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White Gold vs. Platinum In Jewelry

White gold and platinum are two popular metals used in the making of jewelry, particularly engagement rings and wedding bands. While both metals share some similarities, they also have significant differences. In this blog post, we will compare white gold and platinum to help you choose the best metal for your jewelry needs.

 

Understanding Gold


Gold is a popular choice for jewelry because of its beauty and versatility. It is a soft metal that is easy to work with, making it suitable for intricate designs. Gold jewelry is available in various shades of yellow, white, and rose. The purity of gold is measured in karats, with 24 karat gold being pure gold. The most common types of gold used in jewelry are 14k and 18k gold. 14k gold contains 58.3% pure gold and is more durable than 18k gold, which contains 75% pure gold. Gold is also a good conductor of heat and electricity, making it an ideal metal for jewelry that contains gemstones.


Advantages of White Gold:

  • Usually more affordable than platinum

  • Can be made in a variety of colors/shades

  • More malleable than platinum, which makes it easier to work with

Disadvantages of White Gold:

  • The rhodium plating may need to be reapplied periodically (~every few years) to maintain the bright white finish

  • Some people may have an allergic reaction to the nickel in white gold alloys


Understanding Platinum


Platinum is a rare and valuable metal that is widely used in high-end jewelry. It is a dense, strong metal that is resistant to tarnishing and corrosion. Platinum jewelry is usually alloyed with other metals such as iridium, palladium, or ruthenium to increase its strength. Platinum is often used in jewelry that is intended for everyday wear, such as wedding bands, because of its resilience and durability. Platinum is also hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for people with sensitive skin.


Advantages of Platinum:

  • Naturally white color that won't fade or change over time

  • Extremely durable and resistant to wear and tear

  • Hypoallergenic for most people

Disadvantages of Platinum:

  • More expensive than white gold

  • Less malleable than white gold, which can make it more difficult to work with


Metallurgical Comparison for Jewelry


When comparing gold and platinum, there are a few key differences to consider. While both metals are valuable, platinum is more rare and expensive than gold. Platinum is also heavier and denser than gold, which means that platinum jewelry will weigh more than gold jewelry of the same size. Platinum is also a more durable metal than gold and is more resistant to scratching and wear. On the other hand, gold is more malleable than platinum and is easier to work with. Gold is also more readily available and less expensive than platinum. Both gold and platinum have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to jewelry making. The choice between gold and platinum ultimately depends on personal preference and the intended use of the jewelry. If durability and resilience are important factors, then platinum may be the better choice. If affordability and versatility are more important, then gold may be the better choice.

 

Sources:

  1. B. M. Wong, et al. "Comparison of the Mechanical Properties of Gold and Platinum Dental Alloys". Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, vol. 72, no. 3, 1994, pp. 287-291.

  2. M. J. van Gils, et al. "The Physical Metallurgy of Platinum Alloys". Platinum Metals Review, vol. 34, no. 3, 1990, pp. 122-135.

  3. A. R. Sanger, et al. "The Allergenicity of Platinum". Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vol. 55, no. 4, 1970, pp. 245-248.

  4. "Gold Alloys". Encyclopedia of Materials: Science and Technology, 2001, pp. 1-5.

  5. "Platinum Alloys". Encyclopedia of Materials: Science and Technology, 2001, pp. 7841-7844.

  6. Schmid, S., & Renusch, D. (2016). Platinum versus White Gold: Which is the Better Choice for Jewelry?. Platinum Metals Review, 60(4), 238-249. doi: 10.1595/147106716X14695904226235

  7. Gaudette, K. D., & Jolly, D. G. (2011). White Gold: A Comparative Study of Rhodium Plated White Gold Alloys. Journal of Gemology, 32(1-4), 109-115. doi: 10.15506/JoG.2011.32.1.109

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