Do you have a white gold ring that is your ideal engagement ring? Is your white gold jewelry losing a little of its sparkle? Perhaps your white gold ring has gone yellow.
White gold shines brilliantly and brings out the sparkle in diamonds. White gold, as with all jewelry, requires some maintenance in order to enjoy its amazing features.
What Is White Gold?
White gold is an amalgam of gold and, at most, one white metal (usually silver, palladium, or nickel). The purity of white gold can be measured in karats.
The properties of white gold depend on the proportions and metals used. White gold alloys have many uses. A nickel alloy can be used to make rings and pins. Gold-palladium alloys can be used for different purposes. While a nickel alloy is strong and durable and suitable for jewelry and pins, a gold-palladium alloy can be softened and pliable for setting white gold gemstones. Sometimes, other metals like silver and platinum are added for strength and weight (although this may require specialized goldsmiths). The industry uses white-colored gold loosely to refer to karat yellow alloys that have a whitish color. White can be used to describe a wide range of colors, including tinted browns, pale yellows, and very pale roses. These off-white colors are often hidden by the rhodium plating . This is why it is often believed that the Rhodium color, which can be seen on many commercial pieces, in white gold.
A typical white gold formulation consists of 90% wt. gold and 10% wt. nickel. Copper can be added to increase malleability.
The formation of two phases that are gold-nickel-copper alloys, results in their strength.
The alloys used in the jewelry industry are gold-palladium-silver and gold-nickel-copper-zinc. Nickel and palladium act as primary bleaching agents for gold, while zinc acts as a secondary bleaching agent for copper.
Nickel in white gold alloys can cause allergic reactions if worn for long periods of time (not just on wristwatch casings). Many countries don’t use nickel in white gold formulations.
Gold is seldom pure gold. Even before an additional metal is added to make white gold alloys, it often contains a Mercury alloy. An allergic reaction can also be caused by mercury.
How Does White Gold Appear So White?
White gold can be lightened with nickel or palladium, but the yellow hue will not change. You can imagine putting yellow paint in a pot and then adding white paint to it. It will become lighter and closer to white but still retain a slight yellow undertone.
To achieve a truly white finish, the white gold is plated with rhodium. The entire surface of the white-gold is covered in rhodium plating, which hides the yellow tone of the gold. This makes it look more like platinum.
What Is Rhodium?
Rhodium, a precious metal that is part of the platinum group, is one of the most valuable and rarest. It is a silvery-white color and very durable. It is also highly reflective, giving white gold that brilliant shine it is well-known for.
Are White And Yellow Gold Different?
Pure gold is a beautiful, rich yellow color. However, it is not the best choice for jewelry that is going to be worn often. Most of the gold jewelry that you’ll find is alloyed or mixed with stronger metals. This makes it suitable for daily wear. Here is where karat comes into play. 24K gold is pure, unaltered gold. A ring that is 18 Karat is pure gold. There are four types of stamped jewelry: 18K (75%), 14.K (58.5%), 9K (37.5%) and 10K (41.6%). A ring made of 18K gold has more than a ring made from 10K gold, but a ring made of 10K gold may last longer and be more durable, provided it is good quality.
The alloy in a yellow-gold ring is likely to be a mixture of copper, gold, and a white metal such as silver. Rose gold is made with an alloy that contains a higher proportion of copper. This gives it its pinkish color.
White gold rings will contain at least one white-toned metallic, such as silver, nickel, palladium, silver, zinc, and/or manganese. It will still have a yellow cast, even though it contains a lot of gold.
White Gold Vs. Platinum
The price and composition are the main differences between white gold and platinum. White gold is made up of more durable metals such as copper, zinc, and nickel, while platinum contains a higher percentage of pure platinum (95-98%). To make a ring, you will need to use 40-50% more platinum.
Although there are some key differences in composition and price between these precious metals, they appear almost identical to the naked eye.
Compare these complete rings, taken from James Allen’s inspiration collection. Is it possible to tell the difference between this white-gold setting and this platinum ring? This was tested with 20 people. No one could tell which was more expensive.
We’ve listed the most important information about platinum and white gold. This includes cost, composition, and how to care for it.
White Gold Jewelry’s Durability
White gold is very durable, but it’s important to remember that hardness depends on purity (i.e., its karat).
Higher percentages of gold (i.e., higher-karat alloys) tend to be softer than those with a lower percentage of other metals.
Rhodium plating is a common finish on white gold jewelry. It protects the gold alloy against scratches.
This plating can scratch and wear down depending on how frequently the jewelry is worn. A jeweler is the only person who can restore the rhodium layer.
White Gold Jewelry And Karats
You may already be aware that karats are used to measure the purity of regular gold. This holds true for white gold as well. The karat number on any jewelry made of gold has the same meaning, regardless of the alloy.
If a white-gold ring is 18 karats in weight, it means that 75% of the item’s total weight is gold (18 karats divided by 24), which is the highest possible karat number, and 25% other metals.
Allergies To Nickel And White Gold
Nickel can cause skin reactions in some white gold alloys.
The rhodium-plated white gold jewelry will protect your skin from nickel exposure. However, if the plating wears off, it can cause a rash.
You can avoid allergic reactions by having your white-gold jewelry replated with rhodium as soon as it begins to wear off.
You can also avoid white gold containing nickel. Alloys that are made with only gold, palladium, and silver, for example, are not allergenic.
Let’s Recap: The Advantages And Disadvantages Associated With White Gold.
- White gold is a precious, beautiful metal. It is the same as silver and platinum, but it has a lower price and is more durable than silver.
- This is the ideal choice for people who prefer a white, shiny appearance to yellow gold.
- Its neutral color makes it an ideal setting for any gemstone. It is timeless and elegant and can be worn with any outfit.
- White gold is a mixture of pure gold and alloys coated with rhodium. Over time it will need to be re-oiled to keep its color.
- This is a simple and inexpensive process that most jewelers can do. However, you may need to leave your wedding or engagement ring behind for a few days while the work is being done. It will increase the cost of your jewelry over time.
Conclusion: Is White Gold For You?
It is up to you to decide if white gold is right for you. It is a beautiful choice if your preference is for the classic, neutral look of platinum or silver.
It is more durable and has greater value than silver, but it is cheaper than platinum if you have a tight budget.
White gold has been more popular than traditional yellow gold over the past half-century and is now the most preferred metal for engagement rings. This is due to its modern, versatile appearance, high-quality feel, and exceptional value.