Smart Shopper EDU: Platinum vs White Gold; What’s Alpaca Silver?

white gold vs platinum

Depicted: Platinum & White gold Ring–the lighter stripes are platinum whereas the darker stripes are the natural colour of white gold.

  • Platinum: A white metal. Platinum jewellery is usually 95% pure (rather high). This higher purity may explain platinum jewellery’s heavier price tag (double that of 18k gold!) and weight (literally, it has a higher density) in comparison with white gold. Platinum is also more durable and whiter in colour.
  • White Gold: A pale yellow to light grey–alloy of 75% gold that also consists of 25% white metals silver and palladium. It can be no higher than 18k gold. Nickel was one of the original white metals used in white gold. However, nickel is absent from most white gold today because it tends to cause an allergic reaction in some people.  White gold is often rhodium-plated to increase durability and brightness. Rhodium-plated white gold looks as bright as platinum.
  • Rhodium-Plating Rhodium is a type of platinum. Rhodium-plating creates a brilliant shine. This resulting layer is strong, scratch resistant and will not tarnish or corrode. However, it can wear away and need re-plating after one year, depending on one’s maintenance of her jewellery. Gold, silver and other metals can be rhodium-plated.

platinum vs rhodium plated white goldCan you see the difference? I can’t.

Depicted: Platinum wedding ring atop a white gold engagement ring.

  • Alpaca Silver: aka metal alloy. Alpaca silver is not actually silver but it looks like it, hence the name. It is a cheap alternative to silver that doesn’t stain. It is often found in musical instruments and South American jewellery.

Unisex bangles that are made of alpaca ‘silver’

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