Difference Between White Gold and Platinum

Main Difference – White Gold vs Platinum

Both White Gold and Platinum are types of most sought after precious metals, especially when it comes to jewellery. However, there is very little similarities between the two types of metals apart from the fact that both metals are very expensive, long lasting and rarely found on earth. But even these factors defer up to quite an extent between the two. It is incorrect to refer to white gold as a metal because it really is a mixture of other metals with gold whereas platinum is a pure metal. Hence, the main difference between white gold and platinum is that platinum is a metal while white gold is an alloy.

What is White Gold

White gold is made by mixing about 75% of yellow gold with elements such as silver and palladium to make up to the rest of the 25%. Therefore, white gold is not a metal and is considered as an alloy as it is made up from a mixture of elements. Nickel was a common alloying element used to produce white gold since recent years; however, due to the increasing number of skin allergies, its usage is now minimised. The white colour of white gold is produced through the plating of the alloy with rhodium, which is an element that shares common properties with platinum including its colour. Therefore, it is difficult to distinguish white gold from platinum by looking at the colour. However, the rhodium plating tends to wear off eventually. Therefore, when this happens, it is necessary to get the gold re-plated in rhodium.

Gold is considered as a precious metal, as it is a rare metal. It has the chemical symbol as ‘Au’ in the periodic table and has an atomic number of 79. It is a reddish yellow transition metal and is found naturally alloying with elements such as copper and palladium.

Main Difference - White Gold vs Platinum

What is Platinum

Platinum is a precious metal just as gold since it is rarely found on earth. It is in the ‘d block’ in the periodic table, and hence is a transition metal. It is chemically symbolised as ‘Pt’ and has an atomic number of 78. Platinum is quite dense and highly unreactive. It is, in fact, the least reactive metal and has a very high resistance towards corrosion. Therefore, it is considered as a noble metal. Naturally it is seen as a grey-white metal. When it comes to the jewellery industry, platinum is more expensive than white gold. Also, as it is a quite dense, platinum jewellery tends to be heavier. However, due to its high resistivity, there is no need of an external plating element such as rhodium for white gold. And platinum jewellery is about 95% pure.

Due to its chemical inertness, platinum is used catalytic converters and electrodes etc. However, its persistence makes it a heavy metal and gives rise to many health complications when exposed to it.

Difference Between White Gold and PlatinumDifference Between White Gold and Platinum


White Gold is an alloy made out of 75% of Gold and the rest mainly accounting for other elements such as Silver and Palladium.

Platinum is a precious metal found in the transition series in the periodic table.


White Gold is a white in colour.

Platinum has a greyish white colour.

Chemical Inertness

White Gold is not as chemically inert as Platinum, and, therefore, it is plated using Rhodium to prevent corrosion. Regular maintenance is needed to preserve the shine.

Platinum is the least reactive metal, and hence known as a ‘noble metal’. No maintenance required as the durability of Platinum is quite high.


White Gold is less heavy when compared to Platinum.

Platinum is quite dense and heavier.


White Gold is cheaper than Platinum.

Platinum is less frequently found than Gold, therefore, due to its rarity, it is more expensive.

Ability to Cause Allergies

White Gold is said to cause skin allergies as it used to contain Nickel as an alloying element. However, Nickel is rarely been used for the production of white Gold these days.

Platinum is hypoallergenic.Difference Between White Gold and Platinum- infographic

Image Courtesy:

“White-gold–rhodium-plated” by Schtone – Own work. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons

“Platinum-t07-103b” by Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

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