Platinum vs White Gold

Skinny 18k White Gold Diamond Bracelet

Modern white gold jewellery is good for such pieces – everyday luxe pieces with an ‘on-trend’ look. The rhodium plating over white gold is very important for daily wear. When it becomes less shiny, you can always re-plate the piece.

This is old Platinum jewellery that has not been re-plated. The beauty of the grey is loved by some, not so by others. Point is, platinum over time holds its ‘look’ as the day it was made.

If you compare the underside of jewellery pieces, you can easily see the construction of platinum pieces is structurally more solid than white gold. It is this robustness that makes platinum feel substantial in your hands. Again, some value this aspect in their jewellery, some less.

Colour

White gold is not white. It is usually a weak yellow or heavily greyed that becomes ‘white’ or silver when plated with rhodium.

If you see it without the white finishing, your eyes will probably not pick out that piece in the window. In fact, you may not believe it is actually gold.

Platinum, on the other hand, is grey and polishes to a high shine.

This means that over time, you will need to re-plate your white gold pieces, while platinum pieces can just be polished.

Skinny 18k White Gold Diamond Bracelet

White gold is fabulous for jewellery that does not need to be ‘heirloom’. It is more important that these pieces appear luxe, bright and feminine. The difference of beauty perceived in “carefree” and “careworn” is how I always imagine the beauty in white gold and platinum respectively 🙂

Platinum Chain Necklaces Antique Chinese Jewelry
How It Feels

Platinum is less malleable than white gold. This means that a platinum setting holds gemstones more securely than a white gold setting, since it is harder to bend. This is one of the reasons why a platinum piece feels more solid that a white gold piece.

In our experience with antique jewellery, there is a lot of evidence that platinum jewellery holds up better over time.

Why is platinum more expensive than white gold?

If you compare the prices of pure platinum and gold, they are almost similar. Sometimes, platinum is even cheaper than gold. So how do you explain why platinum jewellery is more expensive than gold pieces?

Firstly, platinum is denser than gold, which means that a platinum piece is heavier than a similar gold piece.

Secondly, the processing cost of platinum is higher. While you can generally remelt gold scraps from working on a piece, scraps of platinum mostly cannot be reused and will have to be refined. In fact, some bench jewellers will not work with platinum because it will contaminate their gold-only workbench.

Thirdly, it really is harder to work on a platinum piece. The melting point of platinum is higher, so you will need to work with a hotter flame.

Fourthly, you can’t sell off platinum like you can sell gold, so if your jeweller buys extra platinum to work on your piece, s/he can’t sell it off, well, not as conveniently.

Why not silver?

Here we put the two to compare because they are the only precious metals to hold quality gemstones. Jewellers are less inclined to set a $1000 per carat gemstone on silver because it is hard to convince the market to pay for fine or rare gemstones in a sterling silver setting.

Once a fiery or vivid gemstone is set on solid gold, everything ‘feels’ different. This could be because the warmth of the yellow gold or shine of white gold casts a glow to the colour of gemstones. Sort of like enhancing it, except legit. The final piece of jewelry just looks better when set on gold or platinum. Metaphysical reasons outweigh physical ones here.

The Luxe Look of Tradition

Outside of specific interests, loose gemstones are stones until they are ‘housed’ and then ‘decorated’ properly.

Which brings us to decoration. Again subjectively speaking, in the aesthetic and nature of ‘white’, platinum comes closer to being well-decorated, naturally. While contemporary jewellery techniques may sometimes plate rhodium over platinum, it is not necessary and the ‘raw’ look of processed platinum is luxurious enough for most designers.

This is verified by antique platinum jewellery we inherit. Other than to polish away scratches, many platinum pieces need no further glossing up before they are put up for sale. Being softer, gold prongs or gold ring bands tend to need reworking to be shelf ready.

In short, to continue the tradition we find in the platinum jewellery we inherit from history, we choose to work in platinum over white gold. We learn whatever we can from history and hopefully bring it onward to a meaningful tomorrow.

*Photos of platinum pieces to come*

The Luxe Look of Everyday, Since the Gatsby Era

But let’s not forget the flirty pieces of the Art Deco era. White gold was used popularly by the 1920s, especially for luxury jewellery that needed extensive metalworking. If platinum was used for such pieces, it would be expensive and fearfully weighty, especially around the neck or for chandelier earrings with already heavy stones. With machine work aiding hand-finished pieces, Art Deco jewellery showcases the finest make of white gold jewellery.

We will continue the tradition we find in these white gold jewellery, while balancing tactility (weight and feel) and beauty considerations. From the point of metalworking, large, intricate pieces would certainly benefit from using white gold.

