One of the questions we are asked frequently is what is the difference between platinum and white gold? Platinum and white gold are different metals with different characteristics. Platinum is used in almost its pure form, while white gold is alloyed with other metals to create a strong metal with a white colour.
Platinum is a very dense metal which means that a platinum ring will weigh more than one made in 18ct white gold. Platinum is usually 95-98% pure, with a very small amount of other metal mixed in for strength and durability. It is an ideal metal for people who find jewellery irritates their skin. Also due the density of platinum, it is very strong making it ideal for delicately set gemstones, including shared claw style wedding bands. Despite its density and strength, platinum can be scratched and the scratches can be quite visible against the contrast of otherwise highly polished areas. Rest assured though that it will always repolish beautifully. Also, given the rarity of the metal, it is a little more expensive than white gold.
White gold is an alloy of yellow gold and other metals, used to both change the colour to white and make the metal strong and malleable enough to be used for jewellery. White gold is derived from 24ct gold, which is a naturally rich yellow colour. By adding 25% other metals in the case of 18ct white gold, the yellow colour is changed to a white colour. 18ct white gold is a very strong alloy, tough (resistant to scratching and scraping) and greyish white in colour. This means that it is usually rhodium plated to create the very bright white finish that you see in jewellery stores. Rhodium is a platinum family metal that is applied in a very thin layer to the outside of white gold to achieve a very white, tarnish resistant coating.
Many people choose white gold, it is more affordable and visually it’s hard to tell the difference. Others choose platinum for its durability or because it is just that little bit special…ultimately the choice is yours.