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White Gold vs Platinum - The Truth

January 19, 2018

White Gold vs Platinum - The Truth

This topic is something that comes up in almost every jewelry sale. Everyone asks me if they need to purchase platinum. The answer is it depends on the situation! I explain it just like this: in most jewelry stores, the employees work on commission so they are trying to increase the ticket price in any possible way. One of the easiest ways for them to increase the price is to convince you that you NEED platinum. On average, this increases the ticket price of the mounting by 40%.

We do not run our store this way. Our staff does not work on commission because we do not want you to be pressured into something you don’t need or want. Platinum is a great metal and some people have lifestyles that require the small level of increased safety that platinum provides. When looking at rings with a lot of micro pave’ platinum can be beneficial to help with the durability of those small prongs.

However, no metal is perfect. You can still damage platinum and have the risk of small diamonds falling out, just as you would with white gold. Platinum also scratches very easily and needs to be polished every year, while white gold holds up better to scratching but needs to be rhodium plated every year.  With either choice of metal this general rule applies: the smaller the prongs, the less metal holding the stone in, thus, a greater risk for diamonds falling out. In summary, you will pay a lot more when you choose platinum over white gold, and only gain a small increase in the strength of the metal.

Pros: White gold

  • White gold is a strong metal and much less expensive than platinum.
  • White gold scratches slower because it has to scratch through the rhodium (the outside coating that gives the jewelry a white color)
  • When polished and brand new, white gold and platinum are the same color

Cons: White gold

  • White gold needs to be rhodium plated every 6 months to a year based on amount of wear and tear

Pros: Platinum

  • Platinum is stronger than white gold by a small margin
  • Platinum is a much heavier metal because it is pure
  • When platinum scratches, it wears to a dull gray color. Many people like this and never have the ring polished

Cons: Platinum

  • Platinum scratches faster than white gold
  • Platinum prongs are more likely to bend rather than break
  • Platinum is generally 40-60% more expensive than white gold

Nerd Notes

  • Platinum is 95% pure and is mixed with 5% of other metals
  • 14K white gold is 60% yellow gold and 40% silver. Some stores use nickel which is lighter, weaker and can cause an allergic reaction
  • 18K white gold is 75% yellow and 25% silver. The purer the gold, the softer it is