Why white gold instead of platinum?
At QP Jewellers we offer thousands of jewellery items in stunning 14 carat white gold. Currently we do not sell platinum jewellery. The reason is simple: white gold is far more popular than platinum, and much more affordable. Platinum has, however, become more popular in the last ten years or so, but white gold will always remain the favourite choice by and large. Below are some other differences between the two metals:
The platinum used for jewellery manufacturing is usually, but not always, of very high purity. In this respect it is more often than not purer than gold used for jewellery (with the exception of 24 carat gold which is 100% pure.) The purity of the platinum is denoted by parts per thousand, for example 950 is platinum that is 95% pure: anything of this amount or greater is simply referred to as pure platinum. Pure platinum is normally valued at two to three times the value of gold, but as of Q1 2013 is actually valued less than gold. This is a good example of how markets can fluctuate over a relatively short space of time.
The reason for the whitish colour of white gold is due to the alloys used: commonly copper, palladium and zinc, which change the colour from the gold's natural yellow hues. White gold jewellery is often plated with rhodium. Depending on how close the jewellery hugs the skin, this rhodium layer can wear, or tarnish, over time (especially in rings, which are worn regularly and hug the skin.) White gold rings should therefore be re-plated every one to two years in order to sustain the bright white lustre of the metal. This can be done at any jewellers for little to no cost.
Platinum is a very dense metal that is much less malleable than gold. For this reason it is much more labour intensive to produce platinum jewellery. Therefore, regardless of the current prices of the raw materials platinum jewellery is always more expensive to buy than gold or white gold jewellery. As it is not alloyed with other metals to change its colour nor rhodium plated, platinum jewellery does not tarnish over time in the same way as white gold jewellery. However, it may lose its lustre over time, which can be regained through having the platinum professionally polished.