Platinum, What Is It?

Soldering platinum at Bretts Jewellers

Platinum, What Is It?

So often we get asked about the differences between white gold and platinum. Is one better than the other? Is it worth it? What are the main differences? I’ve heard platinum is softer than white gold and so on. So, I thought I would put together some information about the main differences between white gold and platinum.

Soldering platinum at Bretts Jewellers
Creation of a platinum setting for an heirloom engagement ring

The Main Difference

I would say the main noticeable difference between the two metals is the weight. Platinum is 40% denser and therefore 40% heavier than white gold, therefore the same ring in platinum will weigh 40% more than its white gold equivalent! While this does have some benefits – mainly that it feels quite nice when you’re wearing the ring as it’s a noticeable difference in weight there is a draw back.

The Only Draw Back

The only drawback for opting with platinum is that its heavier and because of this you need more of it to create the same ring. However, at the time of writing (30th April 2020) the price of platinum per gram compared to white gold is approximately 60% less. This nullifies the extra weight required when making a piece in platinum resulting in it being the same price compared to a white gold ring or even slightly less exspensive.

As a note, historically platinum has been about 50-100% more expensive per gram than white gold meaning it has been out of reach for a lot of people due to the afore mentioned facts. However with the increasing prices of palladium (a main constituent in white gold) the price of this once affordable metal has now been pushed above that of platinum where we see a paradigm shift away from white gold being the first choice and being replaced with – in my opinion – the better metal, platinum.

The difference in hardness

Hardness is also another difference when comparing white gold to platinum. This is where platinum really shines (pun intended) Its ability to withstand day to day wear is fantastic and over the years you will notice a big difference in its rate of wear, especially in the finer parts of your jewellery such as the claws on the main gemstone or any filigree work on the sides or shoulders.

Upkeep and Maintenance

Another key difference is that while White gold needs to be rhodium plated every 6-12 months, platinum does not. This is a key point that a lot of people don’t consider or haven’t been educated on when shopping for a piece of jewellery.

Finally, is it worth it? Essentially that’s a question that only you can decide, as you know what your budget and circumstances are however at the time of writing items in platinum are – on average – working out at the same price or slightly under that of white gold. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post about the differences between white gold and platinum. If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us or book a consultation to discuss anything jewellery related.

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My name is George and I’m a qualified Jeweller, Gemologist and designer at Brett’s Jewellers. I’ve grown up in the jewellery world and been immersed in the beauties of diamonds, gemstones golds and platinum. Now, alongside Brett, my father and creator of Brett’s Jewellers we run our family business and bring you our beautiful heirlooms and a unique jewellery experience.

Brett - Owner and Master Jeweller at Bretts Jewellers

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