Fond of White Gold? But Platinum looks equally appealing? Find out which is better for you: Platinum vs White Gold.
Jewelry has been an integral part of human society for centuries. Whether it be monarchs with opulent crowns or someone proposing to their beloved, eventually, everyone needs to know about precious stones and metals.
While you may think you have jewelry all figured out, there will always be a new kid on the block to throw you off! Recently, the platinum vs white gold debate has been perplexing people all over the world. Luckily, we have compiled every argument under the sun for and against platinum vs white gold – which one is the winner?
What Is White Gold?
‘White Gold’ is the newest metal to hit stores. Like its counterpart ‘rose gold,’ ‘white gold’ is a combination of minerals that are mixed with pure gold to get the desired look.
Most white gold alloys are made by combining traditional yellow gold with white metals like silver or palladium. The alloy is then coated with the rare metal rhodium. It is this coating that gives white gold its signature pearlescent glitter.
Now you may be wondering – is white gold less valuable than regular yellow gold?
White gold is indeed diluted, but it is not any more diluted than the yellow gold jewelry commonly found in stores. Pure gold in its naturally occurring state is far too soft and damageable to be used in wearable regalias like rings and necklaces. This is why you will never find 24 karat gold jewelry in the conventional marketplace. 24 Karat gold simply is not practical.
Both white and yellow gold are therefore diluted to 18 karats, 14 karats, and nine karats. 18 karat gold is made of 75 percent gold and is, therefore, the purest form of white gold you are likely to find.
What Is Platinum?
Platinum, unlike white gold, is a naturally occurring metal. Since platinum is more durable, more substantial, and harder than gold, it is not heavily diluted or alloyed by other minerals. Platinum can usually be found at 95 percent purity. Platinum is the rarest and, therefore, the most expensive metal as of today. It is an excellently beautiful ‘white metal’ (the color is more or a pale silver in actuality) and is most commonly used to make diamond engagement rings. Platinum compliments most gemstones well, but the pairing of platinum and diamonds is truly a match made in heaven!
History of Platinum vs White Gold
Platinum and white gold have a richly intertwined history. For a long time, it was not a question of platinum vs white gold because they were the same thing!
As early as the 1500s in Europe, platinum was used to dilute gold and color it into ‘white gold.’ Spanish colonists were perplexed by the metal as they were unable to melt it down using any of the tools available to them at the time. Therefore, platinum was used only as a dilution of gold.
From the very beginning, the Spanish saw platinum as an impurity in gold. They did not know the value platinum would soon come to have. The Spanish had an official decree outlawing the ‘adulteration’ of gold with platinum ‘impurities’!
But platinum was used well before the Europeans discovered it. Archaeologists have found platinum in ancient Egyptian burial grounds from as early as 1200 BC! Hieroglyphics were often set with gold and platinum. However, it is possible that the Egyptians were not aware of platinum in their gold.
The first recorded instance of the term ‘white gold’ was in 1752 when Henrik Scheffer published a detailed scientific description on the newly researched platinum, which he referred to as “white gold.” It seems the debate of platinum vs. white gold is a relatively recent one.
Platinum has many uses in industry and manufacturing due to its incredible durability. It is so vital that platinum was taken off the market during World War II so that it could be used for military purposes.
Platinum Vs White Gold: Which One Is Better?
Now that we are fully aware of what exactly platinum and white gold are, we can begin to question platinum vs white gold – which one is better?
Platinum is famous for its radiance. The metal, when polished with rhodium, looks as if it was made of crushed diamonds set in ivory. The metal glitters brilliantly and has a distinct calm tone to its color.
Platinum comes in two finishes: polished and satin. The glossy finish is the brightest of all the white metals. Polished platinum shines like ocean pearls under moonlight skies. This is why it compliments any gemstone beautifully, as it enhances the jewel’s luster by a hundred times.
White gold is a more mixed metal, and so it’s color changes depending on what metals it was mixed with. White gold made with nickel has a brassier, yellower tone to it than white gold made with palladium, for example. White gold made with nickel can sometimes look dull when compared to other white metals. However, the nickel alloy can give a piece of jewelry an antique and timeless feel that some find desirable.
The purity of white gold can also affect its color. 18 karat palladium white gold has a rosier, copper tone to it. This gives it a charming and romantic feel. The bronze tint is not as poignant as rose gold, but it can help bring out the beauty of clear stones like diamonds, or it can be paired with yellow tone stones like a topaz to create a more cohesive aesthetic. 14 karat white gold tends to be blonder and paler than the 18 karat variety. It is thus used as an alternative to platinum.
White gold is also often coated with rhodium to add a glittery finish and silver color. This type of white gold is the most comparable to platinum. Rhodium-plated white gold can look shinier than platinum initially, but it eventually dulls as the coating wears away.
When it comes to color, the question of platinum vs white gold becomes one of personal preference.
