If you are thinking of buying platinum jewelry, say, for your wedding, or just as a gift to your lover, you may be wondering why platinum jewelry is generally more expensive vs white gold, or any other kind of gold for that matter.
What is Platinum?
Platinum is one of the most hardened metals around, and in terms of durability, it beats other metals like copper and silver easily. Gold isn’t durable, to begin with, so they make alloys of it so it can become wearable and practical jewelry.
Platinum jewelry can easily cost 50-75% more than white gold or rose gold.
The costing of such jewelry mainly depends on how much platinum was used to create it. To contrast the two, a solitaire ring made of gold can cost you $180, and something similar that is done in platinum will cost $300 or more. Not many people know this, but platinum is rarer than gold, so that it would have a naturally higher price tag.
Platinum is also hypoallergenic (gold isn’t, not even rose gold), and has an associated symbolism of luxury and prestige that is bigger than gold’s symbolism. Platinum also has more weight and is best used by people who have fair skin or reddish or rosy skin tones.
Platinum jewelry is also a symbol of authority and power, and when we wear jewelry, we are communicating our values and our stature in life. In terms of expressing one’s confidence, nothing does it better than platinum jewelry.
On the downside, platinum jewelry will often be more expensive than all other kinds of jewelry. Despite its durability, it can still be scratched, especially when you wear it regularly. You also have to bring your platinum jewelry to jewelry every few years for maintenance if you don’t want it to look dull and used.
Platinum vs White Gold?
Platinum looks a lot like white gold. Platinum jewelry does not have gold, and white gold is an alloy of two or more metals. Cost-wise, there is going to be at least a 50% increase in price when you are comparing white gold to platinum.
Many jewelry stores create a platinum version of their best-selling designs. Now, there will be times when white gold will be more expensive vs platinum – this happens when the gemstone used for the jewelry is expensive, or if the golden jewelry happens to have more karats than usual. An increase in carat weight or gold purity will usually increase in price.
Another exciting thing about platinum jewelry and white gold jewelry is that the difference in their color is nearly unnoticeable unless you are a collector or aficionado.
On the downside, platinum is more easily scratched vs white gold; because the metals used to create white gold alloy is more scratch-resistant. In terms of scratch resistance, phosphor bronze (55) and cast iron (50) are the most scratch-resistant of all common metals. These two are even more durable (in this respect) than annealed titanium (37) and temper pass stainless steel (30).
White Gold vs Karat Gold
Karat gold refers to how much gold is in the alloy in question. 14k and 18k gold are recommended for jewelry that is meant for day to day wear, like wedding bands and fashionable earrings and necklaces.
The reason for this is that for jewelry that is worn regularly, you need durable metal. Gold in pure form is so malleable that it won’t last for years. It will eventually bend and break because the metal is soft. This is the reason why manufacturers create alloys using different metals to improve the durability of the gold.
The term “karat” refers to the purity of a piece of gold or gold jewelry. Karat refers to the weight of gold with the number of other metals used in the alloy. “Carat” is also used to measure the purity of gemstones for every 200 grams of it.
These are two related terms that change their meaning depending on what is being measured in the first place. The highest possible karat value for gold is 24k. 24k means no other metal was added to the gold, or only a very negligible amount was added to preserve its form. The karat value for gold begins with 9k (the lowest value) and ends with 24k (highest grade for gold).
Gold purity is measured in this manner:
- 9-karat is 37.5% gold
- 10-karat is 41.7% gold
- 12-karat is 50% gold
- 14-karat is 58.3% gold
- 18-karat is 75% gold
- 22-karat is 91.7% gold
- 24-karat is 99.9% gold
There are a couple of things that you should remember when buying golden jewelry. The purity of a piece of gold jewelry is not indicative of its durability. As we have already discussed, gold isn’t durable, so if you want jewelry that is strong for daily wear, we recommend going for the 14k or 18k range. Ironically, the less gold there is in a piece of jewelry, the more durable it is. Of course, this would still be up to you, as we all have our personal preferences.
Cost-wise, we would recommend that you just stick to white gold, because platinum and white gold look identical, but platinum costs more. So by the basis of aesthetics, you would be paying more for the same look, which is something that many people might not like.
Platinum is stunning and elegant, but it does have its flaws, and it’s not maintenance-free. After a few years, it is recommended that you bring your platinum ring or jewelry to your jeweler for replating. The manual cleaning of platinum jewelry also removes some of the metal, so over a long period, platinum jewelry can become slimmer and slimmer as it is buffed and polished by machines to maintain the look.
Ironically, platinum need to be replated more frequently than gold. Gold, on the other hand, loses its luster when regularly exposed to harsh chemicals and the like, so it’s not maintenance-free either.