Platinum vs White Gold: Finding the Best Metal for Your Gold Chain, Ring or Watch
If you’re in the market for a new men’s watch, ring, or gold chain, the options available may seem overwhelming. Even if you know you want the look of bright white metal jewelry, you could be stuck between platinum and white gold and not know which is best for you. Learning the differences between these metal types can help you determine which one to consider when looking for new rings or gold chains for men.
Platinum vs. White Gold: Similarities and Differences
Platinum and white gold are white metals that look nearly identical at first sight. Both types of metal are used to create fine jewelry with precious gemstones and diamonds. But there are big differences between the two that may impact which you choose to purchase.
Composition of white gold
Most gold jewelry, including white gold, isn’t pure gold. Instead, it’s known as a gold alloy, which is when other metals are mixed into the gold. Common metals used in gold alloys include silver, zinc, copper, palladium, nickel, and iron.
Mixing two or more metals creates a stronger and more durable piece of jewelry. Pure gold is softer and more prone to scratches and dents than gold alloys. You can identify how much pure gold a piece of jewelry has by its karat marking. The higher the karat, the more pure gold a piece of jewelry has. Gold jewelry for rings, watches, and chains are often available in 14k and 18k gold options.
Jewelers use different metals in their gold alloys to change the color of the gold jewelry. For example, 18k white gold may consist of 75% gold and 25% palladium, while rose gold often contains copper to give the jewelry its rosy hue.
As a result of its yellow gold metal content, white gold can sometimes appear more off-white with yellowish hues rather than pure white. To help give white gold a brighter white finish, this jewelry is sometimes finished with a rhodium coating. The coating helps white gold jewelry appear brighter and whiter, but this finish can wear over time, making your ring appear yellow as it ages.
The composition of platinum
Platinum jewelry is also an alloy but must contain at least 95% pure platinum to be labeled as such. Jewelry containing less pure platinum may be identified through markings as 850 Plat or 800 Pt. 200 Pall. Platinum alloys may contain similar platinum group metals or base metals. Platinum group metals include palladium, rhodium, osmium, ruthenium, and iridium. While copper and cobalt are the typical base metals used in platinum alloys. These metals are mixed with platinum to help strengthen the jewelry.
Unlike white gold, platinum jewelry is a naturally white metal and appears more white. It doesn’t need to be tinted through the alloying process and retains its true color when mixed with other metals. Platinum jewelry isn’t reactive with other substances and won’t corrode, tarnish, or discolor. However, it can develop a patina over time, making your platinum jewelry look cloudy or dull. Polishing your platinum pieces restores their shine.
Durability and lifespan
Pure gold and platinum are soft metals prone to scratches and dents. This is why gold and platinum alloys are used to create jewelry. Gold and platinum alloy jewelry are durable, but platinum jewelry is the most durable of all metal types.
Platinum is a harder metal than gold, making it better for daily wear. Lower karat white gold jewelry, such as 14k, contains more alloy metals than higher 18k white gold jewelry, making it stronger and less prone to scratching. Consider the type and karat level of your metals if you’re interested in durability.
When white gold jewelry gets scratched, the metal gets scraped away. This isn’t true of platinum jewelry, where the metal will move from its original location but remain on the jewelry when scratches occur. You won’t lose any of the metal content from your piece, but it may make your platinum jewelry look dull over time. A simple polishing by your jeweler can help restore the original finish of your platinum pieces.
The hardness and durability of platinum also help keep the stones and gems on your jewelry in place over time. Even those interested in white gold jewelry can benefit from this feature. Some jewelers use platinum prongs to keep the precious gems more secure in their white gold jewelry. If you’re looking for white gold jewelry with stones, ask to see pieces containing platinum prongs to extend the lifespan of your piece.
If you’re looking for jewelry that can stand the test of time and be passed down to future generations, platinum jewelry offers the greatest durability and longevity. It’s a great choice for a luxury watch or rings, which face more wear during daily use. You may also want to choose platinum for pieces you’re planning on passing down as heirlooms because they don’t tarnish or change color over their lifespan.
Find White Gold and Platinum Rings at FrostNYC
All jewelry needs some cleaning and regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. Body oil, dirt, and residue can build up on your jewelry and dull its luster over time. A simple soak in warm soapy water followed by a gentle scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush or non-abrasive cloth a few times a year should be enough to keep your jewelry clean. You can also bring your chains, rings, and watches to a jeweler for a professional cleaning.
Platinum jewelry doesn’t react with other chemicals or the air, so it won’t tarnish. But over time, scratches and wear can create a patina on your platinum jewelry, dulling its natural color and shine. You’ll need to bring your piece in for a professional polish to restore it to its original color and shine when this happens.
White gold jewelry also doesn’t tarnish but may appear more yellow over time if the rhodium coating wears down. Rhodium is a metal in the platinum family that doesn’t react to chemicals or tarnish. But wearing your white gold jewelry often leads to normal wear and scratches that can erode the thin coating over time. If you notice your jewelry looking more yellow, you may need to bring it into your jeweler and have them apply a fresh rhodium coating. This restores the bright, white color to your jewelry.
