So this is my first attempt at writing a guide or informational piece, so hopefully it's not too bad. The reason I wanted to write about the differences between these metals is because for the longest time I had no idea why someone would choose between buying something that's Silver, Gold, or Platinum. I mean, they are all silver-toned (albeit different luster and hue), and the price difference between a Platinum piece and Silver seams ridiculous given they both look so similar! Because I didn't know much about the metallurgic properties of these metals, I simply thought someone bought Platinum because it was more expensive- and therefore a greater status symbol over White Gold or Silver.
So why is Platinum so much more expensive than White Gold? And White Gold to Silver?
For starters, it has to do with the rarity of the metal. Platinum is so rare, that if we gathered all the platinum ever mined, it could fit inside your living room. Other than being harder to get, Platinum is 50% heavier and much stronger than White Gold. The most important difference, in my opinion, is how much Platinum you're actually buying when you purchase a Platinum piece of jewelry. Unlike White Gold, which must be 14k (58% Gold content), Platinum content is as high as 90% in the jewelry that you purchase. This is what makes Platinum the best and most expensive of the three choices.
So how does one decide between 14k White Gold and .925 Silver? I would say the largest driving factor for choosing between White Gold and Silver is personal preference. This is because the biggest difference between White Gold and Silver is Tarnishing.
Gold, in general, does not Tarnish (Oxidize), meaning it will require only very minimal cleaning and polishing.
Silver, on the other hand, Tarnishes like a motherfucker- depending on the type of skin you have and your Ph Balance and all that.
I personally prefer buying .925 Silver - Chrome Hearts specifically - because I personally prefer the luster and color of silver over White Gold and Platinum and I truly find cleaning my jewelry every week(!) a labor of love.
Photo Cred: Tommy Ton