Platinum vs. White Gold Jewelry Guide
How to decide between platinum, white gold, yellow gold or rose gold
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How to decide between platinum, white gold, yellow gold or rose gold
While similar in appearance, there are key differences between platinum and white gold. The two main differences are their composition and price. White gold consists more of a mixture of durable metals like nickel, zinc, and copper. Platinum is naturally white and less malleable with 95-98% platinum composition. Since more platinum is needed to make a ring, the price tends to be 40-50% more than white gold.
Gold pricing calculator
What is platinum?
What is white gold?
Platinum vs. white gold: What’s the difference?
White gold price comparison: Platinum cost vs white gold
Is platinum better than gold?
Three types of gold: white gold, yellow gold, rose gold
The setting you choose is based on personal preference, skin tone and current fashion. There is no technical answer to which color gold is the best (yellow, rose or white).
If you’re wondering, “Is platinum better than gold?,” the short answer to that is “No.” Visually, platinum is virtually identical to white gold. Check out this elegant 14K white gold setting from Blue Nile for $500 (setting only). Now here is the same setting in platinum. Can you tell the difference?
Are you looking to sell your gold or platinum? This article is geared towards helping people looking to purchase jewelry. If you are looking to sell your gold or platinum feel free to hop on over to our Selling Your Jewelry page. If you are looking to sell your diamond engagement ring, we have a specific article for Selling Your Diamond Ring
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A naturally white metal, platinum is typically utilized in a nearly pure form for jewelry—ranging from 95-98%. Platinum looks almost identical to white gold and will remain looking the same for many years as long as they are both maintained and cared for properly.
How expensive is platinum? Platinum engagement ring settings range in price from approximately $300 for a simple solitaire to $3,000 for an intricate vintage setting. The cost depends on factors such as the ring style, amount of platinum used and the vendor you buy the ring from.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a platinum ring, here are the pros and cons to help you decide if it’s the right choice.
The pros of platinum include that it’s:
The cons of platinum include that it:
White gold is an alloy composed of pure gold and durable metals such zinc, nickel, and copper — giving it strength and its whiter color. White gold rings are usually made with either 14K or 18K gold. 14 karat is 58.3% gold and 18 karat is 75% gold.
Learn more about white gold and how it differs from platinum below.
While the key differences between these two precious metals are composition and price, they look nearly identical to the naked eye.
For example, compare these two complete rings from James Allen’s inspiration gallery. Can you tell the difference between this white gold setting from James Allen and this platinum ring also from James Allen? I just tested this with 20 people and not a single person could pick out which was more expensive.
To help you learn more about the differences between platinum and white gold, we’ve outlined the main things you should know regarding cost, composition, color and care.
See some examples in recently purchased diamond engagement rings from our highest-rated retailers:
The main difference between white gold and platinum is only found in the higher price of platinum which is roughly 40-50%. Though similar in price per gram, more platinum is required to make a ring because it is denser. Platinum rings end up being considerably more expensive than white gold rings.
For example, here is a stunning halo setting for $1,535 from Blue Nile in white gold. The platinum version of the ring costs $400 more, which eats into your budget for the center diamond. Even this white gold setting with 0.9 Carat Round Cut Diamond from James Allen costs 44% less than the setting on this 0.9 Carat Round Cut in a platinum ring. While you can spend more by choosing platinum, your money is better spent on an ideal diamond cut or increased carat weight. To learn more about the price differences between white gold and platinum, contact us.
18 Karat and 14 Karat gold jewelry is made primarily of gold along with a mix of durable metals like nickel, zinc, copper and a rhodium plating—as gold by itself is relatively soft. 18 Karat is 75% gold, while 14 Karat is 58.3% gold.
Platinum used in jewelry, on the other hand, is more pure—typically between 95-98% platinum—with the remaining percentage rhodium and silver. Stronger and more durable than gold, platinum is the heaviest and densest precious metal. As you can see, gold used in jewelry depends on a higher percentage of alloys and rhodium for its strength and durability. If you’re still unsure about the differences in composition between gold vs platinum, our experts can help.
Diamonds Pro helped us pick a diamond, according to our budget and a few other criteria. We ended up buying a loose diamond from James Allen. We felt that we got very good value for money. The diamond was appraised by another jeweler where we live, confirming its characteristics and value. Finally, we had the diamond set in a ring by a local jeweler, and we’re very pleased with the result! Thank you Diamonds Pro 😊…see more
The difference in color between platinum and white gold is unnoticeable to the naked eye, like this white gold cushion cut diamond ring from James Allen and this platinum cushion cut ring also from James Allen. Alternatively, yellow and rose gold show distinct colors when compared to platinum and white gold.
Platinum scratches more easily than 18 Karat or 14 Karat gold. Upkeep for platinum tends to be higher, because it must be cleaned and polished regularly to maintain its smooth appearance. Gold will need to be re-polished and re-plated, but generally not as often as platinum. A lot of celebrities opt for white metal engagement rings as they look classy and timeless.
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Is it the J color for $3,720 or the G color for $5,170?
