Before you get carried away, you should know that the setting you choose should be based on your skin tone, personal preference and fashion. Rose, white or yellow gold are not technically better than each other.
Not is platinum. There is virtually no visual difference between platinum and white gold. Yet white gold is much better value. If you are considering platinum, you are better off putting the additional money towards a diamond.
Platinum vs. White Gold
This is a common choice when deciding on a setting for an engagement ring. They are almost identically visually, so the difference comes down to price and composition.
To give you everything you need to know, we’ve compared the two on several factors: cost, composition, color and care.
The Cost of Platinum vs White Gold
This is the biggest difference between platinum and white gold. Platinum is much more expensive. Fact.
The two choices are actually very similar when it comes to price per gram. But a lot more platinum is required to make a ring because it is much more dense. That makes platinum rings much more expensive than white gold ones.
If you take two very comparable rings, one white gold and one platinum, you can expect to pay up to 50% more for the platinum ring. When there is no visual difference, you are better spending that extra money on a diamond.
The Composition of White Gold vs. Platinum
When you buy gold jewelry, you will typically choose 18 or 14 karat gold. This means that the gold is mixed with a number of metals like zinc, nickel and copper. This is because gold on its own is relatively soft and it needs to be made more durable. 18 karat gold is 75% pure, 14 karat gold is 58.3% pure.
Platinum, on the other hand, is much more pure. When you buy a platinum ring it will typically be between 95%-98% platinum. This makes it stronger and also more dense (hence the increased price).
The Color and Care of Platinum vs White Gold
As we have already stated, platinum and white gold look virtually identical to the naked eye. But platinum scratches more easily than 18 or 14 karat gold. The upkeep of platinum is also higher as it needs to be polished and cleaned regularly to maintain its shine. Gold will need to be re-polished, too, but not as often.
What is Platinum?
At this point you might be wondering what Platinum actually is. Well, it is a naturally white metal that is used in a nearly pure form for jewelry. It looks identical to white gold and will continue to look that way for years. Here are the pros and cons of platinum:
- Rarer than gold
- Considered a symbol of prestige
- Heavier and more durable than gold
- A great look with fair and rosier skin tones.
- Significantly more expensive than white gold
- At risk of getting scratched easier
- Required to be cleaned and polished every few years.
The Three Types of Gold
There are always three options when choosing a gold setting for your engagement ring. They are fairly similar but differ slightly in their color and composition. That means your choice should be based on personal preference above all else.
This is a mixture of pure gold and white metals like silver, palladium and nickel.
The pros of white gold are:
- It is more affordable than platinum
- It’s more popular currently than yellow gold
- It’s alloyed with stronger metals than yellow gold making it more scratch-resistant
- It complements white diamonds better than yellow gold
- It’s good for fair and rosy skin
The cons of white gold are:
- That it needs to be dipped every few years to retain its color and luster. This is an inexpensive process, however.
- Can have nickel mixed with it, which some people are allergic to. It is not hypoallergenic, in other words.
Yellow gold is a mix of pure gold with alloy metals such as zinc and copper.
Karats are a sign of how pure the gold is.
- 14 karat gold is 58.3% pure
- 18 karat gold is 75% pure
- 22 karat gold is 91.7% pure
- 24 karat gold is 99.9% pure
The higher the karats, the more pure the gold. But it also means the gold is less durable.
The pros of yellow gold are:
- It’s the most hypoallergenic of all three gold colors
- Historically it’s the most popular setting
- It’s the purest color of all golds
- It’s the easiest to maintain
- It’s the most malleable
- It complements olive and darker skin tones
- Easily matched with lower grade diamonds.
The cons of yellow gold are:
- It needs to be polished and cleaned regularly
- It can get dented and scratched
This color encompasses all shades and forms of red, pink and rose gold shades. It is achieved when pure gold is alloyed with copper. The more copper used, the redder the gold produced. A common mix is 75% gold and 25% copper, giving 18k gold. Like white gold, pure rose gold doesn’t exist.
The pros of rose gold:
- Stylish for both men and women
- Considered to be the most romantic because of the red color
- More affordable than other metals
- Very durable thanks to the strength of copper
- Complements all skin tones
The cons of rose gold:
- Isn’t hypoallergenic
- Not as widely available as white and yellow gold
We always say that your choice of setting and ring should be based on personal preference, but it is still helpful to know the differences between all of them. White gold and platinum look identical but are vastly different in price, for example. Knowing this could save you a lot.
To learn more about the diamond buying process, return to our home page, where you can view a full chart that explains the various cuts of diamonds, as well as access every other important page on our website. We’ve designed this site to be a virtual library of information to help out shoppers as they make one of their most important purchases.