White gold is often confused with platinum because the two metals look a lot alike when they are displayed. Each has its own properties that make it a unique metal, but platinum is generally used in an almost pure form. For this reason, a platinum piece of jewelry will often feel heavier than a piece that is made from white gold.
Platinum is also more expensive than white gold, so a question lingers: is white gold a better investment than platinum?
For Most People, White Gold Is a Better Buy
Although platinum is nearly pure, it is also much more expensive. If you compared a 18K white gold piece of the same weight to a platinum piece, the platinum product would be twice the cost of the gold product. That’s before you even include the cost of any gemstones that might be added to the piece! This means for the average household, the white gold jewelry is going to be the better buy. You’ll be able to get more wear with less fatigue with the piece and it will hold its resale value.
The only exception to this rule would be if you’re looking at a solid chunk of platinum versus a solid chunk of white gold as an investment. The platinum is going to maintain its value and be worth more in the long run, while the white gold will typically be sold only at scrap gold values instead of the spot price. This is because white gold is more of an alloy than the platinum is. Even alloyed platinum is 95% pure, while the best of the best white gold is just 90% pure.
How Much Do You Plan To Wear the Jewelry?
If you plan on daily wear of your white gold jewelry, such as a wedding ring, then platinum might also be a better purchase. The white of the gold comes not from the alloy, but from the rhodium plating that is typically used on top of the gold. This plating tends to wear out over the course of 18 months, requiring the jewelry to be re-plated to restore its shine. Platinum, on the other hand, tends to retain its luster over the long haul.
If you purchase white gold that doesn’t have the plating, however, then you’ll actually have a better investment than in the platinum piece. There will be slight color variations in the gold and it won’t be solid white, but it also won’t need the plating and continued maintenance to help it stay looking beautiful. Most white gold rings have the plating, however, so you may have to pay a premium price to get a piece that doesn’t have the rhodium included with it.
Both white gold and platinum have tremendous staying power. From a purely monetary standpoint, platinum might hold some advantages over white gold, but because of its cost, most households are going to find that the white gold is a better purchase. It looks beautiful, retains its value at higher karat levels, and can become a family heirloom piece if it is well cared for over time.