No, platinum is not better than gold, as platinum looks nearly identical to white gold but costs significantly more. Both 14K and 18K white gold are durable enough for everyday wear, so platinum jewelry isn’t necessary. Platinum also scratches more easily and requires more maintenance. White gold is a beautiful metal mixture with a classic appearance. White gold costs less than platinum and is a stunning choice for engagement rings and other fine jewelry.
According to the 2022 Platinum Jewellery Business Review, Platinum Jewellery Sales from Strategic
Partners in the US, 2021 was up between 28%-42% compared to the previous year.
|Composition|| 95-98% platinum|
Mixed with other metals like copper and palladium
| 18 Karat is 75% gold|
14 Karat is 58.3% gold
Mixed with other metals like nickel and copper
|Color||White, lustrous surface||White, lustrous surface|
|Price||40-50% more expensive than gold||More affordable than platinum|
|Durability||More durable than gold||Durable enough for everyday wear|
|Beauty||Stunning, classic jewelry||Stunning, classic jewelry|
|Required Maintenance||Needs to be repolished and replated more frequently than gold||Needs to be dipped every few years to retain its color and luster|
When reviewing gold settings, you’ll notice there are three options: white gold, rose gold and yellow gold. While similar, they differ primarily in their color and composition. Selecting the type of gold for your ring should be based on personal preference, although composition or price could play a small role in your decision.
White gold is made of a mixture of pure gold and white metals such as nickel, silver and palladium, usually with a rhodium coating. White gold is real but it’s not made entirely of gold. The other metals help to strengthen the gold and increase its durability for jewelry. The value of white gold depends on the karat (14K vs 18K) and how much metal was used to make the ring. The price of white gold rings ranges from $180 for a simple solitaire to $2,500 for an intricate vintage ring setting. The cost depends on the vendor, the amount of white gold used and your ring’s design. If you’re reselling your setting, in general, you’ll get 50 cents for every dollar of scrap metal.
The pros of white gold include that it’s:
The cons of white gold include that it:
Yellow gold is made of pure gold mixed with alloy metals such as copper and zinc.
The amount of pure gold in the jewelry depends on its karatage:
A higher karat amount means a purer gold content. However, this also means a less durable metal. For this reason, usually 14K or 18K gold is used to mount engagement and wedding rings.
The pros of yellow gold include that it’s:
The cons of yellow gold include that it:
The main difference between white gold and yellow gold is the color. White gold is mixed with white metals like nickel, while yellow gold is mixed with yellow metals like copper. White gold has a lustrous white look and yellow gold has a luminous yellow tone. Some prefer the golden tone of yellow gold, while others prefer white gold. The color of gold you choose should be based on your personal preference.
There are a few other small differences between white gold and yellow gold. Yellow gold is more hypoallergenic than white gold and it’s easier to maintain. You may be able to reduce your diamond’s Color by a grade or two, because the diamond will still look white in relation to the yellow gold setting. White gold is slightly stronger than yellow gold, making it more durable.
The cost of white gold and yellow gold is relatively the same, as they’re both made of gold and other alloy metals. 14K gold costs less than 18K gold, no matter the color.
Rose gold is made of pure gold mixed with copper and silver alloys. Rose gold is real but it’s not made entirely of gold. The copper and silver helps to strengthen it and give it its rose color. The more copper used, the redder the gold appears. A common mix—or alloy—for rose gold is 75% gold and 25% copper by mass (18K). Like white gold, rose gold is an alloy, so “pure rose gold” doesn’t exist for jewelry.
What does rose gold look like? Rose gold encompasses the whole family of red, rose and pink gold shades. It’s a lustrous pinkish metal, like in this rose gold halo engagement ring from James Allen.
Does rose gold tarnish? Rose gold doesn’t tarnish. But just like any color gold, rose gold jewelry needs to be polished and cleaned regularly.
The pros of rose gold include that it’s:
The cons of rose gold include that it:
To learn more about the differences between types of gold, contact us.
Pink gold, red gold and rose gold are nearly the same, with slight differences in composition and appearance. They all are made of 75% gold combined with copper and silver alloys. Jewelry vendors and goldsmiths may use the three gold names interchangeably, but rose gold is most common, especially for engagement rings and other fine jewelry. All three golds have a lustrous, pinkish tone, like in this rose gold hidden halo ring from Blue Nile.
Composition Differences of Pink Gold, Red Gold, Rose Gold
|18K Pink Gold||75% gold||20% copper||5% silver|
|18K Red Gold||75% gold||25% copper||0% silver|
|18K Rose Gold||75% gold||22.25% copper||2.75% silver|
The varying percentage of copper and silver indicates the gold’s color. For instance, the higher percentage of copper found in red gold makes it a slightly stronger rose color. The copper and silver alloys also strengthen the gold. Pure gold by itself isn’t strong enough to form jewelry that can be worn regularly.
While the metal you choose for your diamond ring is largely based on personal preference and style, it is helpful to consider the main differences in composition and price.
White gold and platinum, for example, look identical to the naked eye, while platinum costs significantly more. We generally recommend spending more of your budget on the diamond than on a platinum setting.
To put together the perfect ring, reach out to our experts who will help you find the highest quality diamonds along with a setting that will steal hearts and turn heads—all while staying in budget.
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