White Gold vs Platinum – Pros, Cons, Which to Choose
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White Gold vs Platinum – Pros, Cons, Which to Choose

As two of the most popular choices for ring metals, white gold and platinum are ideal for creating a visually striking appearance that is both elegant and pristine for any type of jewellery, but especially so for engagement and wedding rings. 

However, many buyers often find it difficult to decide between white gold and platinum due to their somewhat similar appearance. Coupled with a stark price difference, choosing the right option between these two metals can be tough. 

If you’re weighing the choice between white gold and platinum, this guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of both metals including their cost and characteristics to help you make the best decision for a custom ring or jewellery.

What is white gold?

White gold is a variation of gold metal that has a glistening and reflective appearance that is not unlike highly polished silver. To create the “white” appearance, pure gold (75%) is mixed with white metals like nickel and silver (25%), resulting in an alloy that retains the best qualities of gold but in a new colour. As a finishing touch, white gold is often coated with a layer of rhodium as well to enhance its durability and give it a better shine. 

What is platinum?

One of the most sought-after metals for rings, platinum is a very durable metal that features a shiny white gleam. But unlike white gold, jewellery made from platinum has a much higher purity due to it being nearly 100% made from the same metal. 

White gold vs platinum side-by-side comparison

Now that we’ve introduced the two metals, here’s a side-by-side comparison based on the different factors that buyers typically consider when choosing a ring metal.

Cost

When it comes to cost, white gold has the upper hand as the more affordable option. In fact, white gold tends to be about 40-50% less expensive than platinum. The main reason for this is not that white gold is “cheap”, but rather the fact that platinum is the rarest precious metal in the world. Platinum is by far the most premium option when it comes to the choice of ring metal.

Durability

Both white gold and platinum are durable in their own right and are generally quite resistant to damage from bumps and scratches. While pure gold is considered to be a soft metal, white gold has a higher natural durability due to its composition as an alloy. 

Platinum, on the other hand, is a pure metal and thus is more prone to scratches and even some bending under high pressure. White gold is the clear winner in terms of durability. 

Maintenance and care

As we’ve mentioned earlier, white gold is often coated in a layer of rhodium. Over time, this layer of applied rhodium can be worn down, revealing a slightly yellow colour underneath. This is not an uncommon occurrence, and owners of white gold rings can have them re-coated with rhodium to restore the “whiter” appearance of the ring. 

Platinum rings require less overall maintenance due to the simplicity and purity of their composition, only requiring an occasional polishing to ensure a quality shine. 

Hypoallergenic properties

Platinum is hypoallergenic, meaning that it is very unlikely to trigger any allergic reactions. This makes it ideal for individuals with sensitive skin or contact dermatitis as wearing platinum rings will typically not result in any adverse reactions. 

White gold often contains nickel, which some individuals are allergic to. A nickel skin allergy can result in red skin, itching, or even burning sensations, so those who may be sensitive to nickel should avoid wearing white gold jewellery. 

Weight and feel

Platinum is a far denser metal than white gold alloy, giving it a slightly heftier feel when worn. While some wearers may enjoy the feeling of a weightier ring, others may find it too annoying. This is more of a personal preference than an obvious benefit. 

Colour

In terms of appearance, white gold tends to have a shinier look than platinum, which features more of a greyish-silver tone. The matching of ring colour with diamonds is a big area of discussion, with many expert jewellers suggesting that the muted colour of platinum may help a colourless diamond stand out more compared to the brightness of white gold, which may compete with the diamond’s shine. 

Ultimately the best way to discover if you like the colour of either metal is to view it for yourself in person — online photographs can’t capture the full appearance of how they look under natural lighting conditions. 

Popularity

Despite the higher price tag, platinum consistently remains the most popular choice for ring metal in Australia and all over the world. Much of its popularity is due to it having a higher perceived value as well as being the more ‘pure’ choice of metal. That being said, white gold is still a very popular choice for ring metal, particularly for engagement and wedding jewellery.

Value and investment potential

White gold has a lower initial cost, but the constant need for rhodium re-plating causes it to suffer a lower intrinsic value. Conversely, platinum has a higher inherent value and will often fetch a higher price compared to white gold. 

A photo of a platinum necklace laced in a mannequin's neck

Can you mix and match white gold and platinum jewellery?

In a passing glance, separate pieces of white gold and platinum jewellery can be easily taken for the same material. However, a closer side-by-side inspection will usually make the differences between the two too obvious to ignore. For that reason, many choose to stick to the same metal when wearing matching jewellery, especially when it comes to engagement and wedding rings which are worn next to each other on the same finger. 

If you’re looking to create a bespoke engagement ring or wedding ring, our expert jewellers at GS Diamonds can help you find the right metal to perfectly match your chosen diamond or stone setting. View our custom engagement ring options online, or book an appointment at our diamond showrooms in Sydney, Brisbane, or Melbourne today to view them in person!

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