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Platinum vs. White Gold Jewelry Guide

How to decide between platinum, white gold, yellow gold or rose gold

By Mike Fried,

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.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

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

Bottom Line Recommendation

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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What Is Platinum?

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.

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

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:

  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Rarer than gold.
  • Often considered a symbol of prestige (i.e. “platinum” credit cards have greater privileges than “gold” cards).
  • Heavier and more durable than white gold.
  • Tends to look best with fair and rosy skin tones.

The cons of platinum include that it:

  • Is significantly more expensive than white gold even though it looks nearly identical.
  • Will get scratched and dull over time.
  • Requires cleaning and polishing every few years, although this strips away some of the platinum.
The price difference between platinum nad white gold

What Is White Gold?

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.

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Platinum vs. White Gold

14K White Gold wedding ring vs. Platinum wedding ring
14K White Gold wedding ring (left) vs. Platinum wedding ring (right)

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:

Platinum vs White Gold Price

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.

14K Gold$34.17$1,145.70
18K Gold$44.35$1,441.43
White Gold Price vs Platinum Price Chart 3/30/2022

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.

Platinum vs White Gold Composition

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.

Read what metal GIA recommends for specific diamond colors.

Platinum vs White Gold Color and Care

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 Platinum Better Than Gold?

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.

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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
ColorWhite, lustrous surfaceWhite, lustrous surface
Price40-50% more expensive than goldMore affordable than platinum
DurabilityMore durable than goldDurable enough for everyday wear
BeautyStunning, classic jewelryStunning, classic jewelry
Required MaintenanceNeeds to be repolished and replated more frequently than goldNeeds to be dipped every few years to retain its color and luster

Three Types Of Gold

yellow gold vs rose gold vs white gold graphic

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

White Gold Six Prong Knife Edged Solitaire Engagement Ring
White Gold Six Prong Knife Edge Solitaire Setting – the classic choice.

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:

  • More affordable than platinum.
  • Currently more popular than yellow gold.
  • Alloyed with stronger metals than yellow gold, making it more durable and scratch-resistant.
  • Complements white diamonds better than yellow gold—according to some.
  • Complements fair or rosy skin tones.

The cons of white gold include that it:

  • Needs to be dipped every few years to retain its color and luster—and to replace the rhodium plating. This process is inexpensive and many jewelers offer the service for free.
  • Often has nickel mixed with it, which causes allergic reactions for some. In other words, white gold is not hypoallergenic unless mixed with alloy metals other than nickel.

Yellow Gold

Yellow Gold Flower Solitaire Engagement Ring
Yellow Gold Flower Solitaire Setting – a beautiful choice for anyone.

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:

  • 24 Karat: 99.9% Pure
  • 22 Karat: 91.7% Pure
  • 18 Karat: 75% Pure
  • 14 Karat: 58.3% Pure

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 most hypoallergenic of all the three gold colors.
  • Historically the most popular metal used for wedding and engagement bands (and a symbol of success), and thus appropriate for vintage style settings.
  • The purest color of all the golds.
  • The easiest to maintain out of all three gold color types.
  • The most malleable and easiest for jewelers to manipulate.
  • A complement to olive and darker skin tones.
  • Easily matched with diamonds of a lower diamond color grade.

The cons of yellow gold include that it:

  • Should be polished and cleaned regularly.
  • Is subject to dents and scratches.

White Gold vs. Yellow Gold

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

Rose Gold Twisted Shank Contemporary Solitaire
Rose Gold Twisted Shank Solitaire Setting – unique design for a contemporary wearer.

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:

  • In style for both men’s and women’s rings.
  • Considered by many to be the most romantic metal due to its pinkish-red color.
  • Often more affordable than other metals because copper—the alloy used to make rose gold—costs less.
  • Very durable due to the strength of copper—making rose gold tougher than yellow or white gold.
  • A complement to all skin tones.

The cons of rose gold include that it:

  • Can cause allergic reactions in some and is not a hypoallergenic metal.
  • Is not as widely available as yellow and white gold, despite being in style.

To learn more about the differences between types of gold, contact us.

Pink Gold vs. Red Gold vs. Rose Gold

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 Gold75% gold20% copper5% silver
18K Red Gold75% gold25% copper0% silver
18K Rose Gold75% gold22.25% copper2.75% 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.

Shop for diamond engagement rings here.

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.

Here are more specific metal topics to browse:

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
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What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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