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When opting for a piece of jewelry or any other accessory, you might be unable to decide between gold and platinum, and rightly so.
A frequently asked question by the general populace is ‘is platinum a type of gold,’ and the short answer is no.
Although they are both precious elements that are valuable, aesthetically appealing, and versatile, there is a difference between platinum and gold.
Platinum is not the same as gold because it is more durable and available in purer forms.
Both are well suited for a range of accessories such as gems, rings, and lockets, and knowing their history will help you decide which one may be the best option for you.
Let us explore key differences between each metal.
What is Platinum?
Platinum is a white metal used in a variety of jewelry and ranges in purity from 95% to 98%.
Visually speaking, white gold is similar to platinum, and both maintain their appearance if they are preserved properly.
The price of platinum depends on the type of jewelry you choose to buy.
You can expect a simple solitaire design to cost around 300 USD, whereas a more intricate setting can cost you up to 3000 USD.
The main factors affecting the cost of platinum are ring style, the composition of platinum in the item, and vendor choice.
There are many advantages and some disadvantages to opting for platinum.
Platinum is hypoallergenic, extremely rare, prestigious, durable, and matches well with fair and reddish skin tones.
The hypoallergenic aspect makes it suitable for individuals that might be allergic to certain metals; you can wear it for a long time without any adverse skin reactions.
Its rarity exceeds that of gold, and it symbolizes prestige.
Platinum is more durable, resilient, and versatile than white gold and denser.
It’s chosen by some to accentuate certain skin tones, which is why it can look better than gold on many individuals.
However, it has some disadvantages that might discourage people from buying it.
Platinum looks very similar to white gold but costs much more.
It also dulls over time and can get scratched if not appropriately maintained.
In order to maintain it, you must polish platinum once every few years, which removes some of the outer layers of platinum from the item.
What is White Gold?
White gold comprises several metals, including zinc, nickel, and copper, which give it its characteristic white color.
It is usually incorporated in 14K and 18K gold, with 58.3% and 75% gold composition, respectively.
Gold is often mixed with other durable metals to give it a firm shape and hardness because gold is soft and flexible in its pure form.
Since the metals added to white gold are silvery in color, it gives the gold the desirable white color that many wish to buy.
White gold is also coated with a metal called rhodium, which is similar to platinum and adds strength and durability to the gold.
Its lustrous surface makes it an ideal choice for coating all kinds of jewelry and protects them from the effects of oxidation from the environment.
With the passage of time, the outer layer of rhodium starts to fade away, revealing the yellow color of gold underneath.
Difference Between Platinum And Gold
There are two main distinctions between platinum and white gold.
White gold comprises metal alloys like zinc, nickel, and copper, whereas platinum is available in its pure form of 95% to 98%.
A ring would require a higher composition of platinum because you cannot substitute it with cheaper metals, which makes the cost up to 50% higher.
With composition and price being the major differences, the two metals are otherwise quite similar in terms of appearance.
Many individuals cannot differentiate between platinum and white gold when they are kept side by side. Ultimately, it is the wearer’s decision whether they choose platinum or white gold as the main accessory of choice.
Since platinum rings are more expensive than gold, many people may decide to opt for a mix between the two.
Just like people mix diamonds with gold, many are also fine with variations of gold and platinum.
Platinum is overall a more versatile and durable metal to buy compared with gold, which relies solely on improved properties from other metals.
The remaining 2% to 5% in platinum is from silver and rhodium, which give it some of its properties.
Is Platinum Superior to Gold?
In all honesty, platinum is not superior to gold because it is identical to white gold but costs way more.
If you choose to buy a 14K or 18K gold piece, you can expect them to be durable enough to last a long time, which means that platinum’s improved durability doesn’t add much in terms of daily wear.
Platinum also accumulates general wear and tear and needs more maintenance than gold.
If you’re going for aesthetics instead of higher value and cost, gold may be a good option, especially white gold, since it is pretty similar.
The lower price makes it a popular choice for engagement rings and other jewelry pieces. Still, some people prefer platinum simply because it is more expensive, rare, and valuable than gold.
It’s best to do some research when looking to answer the question ‘is platinum a type of gold’ so that you are aware of the distinctions between each and can choose the right option for yourself or a significant other.
Many people choose white gold as a cheaper alternative to platinum because of their similarities, but that’s not to say that other individuals who opt for rarity and higher value don’t prefer platinum.
Jewelry is not just for aesthetics, although that’s certainly one of the major reasons people wear it; some people care more about knowing what they’re wearing as opposed to showing others.