Platinum vs. White Gold: 7 Differences to Help You Decide

Leigha is a writer and artist living in Toronto, Ontario. She loves to mix and match…

How to choose between platinum vs white gold jewelry? It’s a question that has plagued many a would-be jewelry wearer. 

Both are beautiful, and each has unique benefits. So how do you decide which is right for you?

In this post, we’ll compare key features of platinum and white gold so that you can make an informed decision and find your perfect fit!

What exactly is white gold?

white gold necklace

White gold is an alloyed form of pure gold that uses white-presenting metals to give it a silvery appearance.

Because of its stunning appearance, white gold is often used in engagement rings to compliment clear or colorless gemstones such as diamond, moissanite, and white sapphire.

Just like other types of gold jewelry, white gold comes in various karat strengths – the most common being 18K white gold. Different karats will affect qualities like color, durability, and cost.

What is platinum?

platinum engagement ring

Platinum is a natural and rare element mined from the earth, similar to pure gold. 

This metal’s brilliant white luster and corrosion resistance make it a popular choice for all types of jewelry.

Like white gold, platinum jewelry is usually sold as an alloy. However, platinum alloys are purer than white gold, which can affect quality and cost.

White Gold vs Platinum: What’s the difference?

There are several differences between white gold and platinum that can make or break your choice of jewelry. 

Maybe you’re on a budget and looking for the most affordable option. Or perhaps you’re more focused on durability and curious to know which metal will stand the test of time.

If you’re trying to decide which of these is best for you, here are a few things to consider.


Platinum jewelry generally contains between 85-95% pure elemental platinum. 

The other percentage of platinum is made up of metal alloys, typically titanium, palladium, iridium, or rhodium, to increase strength.

White gold comprises gold and varying percentages of white metal alloys, including palladium, nickel, and zinc. It is also usually dipped and plated with rhodium.

The purity of white gold depends on the karat, with 18K white gold containing 75% pure gold, 14K containing 58.3%, and 10K containing 41.7%.


When it comes to price, white gold is generally more affordable than platinum because of platinum’s rarity and purity, but there are other factors that come into play.

The current cost of platinum is around $850 per ounce, whereas 18K gold comes at about $1,250 per ounce. You might be thinking: why is white gold more affordable than platinum when gold is more valuable?

💡Why the High Price Tag? The reason why platinum jewelry ends up being more expensive is that platinum is much denser than gold. This means that more platinum is needed to create a piece. 

While the initial price of platinum might be higher, white gold requires substantial maintenance – rhodium will need to be re-plated every 1-3 years. 

Rhodium plating costs about $60-$120, meaning that, even though white gold is initially more affordable, the associated costs could become greater than platinum over time. 


Both white gold and platinum present a radiant silvery color. While platinum’s color is completely natural, white gold achieves its appearance through a combination of white metals.

White gold’s color may differ and could appear to have a yellowish tint at higher karats. If plated with rhodium, white gold appears whiter and more glossy than platinum.


In general, platinum is a much more durable metal than gold, requiring less maintenance.

Gold jewelry, whether white gold or yellow gold, requires metal alloys because pure gold is too malleable to be used in jewelry. These alloys increase the strength of white gold. To make white gold even more durable, rhodium is usually used to plate the metal.

The Verdict: Platinum has greater overall durability than white gold but can be scratched more easily due to its higher density. 

💡 Take Note: Rhodium plating will increase the strength of white gold and make it more resistant to scratching. However, it will need to be replaced to keep white gold jewelry from deteriorating over the years.

Ease of Cleaning

Although white gold requires more maintenance and upkeep, white gold and platinum can be cleaned using the same basic cleaning method.

What you’ll need

  • Dish soap (preferably one without harsh chemicals or abrasives)
  • A cup of warm water
  • A bowl or small container
  • A microfiber cloth

How to Clean

  1. Mix a cup of warm water in a bowl or small container with a few drops of gentle dish soap. 
  1. Soak your jewelry in the solution for about 30 minutes, agitating the piece occasionally.
  1. We recommend using a microfiber cloth to wipe away any dirt or residue left on your piece after soaking.
  1. Once finished, rinse your jewelry with clean water to remove any excess soap and use a soft cloth to dry it completely.


When looking at the quality of a piece, there are two main factors to consider: purity and longevity. Overall, platinum wins in this regard.

White gold does not tarnish and can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. However, the rhodium plating on white gold will need to be renewed every few years, to keep your piece looking its best.

