Platinum vs. Gold: What’s The Big Difference?

One of the two most popular and sought after jewelry metals are gold and platinum. Want to know how the two compare? You’ve come to the right place! Diamond Buyers breaks down the difference between platinum vs. gold so you can understand your jewelry worth.

Platinum vs. Gold

Let’s start with the basics. What’s the difference between gold and platinum?

What is pure gold?

Gold is a valuable heavy metal with a naturally yellow hue (but can also come in several color varieties). Gold is mostly found in South Africa. Pure gold is 24 karats. Usually, gold jewelry is an alloy that’s made from mixing pure gold with certain levels of copper, palladium, zinc and other metals. The higher the karat, the purer the gold, and also the more valuable the jewelry. However, it’s also the case that the purer the gold, the softer and more malleable it is (and easier to scratch). That’s why you usually see people buying 18k, 14k or 12k gold jewelry.

What is rose gold?

Rose gold is a type of gold with a beautiful pink hue. The rosy color is a result of the alloy mixture (gold and copper).

What is platinum?

Platinum is also a precious heavy metal, known for its silvery-white color; a lot of people love platinum because of the way it enhances a diamond’s sparkle. Most platinum today is also found in South Africa but is mined much less.

Overall, platinum is stronger than gold.

What is white gold?

White gold looks like platinum but is worth less since it’s lighter (thus it takes less of it to make jewelry). White gold requires more upkeep than platinum. If you have a nickel allergy and want a white metal, opt for platinum instead (since it’s hypoallergenic).

Cost of Platinum Jewelry vs. Gold Jewelry

When it comes to which costs more, gold and platinum usually cost the same per gram. But there are some differences that affect how much you’ll pay/sell for one over the other.

  • Color luster: Over time, gold doesn’t tarnish or oxidize, but the color can fade. Platinum, however, is revered because it doesn’t start lacking in color luster over time.
  • Durability: Both platinum and 24k gold are prone to get scratched. 14k-18k gold is less likely to become scratched. One advantage of platinum over gold is that it doesn’t show the scratch as much as gold would (due to the color of the metal).
  • Maintenance: Platinum has less maintenance than gold. White gold, for example, needs to be re-tripped, re-plated and re-polished to keep it in tip-top shape.
  • Rarity: Platinum is a lot rarer than gold.
  • Weight: Platinum is denser/heavier than gold.

Taking all these factors into account platinum jewelry will generally be more expensive than gold jewelry. You can find the spot price of platinum and gold at APMEX.com.

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