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What is the difference between platinum and white gold?

As one of the most precious metals, platinum alloys are 90%-95% pure. Some argue platinum to be the ideal choice for diamond settings due to its white color, strength and durability. Creating jewelry in platinum usually takes longer than in gold. Due to its purity, density, and longer fabrication time, platinum can be considerably more expensive than white gold.

White gold is a mixture of pure 24k gold with whitening metals such as nickel or palladium, as well as other strengthening metals. As the natural state of gold is yellow, white gold may appear slightly yellow.


Why is platinum so expensive?

As one of the most rare and precious metals, platinum commands a premium price that fluctuates with market conditions. Platinum is also so dense that a six-inch cube would weigh about 165 pounds. Thus, a ring made from platinum would weigh far more than the same ring would weigh if it were gold. Creating jewelry in platinum usually takes longer than in gold.

In addition, platinum alloys are 90%-95% pure, whereas 14k gold is only 58.5% pure gold and 18k is 75% pure. Therefore a higher percentage of an item’s weight is comprised of this rare, dense valuable metal. Platinum jewelry should be stamped “PT’ for pure platinum or “PT900” or “PT950,” indicating the number of parts per thousand that are pure platinum.


What about the less expensive platinum alloys, like “585 platinum?

The price of platinum continues its upward move over the last few years. Platinum jewelry has become popular and gained notoriety, therefore manufactures look for lower-cost ways to meet consumer’s demand.

While “585 Platinum” cuts the manufacturing price almost in half, jewelry containing a low percentage of platinum is less durable. The desired quality that makes platinum uniquely suited for fine jewelry, its reliability for holding gems, is sacrificed.

Unlike gold, where color changes occur depending on the alloys used (as in the production of white or pink gold), platinum jewelry looks much the same regardless of alloys used. The average customer may be unaware of the lighter weight of an item made in “585 Platinum” compared to the weight of a piece with a higher platinum content.