The purity of white gold is also significantly lower than that of platinum jewelry. The highest karat of white gold is 20K, containing about 83.3% pure gold. 

Platinum, on the other hand, will last a lifetime because of its density and durability. It also holds a very high purity level, with most pieces containing between 85-95% platinum.


Platinum triumphs in allergenicity since it is completely hypoallergenic. So, if you have sensitive skin or tend to be more reactive to certain metals, platinum is a perfect choice! 

Gold, as well, is generally hypoallergenic – however, white gold uses metal alloys, such as nickel, that may cause some people to have allergic reactions. 

Most of the time, if white gold is plated with rhodium, this can prevent any metals from causing a reaction. Unfortunately, rhodium plating will wear down and need to be replaced.

If you have allergies to certain metals, know which alloys are used in a white gold piece to prevent possible reactions. 

White Gold vs. Platinum: Side-by-Side

Now that we’ve gone over the differences between both white gold and platinum, we’ve put together a table outlining the key features of each of these beautiful white metals.

FeaturesWhite GoldPlatinum
CompositionMade from gold and other alloys (typically palladium, nickel, or zinc)Composed of 85%-95% platinum
CostRelatively affordableAbout 40-50% more expensive than white gold
AppearanceSilver and glossy when rhodium-plated – may hold a yellowish tint at higher karatsDisplays a color almost identical to silver
DurabilityLess durable and will need maintenanceVery durable
Ease of CleaningEasy to clean – soak in a solution of soap and waterEasy to clean – soak in a solution of soap and water
QualityModerately high quality – 41.7-83.3% pure goldVery high quality – 85-95% pure platinum
AllergenicityNickel alloy may cause allergic reactionsHypoallergenic

Can you tell the difference between platinum and white gold?

At first glance, white gold and platinum may look quite similar; both metals are white and have a high level of shine and luster. But there are a few ways you can tell them apart.

For starters, white gold is an alloy of gold and other white metals, whereas platinum is a pure element. As a result, the density of platinum makes it much heavier than white gold.

In terms of appearance, white gold tends to have a warmer tone, especially at higher karats, while platinum has a cooler, brighter white color.

Cost-wise, platinum jewelry is much more expensive than white gold jewelry. So, when shopping for these metals, a great way to spot the difference is to look at the price tag.  

White Gold or Platinum: Which should you choose?

We’ve highlighted a few key differences and specific features of both platinum and white gold – but which one is best for you?

For those looking for a budget-friendly, light-weight, and popular choice in metal, we recommend white gold

White gold is a popular choice in many engagement rings because it compliments almost any gemstone and won’t heavily impact the cost. 

It is also very lightweight, meaning it’s perfect for those looking for more delicate pieces.

Others looking for a quality piece that is highly durable and hypoallergenic might be more suited for platinum.

Platinum is a rare metal containing a high level of purity. While it might be a little more expensive, this metal will last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve highlighted several key differences between platinum and white gold jewelry – but not all!

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding these two metals.

Platinum vs. white gold: which is shinier?

In terms of shine, white gold is slightly shinier than platinum when plated with rhodium. 

Both platinum and rhodium-plated white gold give off a shine similar to silver. However, white gold tends to have a more mirror-like reflection.

What tarnishes more? White gold or platinum?

White gold and platinum are both resistant to tarnishing. 

💡 Keep in Mind: Platinum is tarnish-resistant on its own, while the rhodium plating on white gold improves its wear and tear. Rhodium plating will need to be re-plated every few years to preserve the strength of your white gold jewelry.

Platinum vs white gold: which is stronger?

Platinum is a more malleable metal because of its purity level, but it is denser and more durable than white gold.

White gold is a tough gold alloy and is resistant to scratching due to its combination with other metals and rhodium plating, but it can become worn if not properly cared for.

If you’re looking for a robust metal that can last a more vigorous lifestyle, platinum is the way to go.

Worth Its Weight in Gold – Or Platinum!

So, what’s the verdict: platinum vs white gold? In the end, it’s up to personal preference. Both metals have their pros and cons, but both are also beautiful options for any piece of jewelry. 

If you want a durable, hypoallergenic metal that will never go out of style, platinum is your best bet. 

But if you’re looking for something more affordable that still has a luxurious feel, white gold may be perfect. 

We hope this has helped make your decision a little bit easier, but no matter which metal you choose, we know you’ll love your new jewelry!

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