Typical Art Deco filigree necklaces in white gold. Of course the white gold has been re-plated over time. But the beauty is innate and imagining the piece in platinum seems too ‘heavy’, in more ways than one.

Another typical Art Deco filigree bracelet in white gold. Similarly the white gold has been re-plated over time. Again the use of white gold is justified and to commission a piece in platinum today may lose the delicacy of such a look.

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Heated vs Unheated Sapphire

Most sapphires are heat treated. Thermal treatment is common in commercial sapphires, as heat brings out the vivid colours of sapphires.

Unless stated to be ‘Unheated’ or ‘No Heat’, the sapphires you see on a ring or a pair of earrings are likely to be heat treated.

However the demand of vivid colour sapphires does not abate (compared to less vivid colours in many earthy-looking sapphires). What consistent demand does is actually to drive up the prices of of even heated sapphires to a high, sometimes asking as much as a comparatively lacklustre unheated sapphire.

A medley of rubies and sapphires. Can you guess which ones are unheated?

It should come as no surprise then the market has led to an amazing price for good quality unheated sapphires. One reason is jewelry designers and high fashion want to showcase their craft and style, and sometimes to do so it is only worthwhile to put their creative efforts to sapphires that are 101% natural, that is, their colours must be the way they are when they are mined from the earth.

With the world’s preoccupation with what’s natural and what’s investment, it is not an exaggeration to say we are caught in a web of trying to balance mining out Nature and insisting on Nature!

Even if every individual ekes out the monies for an unheated sapphire, the expected outcome will underwhelm the beauty of a wholesome unheated sapphire. Collateral damage is not limited to the earth’s climate but across all its natural resources and deposits.

An unheated 10.5ct bicolor Kashmir sapphire.

Kashmir sapphires command the highest prices as they are extremely rare.

Kashmir sapphires command the highest prices as they are extremely rare.

An unheated 13ct tricolor Sri Lankan sapphire.

Consider how a simple design can be manifested by an exquisite coloured gem, in this case an unheated 13ct tricolour sapphire.

We cannot speak for other jewellers but for ourselves. I refrain from using the term ‘ethical’ as this has become embroiled with commercial motives and the outcome is hardly sustainable. Our stand as a mindful craftsman-jeweller is to assess the reason for pursuing an unheated sapphire. While there are many aspects of consideration on a case-by-case basis, we tend to adopt a sentiment approach. If it is the one piece of jewelry one is likely to want or purchase, AND affordability is not an issue, an unheated sapphire may be good idea.

If one already has jewels or will expect to have in the future, there is no rush. Forestalling the desire heightens the gratification we are told 🙂

But seriously, it is the denial of immediate gratification that will leave a better place for our children. Posterity will and has always depended on the now.

What can you gather, just by looking at photos of the rings below? I am tempted to state which are heated, but there’s no fun in that.

 

The reason we show many blue sapphires here is because we have crafted and restored many ‘something true’ rings. But recall sapphires come in all colours of the rainbow, with more colours than diamonds. If you include ‘antique sapphires’ (industry name for bi- or tri- colour sapphires, seen in two stones above), the possibilities of sapphire colours only depend on your luck 🙂

7 things you didn’t know about gemstones & fine jewelry
Heated vs Unheated Sapphire
heated sapphire vs unheated
how to choose a sapphire
what is an unheated sapphire
how to buy gemstones
Heated vs Unheated Sapphire
heated sapphire vs unheated
how to choose a sapphire
what is an unheated sapphire
how to buy gemstones
7 things you didn’t know about gemstones & fine jewelry
Heated vs Unheated Sapphire
heated sapphire vs unheated
how to choose a sapphire
what is an unheated sapphire
how to buy gemstones
Heated vs Unheated Sapphire
heated sapphire vs unheated
how to choose a sapphire
what is an unheated sapphire
how to buy gemstones
heated vs unheated ruby
7 things you didn’t know about
unheated sapphire for sale
how to buy an engagement ring
tips on buying sapphires
7 things you didn’t know about gemstones & fine jewelry

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Coquettish

Handmade with sapphire, ruby or jade, and with some helpful thoughts, have a pair of earrings made just for you.

Custom Huggie Earrings, DETAILS

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Two (more) sides if we know it

Jade is only as old fashioned or classic as you are. Choose.

But maybe you don’t have to, and that could be the way with jade.

I guess what is soulful with jadeite is how we Chinese come to know it, through different stages of our lives, the impressions winding through changing self recognition.

Pendant, Details

Ring, Details

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Gem Gardener

Found nothing you like here? There's always music.

For modern, historical, and aesthetic styles, see Singapore Island Jewellery Store. Dismiss