Platinum or white gold. Which one is better?
A lot of people are unsure about the differences between platinum and white gold. They look pretty similar, but one has a much higher price than the other! More expensive doesn’t necessarily always mean better, however. Whether platinum or white gold is better depends on a lot of factors, most of which depend on your personal preferences (and budget).
Platinum is a pure chemical element, like gold or silver. Also like silver, platinum will almost always be marked with its purity in hundredths. “Platinum” jewelry is usually 95 to 100 percent platinum by weight, but the purity may vary. “PT 900” means that the metal contains 90 percent platinum. Gold, by contrast, is measured in karats. 24 karats indicates that a piece is made out of virtually 100 percent gold. Most high quality gold jewelry consists of 40 to 75 percent gold, or 10 to 18 karats. In order to create white gold, jewelers must mix pure gold with some amount of another metal that gives it a white hue. White gold also frequently receives a rhodium plating to keep it shiny and bright white. Since rhodium is chemically related to platinum, it’s no wonder platinum and white gold look so similar. Platinum is almost never coated with anything.
Platinum is a lot harder than white gold, but this is not always necessarily better. White gold is less expensive, in part, because it is so much easier to work with. Jewelers can craft white gold into beautiful pieces with far less effort than platinum, so they charge less for their time. White gold is still quite durable, especially when it’s created from gold mixed with platinum. It’s just easier to work with white gold. Platinum, on the other hand, will retain its shape and hardness for longer. This might be useful for some people, but hopefully your hands and ears will not be exposed to a lot of harsh chemicals or open flames, regardless of the type of metal your jewelry is made of!
Another difference between the two metals is their weight. Platinum is denser and heavier than gold, so jewelry made from platinum will likewise be significantly heavier than jewelry made from gold. This does not usually cause any discomfort, but it is worth knowing. While gold tends to be very hypoallergenic, platinum is even less likely to cause an allergic reaction. If you’re extremely sensitive to metals even in high quality gold, platinum might be the way to go. Lastly, there is a very slight difference in color between platinum and white gold. As previously mentioned, white gold is a very bright white-silver color, whereas platinum is more of a blue or grey.
Both metals are very beautiful, and again, the choice of which is better depends almost entirely on personal preferences! Whatever your budget or aesthetic preferences dictate, you can have lovely, durable, quality jewelry. There are millions of beautiful pieces out there made from each metal, and one is sure to meet your needs.