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Platinum versa white gold settings

After receiving an antique, Edwardian platinum ring for repair, I
found that the prongs were too thin and worn to reuse, so I filed
them down and got a new setting to put in. Now the question I had
is: why are platinum settings and platinum findings 2.5X more than
gold settings/findings, despite that the fact platinum is much less
than gold? $30 for a 14kwt prong setting versa $78 for a platinum
setting, both exactly the same. Does anyone has an answer to this? I
am really curious by this.


As I’m writing gold is $1695/oz tr. Platinum is $1615. Not that
great a difference. However, Ruthenium Platinum is 95% PT 5% Ru, and
Iridium Platinum is 90% Pt 10% Ir. 14K gold is 58.3% Au, the remainder
silver and copper. There’s your difference, the percentage of gold in
the alloy.


Hello Joy, A setting made in platinum is considerably heavier than
gold and while gold is 56.5 to 75 percent pure, platinum is 90 to 95
percent pure. These two things combine to make the platinum in a
setting more expensive than the gold.

Have fun. Tom Arnold

Joy, Most of it would be because for the same weight, there is more
material cost in the platinum than there is in the14k. The
platinumwould be what, 93% pure more or less 'the 14k of course is
only 58.3% gold.

Jerry in Kodiak

Joy- Although platinum is cheaper by the ounce, 14 kt gold is only
60% gold. Platinum, although alloyed, has a much smaller percentage
of alloy like maybe 5-10%. Platinum is also twice as dense as gold.
The same size piece will weigh more. It’s harder to refine too.

Now given the higher costs, I always go with platinum for a center
crown. Why?

A. A white gold center crown worn every day will have to be replaced
or rebuilt after 5-10 years. A platinum crown will last for
generations. B. It’s much easier to set stones in.

C. I keystone my costs to the customer. 2X $78.00 is a lot more than
2X $30.00. Thus I make more money.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

Hello Joy,

I’m no expert, but I understand that the price difference between
the same finding in 14K and Pt is dependent on two things that are
not related to cost of the raw material: weight of the metal and
percent of the metal used.

Pt findings contain something around 95% Pt, while 14K is 58.3% Au,
therefore more Pt is found in the item. Pt weighs more per oz than
Au, therefore the same volume/item in Pt weighs more than one in Au.

Another factor that may play in the cost difference is cost of
production, but I have no data on that.

If my understanding is incorrect, someone with more experience will
be able to provide us both with a more accurate answer!

Orchid rocks!!! Judy in Kansas, where all the Christmas light
displays are sparkling at night.

$30 for a 14kwt prong setting versa $78 for a platinum setting,
both exactly the same. Does anyone has an answer to this? 

I am really curious by this. Since I frequently have answer this,
being heavy into platinum, I have it down to a science. It’s simply
not true that platinum is cheaper than gold, is the easy answer. I’m
at home on dialup so I don’t have my charts and things, but I’ll wing
it. Let us say that spot gold is $1800 and platinum is $1600, which
is roughly where it’s been lately. “Oh, platinum is cheaper that
gold!” First off, here in America we most often use 14kt gold,
(especially findings) which makes that $1800 more like $1000/oz,
spot. There is no 14kt platinum. Then comes the kicker - the specific
gravitiy (density) of 14kt is 13.4 - that’s the number we use for
casting. Platinum is 22, not quite twice as much. Which makes the
price of 14kt around a thousand, and the price of platinum more like
$2800 for a given job - it takesthat much platinum to make the same
piece as it would be in 14kt, IOW.A 5 dwt ring in 14kt takes 9dwt to
make in platinum, or about. Not so hard when you think about it…

Hi Jo,

Platinum is also twice as dense as gold. The same size piece will
weigh more. 

Just for a little clarification pure platinum has a density of 21.45
gm/cc and pure gold has a density of 19.3 gm/cc, fairly close to each
other. The big difference is that as you say gold is normally more
highly alloyed than platinum. A typical 14K Ni white is in the
neighborhood of 13 gm/cc or about 60 percent of the density of a 950
Pt alloy. An 18k alloy would be around 75% of the weight of a 950 Pt


James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts

Platinum is aprox twice the weight of gold and aprox 3x more
resistant to wear then gold. Thus the price difference. I Love
platinum to work with.

The main reason platinum parts cost more is because platinum
findings have a lot more precious metal in them than gold findings
do. Gold is generally alloyed with metals of lower value (silver,
copper and/or nickel), so the bulk of the cost of a 14K finding is
really only derived from its 58% gold content and the labor needed to
produce it. Platinum is usually alloyed with expensive metals like
iridium and ruthenium at a much higher level of purity, the most
common alloys contain 90% or 95% platinum. Alloyed gold also weighs
quite a bit less for a given volume than platinum alloys; the
specific gravity of 585 gold (14K) is about 13.5, and for 950
platinum it’s about 23.4. So a finding that weighs 1 pennyweight in
14K (@ 58% pure) might weigh 1.3 dwt in 950 platinum (@ 95% pure),
making the metal content in these example identical parts
approximately 0.6 dwt pure gold versus 1.2 dwt pure platinum.

Another contributing factor is that platinum is more difficult and
time-consuming to work with at just about every stage of production.
Starting with refining and then manufacturing findings or mill
products all the way to the end metalsmith, everyone that somehow
changes its form requires more time (and often more expensive
equipment) than when performing the same task with a gold alloy.
Consequently, the labor costs involved with platinum are higher at
virtually every stop along its way to a finished piece.

My opinion is that platinum is worth the extra cost compared to
white gold in almost every instance in which it is an option for
jewelry. Except for things like box clasp tongues, earring posts,
friction backs and other findings where its weight, sticky and
somewhat soft nature becomes an issue, platinum is almost always the
superior metal, especially when it is cold-worked into shape as
opposed to cast. I like to say it’s almost a magical metal. You can
sure work magic with it that you can’t with any other metal that I
know of, once you learn its properties.

Hope this helps!
Dave Phelps

Sure it has been said but there are 2 things other than material
costs to consider and they are supply and demand and the extra costs
of actually working platinum compared to gold. The first is based
upon how many people want them versus the number of people producing
them. If every stone in the world was set in Pt then the unit cost
would be about the same. Platinum findings cost an awful lot more to
make, the capital investment is higher so there must be a greater
return on capital otherwise it isnt worth doing. Nick royall