changes.
Another advantage of white gold over platinum is that white gold tends to be lighter than platinum, which helps people with larger rings that would like to reduce the weighted feel of a ring on their finger.
When we talk about the finishing of metals, rhodium plating is responsible for the shiny white brilliance of white gold. The metal would look pale yellow or off-white without this rhodium plating.
The plating will wear off, so you must go to a jeweler to get it replated every few years. How fast the rhodium fades depends on your lifestyle and what elements the metal is exposed to over time.
The Downsides of White Gold
White gold is a lovely material, but it’s far from foolproof. There are a few decent reasons why you should circumvent white gold in your jewelry choices.
White Gold Needs Replating
White gold may be durable, but it still changes its appearance over time. As such, your white gold rings and necklaces will need replating every five to ten years.
Rhodium plays a significant factor in why jewelry needs to be replated. For example, if you have household chemicals lying around, make sure to hide your jewelry from them. Household chemicals are harmful to white gold because it is plated in rhodium to sustain the silver finish.
If it didn't have the rhodium plating, white gold would look yellowish because of the high concentration of yellow gold in the alloy.
Because of this rhodium factor, white gold needs to be replated occasionally and can be time-consuming and costly to some.
White Gold is Not Very Hypoallergenic
Do you have sensitivities to certain kinds of metal? Steer clear of white gold. The mixed metal makeup of this material makes it a difficult gift for people with metal sensitivities.
If you have a spouse or kids with metal sensitivities, we also recommend keeping this material out of your jewelry drawer.
Related: The History Of Birthstones
Empowerment starts with knowledge. We run our jewelry brand on a transparent model, combining handcrafted items with personalized touches.
The Benefits of Platinum
While white gold is generally mixed with other materials, platinum isn’t mixed with anything. This approach gives platinum very unique properties you may find appealing.
While white gold is softer and more matte, platinum is very shiny. Scientists recently crafted platinum gold alloys to test out higher durability for this material.
Platinum is Hypoallergenic
Choose platinum for your engagement rings if you or your loved ones have metal sensitivities. You’ll get a beautiful and safe product in one gorgeous package.
Platinum Doesn’t Lose its Color
Platinum jewelry doesn’t lose its bright white color over time. If you don’t want to constantly replate your jewelry, this material will save you time and effort.
Platinum Is Easier To Maintain
You might like platinum for its easy maintenance due to the metal being so pure. Because a platinum ring doesn't need plating, it won't tarnish as much. And if it does tarnish a bit, you can easily polish it now and again.
Even though the shine of a platinum ring can be the subject of fading, people don't typically see this as a downside because of the natural patina that builds up as time goes on because of the metal's softness.
But if you don't like the soft glow of the patina, all you need to do is polish the metal to bring it back to its original shine and brilliance. There are many people who like the patina because it will make the diamond in the center shine much brighter.
When it comes to finishing, platinum has a low reflection point, making a diamond shine much brighter against the material. Over time, platinum produces a patina and will lose the original shiny finish that it started with.
This patina characteristic isn't a downfall, and it's something that some people prefer. But you can quickly restore the original shine by taking it to a jeweler to get it polished.
The Downsides of Platinum
The downsides of platinum depend on your tastes and your budget. Let’s take a look at why you may avoid this material in the future!
Platinum is More Expensive
Since this material is harder to find, you’ll have to stump up a little more cash. Expect platinum jewelry to fetch a price 40% to 50% higher than white gold counterparts.
Platinum Isn’t Quite as Durable
Remember what we said about pure gold and how soft it is? Platinum is similar. This material has a more malleable and sensitive quality, making it susceptible to the following:
- Becoming misshapen
Keeping the appearance of platinum involves regular polishing and touch-ups. If you’re not high-maintenance, you may want a different material!
Which Material Should You Choose?
We’re firm believers in personalization. White gold and platinum both have their strengths and should be considered carefully.
If you or someone you love has metal allergies, stick to platinum. This material is also a great choice if you want consistent color in your rings and necklaces. As long as you don’t mind a little upkeep once in a while, you’ll adore your platinum jewelry.
If you’re on a budget, we highly recommend white gold. This material blends multiple alloys for a durable and long-lasting result that gives you your money’s worth. Just expect to replate every handful of years.
If you are someone who prefers a shinier appearance, then you should choose white gold. White gold will need to be re-plated every few years, but your ring will keep its brilliance and shine if you do this.
You deserve jewelry that reflects your spirit and your values. Contact us today to start enjoying handcrafted rings, necklaces, and bracelets.