Not only do platinum and white gold have varying strengths, but they also age very differently.
Platinum is known to be more durable than gold, which has lead to it earning its reputation as a ‘scratch proof’ metal. While it is true that platinum does not scratch off like gold, that does not mean that platinum does not age. Platinum can form what is commonly referred to as the ‘patina of age.’ This patina is a surface of small ridges and bumps that form over time due to the metal being pushed around daily.
Some people adore this patina; it is a sign that the jewelry has been well-loved. The patina gives platinum a satin finish that can look duller than the metal’s original finish. Luckily, a quick polish can restore the metal’s original luster.
White gold, on the other hand, does tend to scratch off. This means that over time the gold will reduce in weight. If you are planning on buying white gold as an investment as well as a form of daily jewelry, this may be a problem! The white gold will have to be repolished to maintain its weight regularly.
If you have purchased rhodium-plated white gold, you will most likely have to do even more maintenance, and the coating wears away very quickly. However, support is not necessarily a bad thing. Constant top-ups mean that your jewelry will look as good as the day you first bought it!
Platinum is technically more valuable than gold since it is a rarer metal. However, the prices do fluctuate, and platinum is currently worth 30 US dollars per gram, whereas gold (24 Karat) is presently worth 60 US dollars per gram. So there will never be a definitive answer to ‘platinum vs. white gold, which is more valuable?’
The reason why platinum jewelry is always more expensive than gold jewelry is that platinum is denser than gold. So a size eight ring in platinum would weigh more than a size eight ring made with gold. Each additional gram comes with a hefty bill as a result! Not to mention, gold is usually diluted with other metals, which also reduces the worth of the jewelry. As a result, nine karats or even 14 karats white gold can be significantly cheaper than the same volume of platinum.
So when it comes to jewelry, platinum is more expensive than white gold, regardless of crude value.
Platinum vs White Gold Uses
When debating the merits of two metals, we must consider everything from its aesthetics to its aging process. However, none of this information is particularly useful without the context of what the metal is being used for.
For daily wear, platinum vs white gold becomes a question of personal taste. Platinum is easier to maintain but forms a patina over time, whereas white gold takes more maintenance but remains as good as new even after years.
If you enjoy jewelry that changes with time, platinum vs white gold can offer very different results. Platinum tends to dull reasonably fast, but the satin finish can be a marvelous accompaniment to the style of the jewelry. Furthermore, the patina is only noticeable in bracelets and rings and should not be an issue for pendants, charms, necklaces, and earrings.
White gold ages even more gracefully. As the rhodium plating begins to thin away, the undertones of the white gold itself start to peek through. This means that over time, the metal will refract light differently and appear as if it is a multi-chrome piece of regalia. The subtle rainbow changes in color, depth, and shade over time, so your jewelry will always look fresh and different.
You should also consider what gemstones you are pairing with it. Rosier, warm tone stones work well with 18 karats white gold, whereas clear or crisp tone gems work well with platinum or 14 karats white gold.
Your lifestyle should also be factored into consideration. If your work requires you to use your hands a lot or not having enough time f9r upkeep, the sturdy metal platinum would be a sensible choice for you.
However, just because the world finds the patina of age to be desirable, it does not mean that it will be perfect for you. Consider what effect you want your jewelry to have and then make a decision on platinum vs white gold. If you are unsure of what look you prefer, it may be wise to go with white gold as you can always top up the metal with quick rhodium polish and have it look the same as it did when you bought it. Platinum, on the other hand, will always maintain its patina.
As an investment, on the other hand, gold may be a better option. The demand for gold has historically been more stable than the market for platinum. Whenever gold and platinum prices have dropped ( the 2008 and 2018 recessions, for example), gold has been the first to recover! Therefore, gold is a safer investment than platinum in the long run.
If you are deciding between platinum vs white gold for an engagement ring, then you should think about what values you want your marriage to represent. Does your partner see an engagement ring’s price as an indicator of your love for them? In that case, platinum is the way to go. Is your marriage going to be an ever-changing one? White gold will complement that perfectly!
When buying an engagement ring, ask yourself what the ring represents to you, your partner, and your marriage. The question of platinum vs white gold will soon answer itself!
Platinum vs White gold – Which One Should You Buy?
So as we can see, deciding between platinum vs white gold is an entirely personal affair. While there are many things you can use to inform your decision (color, purpose, value, cost, lifestyle, etc.), the final choice is ultimately your own.
Everyone’s tastes are different, and you should never regret your decision between platinum vs white gold. Either metal will be a lovely addition to your collection, and their value will only ever increase with time! Both metals have a rich history, radiant shine, easy aging process, and long life. Finding differences between the two metals is akin to splitting hairs! The only salient differences between platinum vs white gold are maintenance and cost!
Between platinum vs white gold, no matter what you choose, you can not go wrong.
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