This is a question that I get a lot. And I get it – you can clearly see if you check metal prices online that platinum is currently less expensive than gold, and yet you go to buy jewelry and the platinum pieces cost more. What the frack?
The answer lies in a wee bit of science and math.
It’s What’s Inside That Counts
The shortest answer is that platinum is more dense and heavy than gold – pure gold, that is.
But chances are that you aren’t looking for pure gold, you are likely shopping for 14 or 18 karat gold. 14 and 18 karat are both made up of pure gold that has been alloyed (mixed) with other metals. That process of making an alloy will lower the density and weight of the gold. This is because the metals that are mixed in have an even lower density than gold.
14 karat gold is pure gold, mixed with one or more of the following – copper, silver or nickel. To see the difference between the most popular metals, here is a crowd-pleasing favorite – a list of popular metals and their density in grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3)! (All measurements are approximate depending on which metals they are alloyed with.)
There are even more metals and karat golds with their own densities, but for our purposes, let’s focus on platinum and karat golds.
Like, heavy, man
As you can see, platinum is dense. Like, a whole lot of molecules per centimeter. If you hold the exact same piece of jewelry – one in platinum and one in 14 karat gold, you can feel the difference in weight.
Just look at these weight differences! The exact same ring, in the same ring size, and the platinum version – even in a delicate ring – is almost an entire gram heavier than the gold.