What is the difference between White, Gold, and Platinum Jewelry?

I get asked all the time, what is the difference between white, gold, and Platinum?  And why is Platinum so expensive??

Lets start out with Platinum since there are not as many variables.  The price of Platinum at today’s current spot price is 1735 usd per ounce.  Most jewelry that is sold is 90% Platinum 10% Iridium.  An average ladies engagement ring that I custom design weighs around 5 penny weights (DWT)  20 dwt = 1 ounce  1735/20 = 86.75 x 5=433.75            That is 433.75  for the raw materials.

When you choose gold, there are a couple more things to look at.  24kt is pure gold.  Most of your high end fine jewelry is made of 18kt gold.  The standard in the USA is 14kt.  10kt is the lowest karat gold used in the states and is the least expensive.  18kt is 75% pure gold 25% alloys  14kt is 58.5% pure gold and 10kt is 40% pure.  The alloys that are added to dilute the pure gold to the desired karat vary.  Yellow gold is alloyed with copper and zinc.  White gold is alloyed with silver and palladium( nickel in the old days). They stopped using nickel because it had a allergic reaction to some peoples skin.  24kt gold today is 1153 an ounce.  So, let say you want the ring in 18kt which would be the next best thing to Platinum, 1153 x .75 = 864.75/20= 43.24 x 5 dwt (for the ladies ring) 216.19 for the cost of the raw materials. The platinum will be more than double the cost verses 18kt.  If you do the math for 14kt and 10kt, it becomes much more than double.

If you enjoy yellow gold you can choose what karat gold you prefer and your done.  But if you like the look of diamonds in white metal, then you have choose Platinum or white gold.  Why would anyone go with Platinum over white gold with such a price difference?  Here are some pros’s and con’s of both.

White gold  pros’s are – Less expensive, harder to dent or scratch. The con’s are -It  has to be re- rhodium plated to give the look of platinum. Rhodium is a precious metal, a member of the platinum family. Rhodium electroplating is used to provide a surface that will resist scratches and tarnish, and give a white, reflective appearance.  The white gold prongs that the diamonds are set into are brittle (from the alloy) and can break off if hit, resulting in the possible loss of the stone.

Platinum pros’s are – Never has to be re-plated, and nothing is safer to set a stone into.  Contrary to belief, platinum is a softer metal than (white gold).  Most larger diamonds that are sold are set into a four-prong head or basket.  If one of the prongs is hit and breaks off, there is a good chance the stone will fall out.  If a platinum prong is hit, it will bend but not snap off.  Go to a store such as “Tiffany’s” or any other fine high end store and look at there expensive solitaires, 99% of the time they will be set in platinum.  That is the great benefit of Platinum, it will stand the test of time.  The downside of it is it cost roughly twice as much and it is softer so the bottom of your ring will dent and scratch easier than gold.  Remember that the white gold will have to be polished and re-plated about once a year depending on the wearer at a cost of about 50 dollars each time.  Of course, you will need to have your Platinum ring and band polished once a year also if you want it to look as new, but it will not cost you 50 dollars.  I never charge my customers a fee to polish there treasures.

Please email me, give me a call or stop by for all your jewelry needs at  jbjewelersorlando.com