White gold and platinum look very similar at first, but they actually differ in many aspects. To tell them apart you should use the five C's: Composition, Colour, Cost, Care and Culture. Do you prefer platinum or white gold for your diamond engagement ring? Get to know the difference between the two precious metals here.

Browse our extensive collection of jewels in platinum and white gold

1st C: Composition

How does the composition of white gold differ from platinum?

Most white gold diamond jewellery is offered in 18 karat, which consists of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals, necessary for colour and strength. To achieve the white colour, pure gold (which is naturally yellow r) is mixed with additives such as silver and palladium. BAUNAT for example alloys its white gold with palladium, a rare precious metal which ensures a long lasting colour of the white gold. At the end, white gold jewellery gets rhodium plated, which gives the jewel its bright white colour.
Pure gold is too pliable and therefore not suitable for jewellery. That's why we use gold alloy, a combination of gold and other metals.
Woman with platinum jewellery from BAUNAT that are hypoallergenic compared to white gold
Platinum jewellery on the other hand, consists of almost pure platinum. It is usually made using 95% pure platinum in combination with 5% other metals, making it softer, more scratch-resistant, and more likely to bend than break. Because of its density, jewellery in platinum weighs around 34% more than gold jewellery. So, if you seek large earrings, we recommend going for white gold as heavy earrings might feel uncomfortable.

In terms of allergies, it’s a tie. Even though platinum is known to be both hypoallergenic and durable, European guidelines ensure that 18 carat jewellery may only contain a minimal amount of nickel, which makes white gold an excellent hypoallergenic alternative to platinum.

At BAUNAT, we go one step further. By composing all of our white gold jewellery with palladium instead of nickel, the jewellery retains its white colour longer and is an excellent choice for those with nickel allergies or sensitive skin.

Discover BAUNAT's white gold rod earrings

Woman with platinum jewellery from BAUNAT that are hypoallergenic compared to white gold

2nd C: Colour

What colour does white gold and platinum have?

At first glance, jewellery in white gold and platinum seems to have the same colour, but when you look closely, there’s a visible difference.. You can recognise an  engagement ring in white through its  pronounced silver sparkle, while the colour of platinum tends to lean more to a grey colour.

Due to the colour difference between platinum and white gold, experts don’t recommend a combination of these two precious metals. If your partner chooses a platinum engagement ring, then also go for a platinum wedding ring.

Find these unique designer earrings from BAUNAT online

Woman with platinum jewellery from BAUNAT that are hypoallergenic compared to white gold

3rd C: Cost

What is the price difference between a white gold and a platinum ring?

Platinum jewellery is usually more expensive than white gold and there are several reasons for this. Although pure gold is more expensive than pure platinum, less gold is needed to make the same jewel. Not only because of platinum’s high density, but also because the alloy contains 95% pure platinum whereas white gold only contains 75% pure gold.

Admire this beautiful white gold ring from BAUNAT online

Another difference is that platinum is much rarer. Each year, fewer platinum ore is mined than gold ore. It concerns just under 200 tonnes compared to 1500 tonnes of gold ore respectively.

Platinum in its pure form is much stronger than pure gold, but when both precious metals are used in an alloy, 950 platinum becomes softer, making it harder to work with and increasing the labour cost of the jewel.

If you decide against buying platinum, but rather white gold, you can invest the money you saved in a larger diamond for your engagement ring. Of course, it comes down to your personal choice.

4th C: Care

How to maintain your gold or platinum jewellery

Given that white gold jewellery consists of 75% pure gold and thus yellow components, it can show a yellowish undertone after a few years, when the rhodium wears off. Fortunately, it is relatively easy and inexpensive to have your jewel rhodium plated again. Depending on the usage of the jewel, a rhodium dip can stay perfect for a few years or even decades and will mainly wear at the bottom of the ring. A platinum ring on the other hand retains its white grey colour for life.

In terms of wear, both metals scratch differently. Since 18 carat gold is harder than platinum, it is more likely to lose a little of its metal when scratched. Meanwhile, a scratch in platinum actually displaces the metal, leaving ridges on the edges of the scratch.

Last but not least,white gold jewellery can more easily be adjusted in size and the adaption is less visible. Due to the specific properties of platinum, you will most likely be able to see a line at the joint, even when the resizing was done properly because the soldering is of different alloy.Cleaning white gold or platinum jewellery yourself is easier than you think. Even for jewellery with diamonds, you have the right cleaning agents at home.
Cleaning white gold or platinum jewellery yourself is easier than you think. Even for jewellery with diamonds, you have the right cleaning agents at home.
We do recommend that you clean platinum and gold jewellery yourself on a regular basis. You can easily do this by soaking the jewellery in a mixture of lukewarm water and detergent. In time, it is recommended to have your platinum and white gold jewellery cleaned professionally by a jeweller.

Read more about how you can clean your jewellery

Woman with platinum jewellery from BAUNAT that are hypoallergenic compared to white gold

5th C: Culture

What is the symbolism of platinum and white gold?

Gold has been the most traditional precious metal for engagement and wedding rings for years and symbolises eternal love and dedication between partners. Gold is also often associated with royalty and divinity. Yet platinum seems gradually to become the new symbol of prestige and wealth. Many artists have already been awarded a platinum record, and anyone with a platinum credit card enjoys more privileges and benefits than the holder of a gold credit card. So, the tides have begun to turn. 

Platinum is also associated with patience, determination and perseverance in popular culture. Whether you choose rings in platinum or white gold, the symbolic value is assured.

Discover more jewellery on our Instagram page

Would you like to get personal advice from the experts?

Need help deciding which engagement ring is right for your loved one? BAUNAT's experts are happy to give you advice. In the showroom, our experts will provide you with even more benefits of white gold or platinum, and weigh up what will suit the lucky one the most. So book an appointment now.

Want to surprise your beloved with beautiful jewellery?

Browse our white gold and platinum engagement rings

What else should I know about precious metals like white gold and platinum?

Would you like to know more about the investment value of white gold, or platinum or how the precious metals became popular? Learn all you need to know about jewellery in the following interesting blog articles:

Share on: