Here at Johnsons, we are often asked the same question. "What is the difference between white gold and platinum, as they look the same?".  Here is our guide to distinguishing the difference between the two metals.

White Gold - What is it? 

Not many people know, but white gold is not a metal that naturally exists. Essentially it is a metal which has a yellow gold base, and is mixed with other metals, such as palladium to make it the white colour. It is usually then finished with a rhodium plating to give it a shiny white appearance. The reason for mixing the yellow gold with the other metals is for a variety of reasons. Gold is a very soft metal, therefore it needs to be mixed with other metals to make it more durable and rigid for jewellery use. This will also make the ring more effective to add other metals to the gold. For example, 9ct gold will have a 375 hallmark, this essentially means that 375 parts of the ring have gold, and the remaining 625 parts of the ring are made up of the other metals, this therefore keeps the costs down. 

Platinum - What is it? 

Platinum is a naturally occurring metal. Platinum derives its name from the Spanish word "platina", meaning little silver. Around 160 tonnes of platinum are mine annually, as opposed to, 1,500 tonnes of gold, it is mined much less, making it more precious and rare metal. Platinum is a denser metal than golf, therefore the same shape/pattern ring would weigh significantly more in platinum than in gold. This will make the ring or piece of jewellery more expensive. Platinum is a much stronger, durable metal than gold.

The Final Conclusion: White Gold vs Platinum? 

The main advantage of white gold is that it is more affordable than platinum. The disadvantage to white gold, is that it may be necessary to re-rhodium the ring from time to time. How often that needs to be done, all depends on the wearer. Those that wear a lot of hand creams, lotions and perfumes, will find that their ring will need to be rhodium plated more often. This is not normally an expensive procedure, but it may mean that you are without your ring for a short period of time.

Platinum will retain its' colour better than white gold, however it will mean that the initial outlay may be slightly more expensive. In the long run however it will need less care, as it will not need to be rhodium plated, and so there will be savings to be had over the years.

If you have any further questions regarding white gold or platinum, or if you would like to make an appointment, please call us on 02476 347 038 or email us on [email protected].