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Platinum vs. White Gold: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on March 13, 2024
Platinum is a dense, durable pure metal with a white-silver color, while white gold is an alloy of gold mixed with white metals like nickel or palladium, coated with rhodium for a white appearance.

Key Differences

Platinum is a naturally white metal known for its strength and durability, making it an ideal choice for fine jewelry that withstands everyday wear, such as wedding bands and engagement rings. White gold, in contrast, is not a pure metal but an alloy made by combining gold with white metals such as nickel, silver, or palladium, which gives it a white hue. It is often coated with a thin layer of rhodium to enhance its whiteness and provide a protective layer.
One of the significant differences between platinum and white gold is their weight and density. Platinum is significantly denser and heavier than white gold, which can be felt when comparing jewelry pieces made from these metals. This characteristic makes platinum jewelry more durable and resistant to wear over time, whereas white gold may require more maintenance and re-coating to maintain its luster and color.
From a cost perspective, platinum is generally more expensive than white gold due to its rarity and higher density. The higher price of platinum jewelry reflects not only the cost of the metal itself but also the greater amount of metal required to make a piece due to its density. White gold, being an alloy, is less expensive, making it a popular and more affordable option for those seeking the look of a white metal without the higher price tag of platinum.
Another consideration is the hypoallergenic properties of these metals. Platinum is naturally hypoallergenic, making it a suitable choice for individuals with sensitive skin or metal allergies. White gold, however, may contain nickel or other metals that can cause allergic reactions in some people, although high-quality white gold with a palladium alloy is less likely to cause irritation.
Both platinum and white gold are popular choices for jewelry, they differ in their composition, appearance, weight, cost, and hypoallergenic properties. Platinum is a pure, dense metal ideal for those looking for durability and hypoallergenic qualities, while white gold is a more affordable, lightweight alternative that may require more maintenance to preserve its white sheen.

Comparison Chart


Pure metal
Alloy of gold with white metals


Naturally white-silver
White, often coated with rhodium

Density and Weight

Denser and heavier


Very durable, resistant to wear
Less durable, may need re-coating


Generally more expensive
More affordable


Low maintenance, doesn't need re-coating
May require re-plating with rhodium


Naturally hypoallergenic
May cause allergies due to nickel content


Preferred for premium jewelry
Popular for those seeking affordability

Wear Over Time

Develops a patina, scratches less visible
Scratches can remove rhodium coating

Platinum and White Gold Definitions


Resistant to tarnishing and corrosion.
His platinum watch remained lustrous despite years of wear.

White Gold

Offers a lighter alternative to platinum jewelry.
The lightweight white gold pendant was comfortable to wear daily.


Naturally hypoallergenic, making it ideal for sensitive skin.
She chose a platinum necklace because it wouldn't irritate her skin.

White Gold

Requires maintenance to retain its white luster.
The white gold ring was taken in for rhodium plating to restore its shine.


Used in high-end jewelry and industrial applications.
The jeweler recommended platinum for its lasting durability.

White Gold

Versatile for various jewelry designs and settings.
The intricate design of the white gold necklace caught everyone's attention.


A dense, precious metal with a silvery-white appearance.
The platinum ring felt heavy and luxurious on her finger.

White Gold

Popular for its affordability compared to platinum.
They opted for white gold wedding bands to stay within budget.


Valued for its rarity and purity in jewelry making.
The platinum earrings were a symbol of pure elegance.

White Gold

An alloy of gold mixed with white metals and coated with rhodium.
Her white gold bracelet shone brightly after being polished.


A trademark for a certification indicating that a recording, such as an album of music, has sold a million copies.


Symbol Pt A silver-white metallic element occurring in alluvial deposits in sperrylite and nickel ores, usually mixed with other metals such as iridium, osmium, or nickel. It is ductile and malleable, does not oxidize in air, and is used as a catalyst and in electrical components, jewelry, dentistry, and electroplating. Atomic number 78; atomic weight 195.08; melting point 1,768.2°C; boiling point 3,825°C; specific gravity 21.45 (20°C); valence 2, 3, 4. See Periodic Table.


Do platinum and white gold look the same?

Platinum and white gold look similar, but platinum maintains its color without needing re-coating, while white gold may yellow over time without rhodium plating.

How do I care for a platinum piece?

Platinum requires minimal care, just regular cleaning with mild soap and water, and it can be polished to remove any patina that develops over time.

What is platinum?

Platinum is a dense, precious metal with a natural white-silver color, used in high-end jewelry and industrial applications.

Why is platinum more expensive than white gold?

Platinum is rarer and denser than gold, requiring more metal per piece, which contributes to its higher cost.

What is white gold?

White gold is an alloy made from gold and white metals like nickel or palladium, often coated with rhodium for a white appearance.

How often does white gold need to be re-plated?

White gold may need re-plating every 1 to 3 years, depending on wear and the thickness of the initial rhodium coating.

Can white gold cause allergies?

Yes, white gold can cause allergic reactions, especially if it contains nickel, which some people are sensitive to.

Can white gold be resized?

Yes, white gold can be resized, but it may require re-plating with rhodium afterward to restore its white finish.

Why choose platinum over white gold?

Choose platinum for its durability, hypoallergenic properties, and low maintenance, especially if budget is not a primary concern.

Is platinum suitable for all types of jewelry?

Platinum is suitable for most jewelry, especially engagement rings and wedding bands, due to its strength and durability.

Is platinum heavier than white gold?

Yes, platinum is denser and heavier than white gold, which is noticeable in jewelry pieces.

Does platinum scratch easily?

Platinum is durable but can develop a patina from fine scratches over time, which can be polished out.

How does the weight of platinum jewelry compare to gold?

Platinum jewelry is heavier than gold jewelry of the same size due to its higher density.

Is white gold as strong as platinum?

White gold is strong but not as durable as platinum, which is more resistant to wear and deformation.

Does the color of white gold change over time?

The color of white gold can yellow slightly over time as the rhodium plating wears off, requiring re-plating to restore its white appearance.

Can I wear my white gold jewelry in the pool?

Chlorine can damage white gold, so it's best to remove it before swimming in pools or hot tubs.

How can I tell if my jewelry is platinum or white gold?

Check for hallmarks; platinum is often marked with "Pt" or "950," while white gold may not have a specific marking but could have a karat stamp.

Why choose white gold over platinum?

White gold is more affordable and offers a similar look to platinum, making it a good choice for budget-conscious buyers.

Does platinum tarnish or corrode?

Platinum does not tarnish or corrode, maintaining its color and luster over time.

Can I have a white gold piece re-coated in platinum?

It's not standard practice to coat white gold with platinum due to the differing properties and costs of the metals.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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