Platinum and Gold Jewellery: Key Differences You Need to Know

October 15th, 2021

Gold and platinum are the two most commonly used metals for engagement and wedding rings, though these stunning, versatile metals can be featured in a vast array of beautiful accessories. While both metals are appealing, there are a few essential differences everyone should know before making a decision. To better prepare you for your next jewellery purchase, Golden Tree Jewellers has the complete breakdown of how gold and platinum compare in appearance, cost, durability and comfort.

Differences in Color

One of the main differing physical characteristics between gold and platinum is colour. While platinum is naturally white, gold is innately yellow. For those looking for a warmer coloured metal, yellow and rose gold can be an ideal fit, while platinum and white gold are perfect for those searching for a cooler toned metal.

White gold rings are composed of gold, alloys and rhodium plating, which gives them a white appearance similar to platinum. Although the two metals look similar when new, the rhodium plating in white gold will wear off over time, leaving the ring with a yellow tinge. However, once you re-polish and replate the ring, it will start to look white again.

Understanding Durability

Though both gold and platinum are strong and durable precious metals, platinum is the more durable of the two. This is due to the fact that platinum is much denser than gold, and has a stronger chemical structure. Therefore, the prongs holding the center stone of a platinum engagement ring, for example, are less likely to break than those of a gold one.

Platinum’s chemical structure results in the metal being displaced across the surface of the jewellery so that if the item gets struck, none of the precious metals are lost. However, even though platinum is stronger, it is also softer than gold—making it more likely to scratch. High karat golds, on the other hand, are significantly softer than lower karats, resulting in a softness that is on par with platinum.

Metal Maintenance

A common misconception is that gold and platinum metals will require the same amount of maintenance to preserve the original integrity. Unfortunately, not all metals are created equal. White gold needs the most upkeep, requiring a polish and replate every few years to maintain its colour.

Since platinum has higher durability, you can rely on home cleanings to keep your pieces bright and shining. Platinum does still scratch and dull over time, as all jewellery does, however polishing platinum smooths the piece instead of thinning the metal—so you can polish it as often as you like.

If low maintenance is a priority for your next piece of fine jewellery, platinum is your best option. Rose gold requires the least amount of maintenance out of the gold options due to its high copper content, followed by yellow and then white gold.

Comfort is Key

When creating jewellery, other alloys, or metals, are mixed in to change the color, strength, and shine. However, some of these metals, typically nickel, can trigger skin reactions. If sensitive skin is a concern, a hypoallergenic metal such as platinum will be the safest option. Yellow gold is the better suited gold option, as both rose and white gold typically contain more mixed metals.

Gold is also lighter than platinum due to its density, so it may prove more comfortable to wear. When selecting a piece of jewellery that will be worn around your neck or on your hand every day, it may be pertinent to consider the heft of the metal used. Traditionally, gold is selected for most engagement rings and wedding bands because they are lighter in nature and are pieces of jewellery that wearers will sport for the rest of their lives.

Affordability is a Factor

Although platinum and gold are similar in price per gram, since platinum is much denser, it requires more of the metal to make a piece of jewellery. This results in platinum jewellery costing between 40-50% more than if it were made from gold. If you’re looking into engagement rings, the additional cost of purchasing a platinum ring may eat into the budget for the center diamond.

In addition to platinum’s higher density, the precious metal is rarer than gold and is highly coveted in the fine jewellery industry—resulting in an overall increase in value. However, if remaining within budget is a priority, white gold is a much more affordable option that, when properly cared for, maintains the same visual effect as platinum.

Get Help Choosing Between Gold and Platinum Rings at Golden Tree Jewellers

With all of this new information, choosing between platinum and gold may still be confusing. Golden Tree Jewellers can guide you through your next big purchase. The highly valuable and highly desired platinum presents a beautifully cool-toned, silver-white shine. However, the softer composition and impressive price tag may not be for everyone. Yellow gold is excellent for those in search of a warm-toned metal, while white gold serves as an affordable alternative to platinum.

No matter which precious metal you decide on for your next stunning piece, all jewellery will require some minimal upkeep and maintenance to sustain the original, dazzling shine. Here at Golden Tree Jewellers, we offer an array of dependable jewellery repair services with our jewellery and watch experts working in-house to service engagement rings, wedding bands, timepieces, and more! Call us at (604) 520-7221 to set up a repair appointment today, or visit our Langley, British Columbia showroom.