Not many people have deeper knowledge about precious metals, so we can easily make a mistake when trying to figure out which one is white gold which is platinum or silver. The only way we know which one is which is by the price that is drastically different. When choosing to buy an item made of these metals you should think more about other things instead of looking at the price.
Maybe you are looking for a ring or a souvenir, and in that case, durability and how beautiful is it is very important. If you are looking for an investment, platinum coins or gold coins are always on demand and each year you will notice that the price is going up. How expensive is a precious metal isn’t just made up, there are many reasons why something costs a lot.
Malleability and Hardness
These two properties of precious metals are misunderstood even in the jewelry industry. The hardness of a metal is actually its resistance to denting and scratching. For example, diamond is the hardest material we know about and it can’t be scratched easily like softer metals. Malleability implies that a certain type of metal can be turned into different shapes or bend.
Gold isn’t harder than platinum when it has pure form. Some 18kt white gold is usually mixed with silver, copper, and palladium in order to make it harder. This will result in a mixture that is harder than platinum alloys. But, harder to hammer into shape or bend is platinum. Click here to read more.
Difference in Price
Prices for white gold and platinum are going to be the same at one point which will be soon. The same products made out of platinum and gold won’t cost the same even if the price is close and there are few reasons behind it. You will need more material to make the same thing made out of platinum because it is denser.
An interesting fact is that 18k white gold has 75% gold and the platinum alloys are 95% pure, which means you will use less gold to produce, for example, 18kr ring. Gold is much easier to work with, so the cost to make something will be lower, about 20%. A very important factor is that white gold can be re-melted and re-used, so when you scratch platinum you will have to go to a refiner to pay a lot.
A big advantage has platinum when it comes to buying souvenirs because the color will stay the same even if you don’t maintain it properly. There is a myth about white gold that it will turn a little bit yellow after a couple of years, so you need to maintain it. This is true in some situations, it depends on how you are treating it, where is it placed, and how much is it in contact with other materials. It can happen to nickel-based alloys to turn yellow, so you should check how pure your gold is if it happens to you.
Serviceability and Accessibility
White gold is more accessible than platinum because there are more mining sites and we produce more of it for a long time. This also has a big impact on the price, but there are predictions that say that at some point platinum will be available as gold because we are using it too much. The demand for both is rising because we are using technologies that require these materials.
When it comes to products, you will have more jewelers that have the skill to fix products made out of gold. Platinum also has a higher melting point which can damage other parts of the item. There are people working on tools that use lasers to operate with these precious metals.
At the moment, gold is a much more reliable investment because at some point it was used as a currency. Platinum is used in many industries, but still, it is harder to get. If inflation happens you would like to have gold and silver because it will have the best value. If you want to learn from many years ago, then platinum is also a good investment because it had a rapid growth 50 years after it was discovered as a precious metal.