The difference between gold and platinum

Gold and Platinum are the most popular precious metals used in jewellery today for their inherent qualities of high economic value, lustre, resilience, durability and clarity. They can form alloys (mixtures) with other metals, creating a variety of attractive combinations for jewellery.


Undoubtedly, the most popular precious metal, gold is used in its “pure” form, meaning 24 karat (24K) gold or 18, 14 or 9 karat gold. 24K gold is soft, which requires it to be mixed with other metal alloys to increase its hardness and durability. Any piece that contains less than 24 karat gold should state the karat quality to guarantee the claim that the piece is made of gold.

Precious metals

Gold is available in several different colours: yellow, rose and white with yellow being the most popular. In some rare instances bronze, red and lime gold are also available. Jewellery can also be made through a combination of different gold nuances and such pieces are referred to as two-tone, three-tone or multi-coloured gold. The gold content of any type of gold is measured in the same way. For example, an 18ct white gold ring will contain 75% pure gold, similar to an 18ct yellow gold contains 75% pure gold. The metals used in the alloy mix determine the difference in colour between yellow, white and rose gold.

Yellow Gold

Mixing pure gold with alloy metals such as copper and zinc usually makes yellow gold. It is the purest colour as well as the most hypoallergenic, and it requires the least maintenance of all the gold colours. Natural gold is yellow in colour, but in combination with the right alloys – the shade and nuance of the yellow can be made brighter and deeper. Yellow gold has a certain prestige associated with it, which makes it particularly favoured for wedding bands and classic engagement rings with solitaire and pear-shaped diamonds.

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Rose Gold

Rose gold, however, is made from mixing pure gold with alloys including copper. It is the copper that provides the rose-reddish colour. Rose gold is more affordable than yellow gold because it uses the inexpensive copper. Copper also makes rose gold more durable than yellow or white gold. Rose gold is considered a very feminine nuance and is very popular in combination with French pave set diamonds as it creates enchantingly romantic compositions that are very fitting for engagement rings.

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White Gold

White gold is an alloy of gold and white metals such as silver and palladium. Other metals used to achieve this colour can be nickel and zinc. It is important to note that the difference of karats determines a difference in colour. One of the reasons for its rising popularity is due to the fact that white gold has the clean and simple beauty of silver, but the strength and prestige of gold. Its appearance is subtle and unpretentious yet combines well with other shades of gold and precious stones.

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Platinum is a type of precious metal with value that exceeds that of gold. It is usually mixed with other similar metals, known as the platinum group metals, such as: iridium, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium and osmium.

Platinum jewellery bears different markings as compared with gold jewellery, based on the amount of pure platinum in the piece. These quality markings for platinum on parts are marked per thousand. For example, the marking 800 Platinum means that 800 parts out of 1000 are pure platinum, or in other words, the item is 80% platinum and 20% other metals. The abbreviations for platinum — Plat. or Pt. — is commonly used in markings.

Platinum marking

Platinum is a prestigious choice and often chosen for its sophisticated appeal and popularity. Platinum is mainly used in engagement rings and wedding bands for both men and women for its universal appeal.