What Is the Difference Between Platinum and White Gold?

The gray-white coloration of the element platinum is a common sight in jewelry stores. Since it is considered quite rare, it demands high prices from jewelry aficionados who prize it as a setting for precious stones. The lion’s share of the world’s platinum comes from South Africa. Historians note that platinum was used by American indigenous cultures long before Christopher Columbus arrived.
In contrast, white gold is an alloy of gold and either manganese or nickel. Sometimes it is also possible to find that it is an alloy of gold and palladium. The most common form of white gold used in the jewelry trade relies on the material’s combination with nickel for strength. This type of gold is perfect for rings. When palladium gets in the mix, the gold is more pliable. This makes it suitable for gemstone settings.
Jewelry aficionados are generally divided when it comes to the superiority of white gold over platinum. One camp asserts that the durability of the platinum is a sure sign that this element is by far superior to white gold. The other camp believes that the nickel and gold combination creates a sturdy metal that gives platinum a run for the money at a lower cost. Who is right?
Nickel may trigger allergies. If you are highly allergic to nickel, its content in white gold may trigger a reaction. You may be able to forego this problem by buying white gold that features a different alloy.
White gold needs to be re-plated. White gold rings feature rhodium plating, which prevents any yellow coloration from coming through. This plating needs to be redone every six months to three years. Deal with a knowledgeable jeweler who has intimate knowledge of the stock’s white gold makeup and can let you know about nickel content and plating.
Platinum needs to be re-polished. Although very hard, the surface of platinum jewelry is susceptible to minute scratching. Experts usually suggest that for maximum shine, a daily worn platinum ring should be re-polished every three years. Yet in so doing, a small layer of the surface material must be stripped off the ring. This may lead to a ring that gets so thin over time that it may easily crack.
Gold is cheaper than platinum. If you are pricing 18-carat gold and platinum, you cannot help but notice that platinum is almost twice as expensive as gold. At the same time, it only has about 30 percent more density.
While there is no definitive solution to the question, it comes down to the buyer’s circumstances. For example, if you can locate a white gold ring that features the palladium alloy, you may spend a little more but avoid the nickel. If your budget is not constrained and you can commit to the re-polishing schedule, the platinum ring may be your favorite option.
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