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White Gold vs Yellow Gold and Platinum: What is the difference?


White Gold vs Yellow Gold and Platinum: What is the difference?

What is the white gold?

White gold is an alloy of gold with other metals that give the metal a "white" or silvery appearance. It is often compared in color to platinum, but is less expensive. The hardness of white gold is more than that of pure silver or sterling silver.


Here is an overview of the components of white gold and how it compares to yellow gold and platinum.



 White gold components

Gold is a pure element, but it is used in jewelry and electronics as an alloy, which means it contains other elements. The amount of gold in yellow and white gold is expressed in karats. Therefore, both a 14k yellow gold ring and a 14k white gold ring are 14/28 or about 58% gold.


Yellow gold contains copper, silver, or other elements that make the metal more solid, while allowing it to retain its golden color. White gold is gold alloyed with nickel, palladium, platinum and/or manganese. Sometimes it contains copper, zinc or silver. The common alloys are gold, palladium, silver, gold, nickel, copper and zinc.



 The color and properties of white gold

Most white gold is not actually white. Although most of the non-golden metals in white gold are predominantly silver, the color of white gold tends to be similar to a dull yellow or gray pink. If the alloy contains enough copper, white gold may turn slightly pink. Also, the higher the carat value of gold, the more yellow it is. Therefore, 18 karat white gold is more likely to appear yellow than 14 karat white gold.


White gold made of gold and palladium has a dull gold/dull gray color and may not be coated with another metal. But most white gold has an electroplating of rhodium or platinum. The coating improves color and gloss and reduces the occurrence of allergic reactions or dermatitis from the metals in the alloy.



Allergy to white gold

Usually, if a person is allergic to white gold, this is due to the presence of nickel in the alloy. One in eight people is allergic to alloys containing nickel. The most common symptom is a rash. Gold and palladium alloys tend not to do this damage. However, some people are allergic to mercury (common in dental amalgam) if it comes into contact with the skin of these people. Electroplating on metal is not a surefire way to avoid metal allergy because the coating wears out over time and needs to be replaced every five to ten years.



What is platinum?

Platinum is a naturally occurring white metal. Platinum in its semi-pure form is usually used in jewelry – its percentage ranges from 95-98%. Platinum is almost identical to white gold and both will retain their shape and luster for many years as long as they are properly cared for.



What is the cost of platinum?

Platinum engagement rings range in price from around $300 for a simple solitaire to $3,000 for value rings. The cost depends on factors such as the style of the ring, the amount of platinum used, and the seller from which you are buying the ring.

If you are considering buying a platinum ring, here are the pros and cons to help you decide if it is the right choice.



Advantages of platinum

1.      Hypoallergenic.

2.     Rarer than gold.

3.     It is often considered a status symbol (eg 'platinum' credit cards have more advantages than 'gold' cards).

4.     Heavier and more durable than white gold.

5.     It tends to have lighter and rosy skin tones.



Platinum Cons

1.      Much more expensive than white gold even though it looks almost identical.

2.     Scratches and fades over time.

3.     It requires cleaning and polishing every few years, although this does remove some of the platinum.



Is platinum better than gold?

No, platinum is not better than gold, platinum looks almost identical to white gold but costs a lot more. Both 14k and 18k white gold are decent enough for everyday wear, so platinum jewelry is not a must. Platinum can also be scratched more easily and requires more maintenance. White gold is a beautiful metallic alloy with a classic look. White gold costs less than platinum and is a stunning choice for engagement rings and other fine jewelry.



The difference between white gold and yellow gold

1.      The main difference between white gold and yellow gold is the colour. White gold is mixed with white metals such as nickel, while yellow gold is mixed with yellow metals such as copper.

2.     White gold has a lustrous white appearance and yellow gold has a luminous yellow tint.

3.     Some prefer the golden color of yellow gold, while others prefer white gold. The color of gold you choose should depend on your personal choices.

4.     Yellow gold is more hypoallergenic than white gold and is easy to maintain.

5.     The cost of white gold and yellow gold is relatively the same, because both are made of gold and alloys of other metals. 14 karat gold costs less than 18 karat gold, regardless of color.



Comparison of yellow gold, white gold and platinum

Pure gold is too soft for practical applications, but mixing it as yellow or white gold increases its resistance to corrosion and oxidation. In contrast, platinum finds use as a reasonably pure element. Platinum is silver in color but is darker than silver or rhodium.


Yellow gold is much stronger than pure gold. Its color never changes, but it wears out and scratches over time.


Platinum is more expensive, yellow or white gold, but it is also the safest choice for people with sensitive skin. Also, matching platinum jewelry is easier than matching gold jewelry because each gold ingot has a slightly different look. But platinum is not at risk. It can scratch and require polishing from time to time.


White gold is less expensive than platinum. Its cost relative to yellow gold depends on the other elements in the alloy and electroplating (if used). The rhodium-plated white gold has a shiny, white back and is highly scratch resistant. Platinum-plated white gold matches platinum jewellery. But plating does corrode, so it's important for people with sensitive skin to keep white gold electroplated jewelry.


The metal you choose depends on the color you prefer, affordability, and skin sensitivity. A reputable goldsmith knows his alloy compositions and can find the best yellow and white gold suitable for people with metal allergies.