Platinum vs White Gold – Which is worth your money?

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White gold and platinum are two precious metals that are difficult to distinguish between, but each has unique features as well as advantages and disadvantages.

It is always challenging to differentiate among precious metals at first glance because they all have relatively similar colors and shine.

Therefore, before investing in either white gold or platinum, you should know more about them. This article will discuss which precious metal, white gold or platinum, is worth your money, as well as what they are and the overall pros and cons of each.  

Platinum VS White Gold

Choosing between white gold and platinum will depend on your personal needs. For example, if you are looking for a more inexpensive, scratch-resistant, and durable engagement ring for your significant other, then a white gold option could be the right choice for you.

However, even though you save around $300 moving from a platinum engagement ring to a white gold one, white gold needs to be re-dipped every 6-12 months, which can cost $30-60 each time.

For some, this might automatically mean that platinum is the better choice since it does not need to be re-dipped. However, you will find that instead of re-dipping, a platinum engagement ring will need periodic polishing.

It isn’t easy to compare the raw prices of these metals since the amount of alloy measured in Karat’s (K) differs between the two. For example, 18K white gold consists of 75% gold and 25% other alloys, whereas platinum can be purchased 95% pure.

Once you know the composition of the white gold in question, you can find the price using the formula: “weight of the product x % of white gold x the spot price of gold.” So, currently, for this example, an 18k piece of white gold that weighs one gram would be worth $42.88 CAD, whereas one gram of 95% pure platinum would be worth $48.78 CAD.

Of course, these prices constantly fluctuate, but this exemplifies the overall margin between the two precious metals.

What is White gold?

White gold does not exist naturally and was originally brought in to be a cheaper alternative to platinum. White gold is formed by mixing yellow gold with metal alloys like silver and palladium.

After mixing the yellow gold with the alloy, the product is coated with another metal known as rhodium. The coating results in the luminous shine of white gold that we recognize, and this process is why white gold can be bought for cheaper than platinum.

What are the pros and cons of white gold?

The most obvious advantages that white gold has over platinum are that it is less expensive, more scratch-resistant, and more durable since it contains alloy.

On the other hand, the rhodium coating process means you have to pay to get your jewelry re-dipped periodically. Furthermore, if nickel is used as an alloy, it can cause allergic reactions in certain people. Finally, white gold can also turn yellow over time, especially if not taken care of properly.

What is Platinum?

Platinum is a naturally occurring element, unlike white gold, and is a gleaming silver-gray color. It is 20% denser than white gold and also much rarer.

Since it is denser than white gold, it does not require alloys to make it strong as white gold does. As mentioned, it is mostly 95% pure, and due to its rarity, high luster, and color, it is expensive.

What are the pros and cons of platinum?

One of the most significant advantages of platinum over white gold is that it is hypoallergenic and does not change color over time as white gold does.

Although you need to polish and clean platinum, it is mostly just regular maintenance that all jewelry requires. Also, since platinum is denser than white gold, you can expect that it will not move once the stone is set.

Depending on your point of view, the fact that platinum is more expensive than white gold could be a pro or a con. One person would say it is advantageous to pay more for better quality, while another might say it doesn’t make sense when white gold is just as suitable.

One last thing to consider is that platinum can get scratched more easily and will require buffing to make the mark go away.

Bottom Line

Overall, as with all decisions, it is ultimately up to the discretion of the buyer and what their specific needs are.

Deciding between two similar precious metals such as platinum and white gold can be challenging but taking the extra time to deliberately choose which one best suits your needs will be better in the long run. 

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.