Storing your jewelry properly is important for its maintenance. Separate your jewelry by metal type, storing like-metals together in a drawer or container lined with soft fabric. This helps keep your jewelry from moving and getting scratched while being stored. Since white gold is a softer metal, storing it with platinum could cause the heavier metal pieces to scratch the gold.
The Value and Cost of Platinum and White Gold
One big difference between platinum and white gold is the price tag. While gold is more expensive than platinum per ounce, platinum jewelry is more expensive than white gold jewelry. This is because platinum jewelry has a higher percentage of pure platinum, while white gold jewelry contains less pure gold. This drives up the cost of platinum jewelry.
Platinum jewelry is also more expensive because platinum is a denser, heavier metal. A ring or chain made from platinum weighs more than one of the same size and shape made from white gold. Since jewelry prices are based on weight, this increases the cost of platinum jewelry.
Jewelry made from platinum retains its value over time since it doesn’t lose metal when scratched like white gold does. While your white gold jewelry may weigh less over time due to metal loss, platinum maintains its weight and value. Platinum is also considered a more valuable metal due to its rarity. Platinum is 30 times rarer than gold, and less platinum than gold is mined each year. This contributes to platinum’s higher cost, ability to retain its value, and appeal to buyers.
Take your budget into account
While you may have your heart set on platinum jewelry, its high cost might be out of the reach, depending on your budget. Before you decide what jewelry to purchase, create a budget for yourself. This helps you find a piece of jewelry you love without breaking the bank. White gold is a great budget option because it closely resembles platinum but costs a fraction of the price.
The Type of Jewelry Matters
Before deciding on the best metal for your jewelry, think about the type of jewelry you want to purchase. The size of the jewelry and the location it’s worn affect what type of metal you should consider.
Rings are worn on your fingers and have a greater potential for damage and scratches since you use your hands so frequently. Rings can easily bump into heavier objects that can scratch or dent them, such as car keys or doorknobs. They also face more wear than other types of jewelry because of handwashing and abrasion from daily life.
While fashion rings and rings you wear only on special occasions undergo less distress, your wedding bands and engagement rings are worn daily. You don’t want these symbols of timeless love getting dented, losing stones, or becoming discolored easily. Platinum rings and white gold rings with platinum prongs are a great way to extend the durability and lifespan of your wedding band.
Luxury watches are often available with white platinum, white gold, and other metal bands. The face of your watch is more likely to experience wear and scratches from use than the band, so either white gold or platinum would be excellent choices. Consider your preferences and budget when picking metal for your watch.
Gold chains are synonymous with hip-hop culture. You can find chains in various styles, lengths, and thicknesses. Since it’s common to layer several chains together, sticking with white gold can help you afford more chains for a fuller, more stylish stacked arrangement.Frost NYC Offers Gold Chain Necklaces for Every Style
What Are Your Preferences?
Don’t pick your jewelry because it’s a certain metal type or popular design. The best metal for your chain, ring, or watch is one that looks great on you and you’ll feel comfortable wearing. If you already own jewelry in white gold or other shades of gold, you may want to continue buying pieces that go with your collection.
Also, consider your skin tone and clothing collections. White gold’s subtle yellow and off-white undertones may look more appealing against your complexion if you have warmer skin tones. Those with cool skin undertones may prefer the pure bright white of platinum. Compare which metals look best next to your skin tone and the coloring of your hair and eyes.
Make sure the metal for your new jewelry also complements your wardrobe. You don’t want to spend a fortune to find out your new watch or chain clashes with most of your clothing. Luckily white gold and platinum partner well with most colors and clothing options, but you’ll also want to style it with your shoes, outerwear, and existing jewelry. This can help you determine if platinum would be worth the splurge or if you’d look just as good in white or rose gold chains.
Finally, consider the weight and heft of the jewelry. Platinum is a denser, heavier metal than gold. The two otherwise identical pieces of jewelry have different weights, which may affect your comfort level in each. Heavier platinum jewelry may give you the substantial feeling you’re looking for while wearing a luxury watch. But wearing multiple heavy platinum rings or chains all day long may feel uncomfortable.
If You Have Sensitivities to Metal
People prone to rashes and skin reactions from metal jewelry may want to consider platinum jewelry over white gold. Platinum is the only metal that is truly hypoallergenic and is least likely to cause an allergic reaction. This is because platinum jewelry doesn’t contain nickel, a type of metal used in some alloys that can cause skin irritation. If your jewelry item is sitting directly on your skin for long periods, platinum may be the better choice.
If you’re more interested in white gold jewelry, look for pieces that are advertised as nickel-free. You can also buy higher quality white gold, such as 18k, which contains less metal alloy and may be less prone to causing a reaction with your skin. White gold is also an excellent choice for chains, which sit on top of your clothing instead of touching your skin.
Choose White Gold or Platinum for Your Gold Chain, Ring, or Watch
No matter your metal preferences or the type of jewelry you’re looking for, Frost NYC offers buyers high-quality selections of hip-hop jewelry. We’ve been manufacturing and selling iced out pieces for over 30 years and go above and beyond to ensure our customers find jewelry that sets them apart. Our lifetime maintenance ensures every piece you buy from us will last. Visit our online store today to find a gold chain, watch, or ring that’s right for your collection.