Difference between Platinum and White Gold

Updated on February 14, 2018

Platinum and white gold are two of the most popular and widely used metals for jewelry making and various other purposes. Whether it is for engagement rings, wedding rings, earrings or any other jewelry, women like platinum and white gold mainly due to their durability and good looks.

Due to their sparkling white silvery color, platinum and white gold make the perfect accompanying jewelry for every occasion and setting and make a great investment too.


Platinum ring

Platinum is a naturally occurring, white colored chemical element with the atomic symbol Pt and an atomic number of 78. It has the most luminescent white hue among all other metals that are used for making jewelry as well as various other things.

Platinum is a rare and higher level of metal and makes a very good investment due to its enduring nature and higher price.

White gold ring
White gold ring

White gold is an alloy of yellow gold with the same symbol, Au. White gold is made by alloying the yellow gold with silver or palladium and by adding rhodium plating to it. It has the same properties as yellow gold and is available in the same proportions and units of measurement.

Platinum vs White Gold

It is important to know that platinum and white gold are two very different metals with varying properties and characteristics. The first and the most stark distinction between the two metals is their color; while platinum is a naturally white metal which is more dense and durable, white gold is produced after alloying yellow gold with other metals that turn it white.

Both these metals differ in costs too. Platinum is really expensive due to its rarity and higher level of purity while white yellow gold is expensive too but it is affordable by most people.

Platinum and white gold are also compared in terms of maintenance and resilience. Platinum requires very little or no maintenance over the years and its enduring nature makes it the perfect choice for those who can afford it. On the other hand, white gold is often covered with a thin plating of rhodium, a platinum group metal, for strengthening and a whiter appearance but it can wear off with the passage of time and needs regular maintenance to look good and last for a longer period of time.

Platinum is a better quality metal and rare, too. Ten tons of platinum ore is required to process a single ounce of pure platinum which tells us how rare and valuable this metal is, whereas white gold is not rare as it can be obtained anytime by alloying yellow gold. This is the main reason platinum is so expensive and rare as compared to white gold.

Another thing which differentiates platinum from white gold is its superior quality. Since white gold is made from yellow gold and also contains other metals which have a chance of wearing off, a white gold ring needs rhodium plating to keep it white, along with reshanking and retipping of the prongs to keep it in good shape. On the other hand, platinum is the best quality and does not wear out even after years of use. This is the main reason it is used for jewelry making as well as for numerous other purposes.

Platinum and white gold resemble each other if we look at them from a distance, but they are totally different in composition, density, hardness and other properties which set them apart.

Comparison chart

PlatinumWhite Gold
Platinum is a naturally occurring metalWhite gold is made by alloying naturally occurring yellow gold with other metals
Platinum is one of the most expensive metals in the world and costs 2.5 to 5 times more than white goldGold is also expensive but affordable and has a fluctuating price in the world market
Platinum is used in making jewelry, manufacturing laboratory equipment and electrical contacts as well as in dentistry and automobile emissions control devicesWhite gold is particularly used for jewellery making
Platinum does not require any yearly maintenance or polishWhite gold requires rhodium plating to keep it white and prevent wear and tear
It occurs in nature in a greyish white colorWhite gold is not natural and it is given its white color by artificial means using silver and palladium
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