Most of the fine jewelry that I've purchased or inherited is made of platinum because I was always told by my grand-mother, mother, etc., that is is a stronger, harder metal that lasts much longer. I've also been told by jewelry makers that platinum is much harder to work with because it is not as malleable as white gold/gold. The idea of platinum being 'harder' than gold was reinforced more when I learned that emeralds and other soft gem stones are often not set in platinum because it risks chipping the stones in the jewelry making process (which is why in Tiffany's for example, you will see an emerald ring that looks all platinum, until you look closely, and the prongs are gold). But, I was in a boutique today and the sales person said that platinum is softer! I was stunned! Why is a metal like white gold, that will literally "rub away" over time called "harder" than platinum, which will never wear down? I don't understand this. An article here: http://www.alaskajewelry.com/jewelry_blog/archives/26 explains that you can bend a platinum prong much easier than white gold because it is a softer metal, but that over time, you will have to get your white gold ring setting (the prongs) re-tipped because the metal actually "rubs" away. This seems very strange. Has anyone else ever been confused by this?