Platinum Versus White Gold

White gold and platinum look the same.  So often people ask me what the difference is.  Why is it more expensive? What exactly is white gold?


White gold doesn’t exist naturally, it is made from yellow gold mixed with white metal alloys like palladium or silver.  After, it is given a coating of rare, silvery-white metal called rhodium, which gives its luminous sheen.

The reason for this mix is to strengthen the piece, gold is naturally very soft and on its own would bend out of shape.


Platinum is a naturally occurring white metal.  It is rarer than gold and much heavier and harder.  Because it is harder, platinum can be used in a purer form than gold.  Usually at about 95%.  Therefore, platinum is more expensive than gold jewellery.

I am often asked if their ring is actually made of platinum because it is scratched.  Platinum is more difficult to scratch but it does develop little bumps and ridges.  This is especially true of engagement and wedding rings which are worn every day.


The main advantage of white gold is that it is more affordable.  However, the disadvantage is that it may need to be recoated with rhodium once or twice a year.  This is because wear and tear can rub away the outer coating and reveal the yellow gold underneath.   It is not hugely expensive to have it recoated but it does mean that you need to maintain your jewellery regularly.

Platinum is initially more expensive.  However, it can be argued that it is more cost-effective in the long run.  For an engagement ring, it is considered the best choice because of this reason.


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