If you were to hold one gold item in one hand and a same-sized platinum item in the other, you would notice that the platinum feels heavier. Or, if you looked at the same weighted gold and platinum items side-by-side, the gold would appear larger. That is because platinum is denser than gold. We will discuss the density of these two precious metals and how they compare in other ways, including their industrial applications.
What is Density as Relative to Precious Metals?
The density of a substance like precious metal is its mass per unit volume, often expressed in grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm³) or kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m³).
The formula to calculate density is Density = Mass/Volume or D = M/V.
Density of Gold
The density of gold is approximately 19.3 g/cm³ (or 19,300 kg/m³).
Density of Platinum
The density of platinum is slightly higher, at approximately 21.45 g/cm³ (or 21,450 kg/m³).
The difference: Platinum is 2.15 g/cm3 denser.
Gold and Platinum: Which is Denser?
When you compare the densities of gold and platinum, you will notice that platinum is heavier than gold within the same “size. “For example, if you compared a coin of gold and a coin of platinum created with the same width and height parameters, the one made of platinum would be heavier as it is denser.
Platinum is the densest compared to other precious metals like gold, silver, or palladium. Gold is the second most dense, whereas sterling silver is the least dense.
(Please note that densities may vary slightly depending on the purity and conditions like temperature and pressure, but these are standard values under normal conditions.)
Whis is More Expensive? Platinum or Gold?
Through the past year (2022-2023), per ounce, gold has been pricier than platinum, according to fluctuating spot prices. As of July 2023, gold was $1,967.50, and platinum $977.50 per ounce. However, in terms of jewelry, an item of the same size may cost more if created with platinum since its density is higher.
How the Densities of Other Precious Metals Compare to Platinum and Gold
|Density per g/cm3
Why Does the Density of Precious Metals Matter?
The density of precious metals matters for several reasons including,
- Identifying the density helps identify the metal and evaluate its purity level.
- Evaluating the mass and volume of a precious metal helps ensure that investment items like bullion are uniform.
- Since precious metals are often used in industrial processes, density may help determine the metal’s resistance and durability.
- When used in scientific applications, the density of a material affects its electrical and thermal properties.
- Understanding the density of varied materials in the mining industry helps separate valuable metals from other substances.
Ways Gold and Platinum are Different Besides Density
Gold and platinum are both precious metals with distinct characteristics and uses. Here are a few ways gold and platinum differ,
- Appearance: Gold has a distinctive yellow color, while platinum has a white-silver hue.
- Durability: Platinum is more durable and resistant to wear than gold.
- Allergies: Platinum jewelry is considered hypoallergenic. Gold is hypoallergenic, but some individuals may be sensitive.
- Industrial Applications: Platinum has significant industrial uses, particularly in catalytic automobile converters. Gold finds applications in electronics, dentistry, and as a conductor for high-end audio equipment.
- Investment and Financial Markets: Gold is widely traded as a commodity and serves as a haven investment. Platinum is also traded as a commodity but to a lesser extent than gold.
- Price Fluctuations: The prices of both gold and platinum can be volatile. However, gold is more actively traded and tends to have larger price swings than platinum.
Whether you choose to invest in either gold or platinum depend on personal preference, intended use, and budget. Gold is more popular and widely recognized, while platinum offers durability and a distinct aesthetic appeal.