“Platinum vs Gold” An answer worth a million dollars
While discussing the creation of a bespoke piece of jewellery or even more so, an engagement ring, the most frequent question is: “18k white gold or platinum?" I cannot tell the client what to choose however, I can give them an explanation of how similar or different this two metals are.
The main distinguishing physical characteristic between gold and platinum is colour. While platinum is naturally white, gold is naturally yellow. If you want a yellow ring, obviously, gold is the best option. However, if you want a white ring, you can opt for platinum or white gold.
In today’s market like never before, gold and platinum are similar in price per gram. However, platinum is more dense and more of it is required to make a piece of jewellery. Due to this factor, even though both metals are unique, yet similar in several ways, platinum jewellery becomes more expensive.
Platinum jewellery is made of 95% pure platinum & 5% of an alloy, while 18k white gold is of 75% pure gold and 25% is made up of an alloy of mix metals and a rhodium plating which gives it the white look and the sparkle.
While white gold looks very similar to platinum, over time the rhodium plating in white gold will wear off and fade to a yellowish tinge. Once you re-polish and re-rhodium the white gold jewellery piece, it will look white again. Platinum, which is naturally white, will not fade to yellow however, it will create over time a greyish patina, which a lot of people do like.
Despite the fact that both gold and platinum are strong and durable precious metal, platinum is the stronger and more durable of the two. Nonetheless, regardless of being stronger and more durable, platinum is a softer metal than 18k gold. This means it will get scratched a little easier than gold would.
As mentioned above, platinum will always stay white but white gold needs to be re-polished and re-rhodium occasionally to avoid a yellow hue. This yellow hue usually appears several months to several years after polishings, depending on how much wear and tear the piece of jewellery faces.
Because platinum is more dense than gold, platinum jewellery will be heavier than gold as well. Some prefer the heavier weight, but some find the lightness of gold jewellery to be more comfortable. It is really up to each individual person.
At the end of the day, all jewellery require some minimal care and maintenance and, ultimately, it is a matter of choice to pick what suit you best!
NB: All images are borrowed from different media, internet sites and MBC archive.