The Difference Between White Gold and Platinum

Posted on November 04, 2013 by The CleverEve Team

In its pure form Gold is referred to as 24kt gold (99.99% gold) and has a yellow color.

Gold as it is used in jewelry pieces is usually in 22kt, 18kt, 14kt, or 9kt

Gold is mixed with other metals or alloys to make it useable for jewelry purposes as pure (24kt) gold is very soft and not suitable for everyday wear.

18kt white gold is made by mixing 75% gold with 25% other metals such as silver and palladium while 18kt yellow gold is made by mixing 75% gold with 25% other metals such as copper, zinc or other alloys.

So in its natural form Gold is not white and has to be mixed with other alloys for it to look whitish. White gold rings are coated with another white metal called Rhodium. Rhodium is a metal very similar to platinum and it shares many of the properties of platinum including its white color. The rhodium plating is used to make the white gold look even whiter. The natural color of white gold is actually a light grey color. The Rhodium is very white and very hard, but it does wear away eventually. To keep a white gold ring looking its best it should be re-rhodium plated approximately every year or year and a half. Just in case you are wondering why they are referred to as 24kt or 18kt gold: The mathematics of referring to gold as 24kt (99.99%) and 18kt (75%) is based on the following computation: (18 / 24 = 0.75 or 75%)

See CleverEve’s 18kt white gold jewelry by choosing a category below:

18kt White Gold Engagement Rings

Platinum is a white metal in its natural state, but unlike gold it is used in jewelry in almost its pure form. Platinum is extremely long wearing and is very white, so it does not need to be Rhodium plated like white gold.Platinum is a very dense (heavy) metal, so a platinum ring will feel heavier than an 18kt gold ring, especially if it is a wide or thick ring. Platinum is also very expensive. A platinum ring will be approximately twice the price of the same ring in 18kt white gold. See CleverEve’s platinum jewelry by choosing a category below:

Platinum Engagement Rings

When you are comparing a platinum piece of jewelry with a white gold one, keep the following in mind:

  • Platinum is almost twice as heavy as white gold.
  • Platinum is approximately twice as expensive as white gold.
  • White gold needs to be re-rhodium plated approximately every year or year and a half.
  • Platinum is white in color in its natural form while gold must be mixed with other metals or alloys and be rhodium plated to look white.


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