Gold is one of the most sought after metals in the world, representing luxury and elegance. A gold chain is the epitome of luxury, and it makes a bold statement when added to any outfit.
Since gold alloys can be combined with other metals, the material can yield a great number of colors outside of its iconic brassy look. One of note is white gold, which has the same prestige as platinum at a much lower price point.
Even then, it can be expensive, and its price is forever changing with the volatility of its market. Buying pure gold takes a bit of research and luck to make sure you are buying or selling at the right time.
Here’s a look at how much white gold is worth, as well as some other tips to make the most out of your next jewelry purchase.
What Is White Gold?
Gold by itself tends to be fairly weak and brittle, so jewelers often bind it with other metals to increase its durability and resistance to tarnish. Some metals are even combined with gold to maintain that unique color while continuing to make it more strong.
To make white gold, it requires a minimum of at least 50% pure gold. This number is measured out of 24 total karats, meaning that an alloy made of 50% gold would be considered 12k. Most white gold metals can be found in the 12k, 14k, and 18k varieties.
18k gold is a common alloy because it is made of 18 parts gold and six parts other metals, giving metallurgists some freedom to mix and match different materials to come up with different colors while still maintaining the golden majority.
While white gold has the luster and appeal of platinum, it’s less expensive and usually doesn’t contain platinum. Typically, the gold is bonded with manganese, silver, nickel, or zinc to achieve that light finish. This makes it a popular accompaniment to accessories containing crystals, like thisGucci Link Chain.
White Gold vs. Platinum
White gold has a striking visual similarity to platinum, which makes it attractive to anyone who loves the look of a cooler metal.
As usual, the most striking difference comes down to the cost. Platinum is by far more expensive than white gold, so it is typically reserved for people who want to really splurge. You can garner the same effect with white gold for a far lower price.
In terms of appearance, they are both clean, polished, and metallic, looking extremely similar at first glance. While platinum is slightly more durable, it’s just asresistant to corrosion as gold.
Platinum prices fluctuate just like gold prices, but they’ll usually be much higher than the price of gold due to their rarity.
What Determines the Price of Pure Gold?
Gold is a precious metal that does not have one flat cost across the board. Many factors can influence its market price on any given day.
Gold is an interesting material because, unlike most, it is not driven by inflation. This is because the quantity of gold on the market doesn’t change much year to year: it’s a fairly stagnant resource that doesn’t succumb to the effects of economic inflation.
Gold is said to have positiveprice elasticity, meaning that the more people who purchase it, the more it will be worth. So if tons of investors were to choose to invest in the gold markets, the price of the metal would start to go up. And on the other hand, if fewer people were to be blinging out their wardrobes, you’d see the price of pure gold go down.
It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean gold prices are random. There are a ton of factors that can influence its price. However, as a rule of thumb, when gold is in high demand, it comes with an equally high price.
The price of gold is compared to the price of the US dollar, as that is a baseline indicator for its price at a given time. But when the value of the US dollar changes, so too can the price of gold.
A falling dollar value tends to skyrocket the price of gold because other commodities increase in value when the dollar decreases. It is representative of a declining economy, where goods and luxuries are affected by the dollar’s performance. On the contrary, when the economy is doing well and the dollar’s value is increased, you’ll tend to see gold prices fall because of their inverse relationship.
If you look attrends in gold prices, you’ll see that the price of gold was $500 an ounce in 2006, while the cost has jumped to over $1,900 during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
More gold is mined each day, so it is fair to assume that the price of gold would fall as more and more is being unearthed. However, this is not necessarily the case.
Unlike commodities such as apples, which are consumable resources, gold is not consumed. Instead, it is taken off of the market and worn or placed in a drawer for safekeeping. Since it is rarely used for trade and only resold once the customer has no longer found it useful, the gold market stays relatively the same regardless of how much of it is being mined at a given time.
This makes gold a bit less of a symbol of wealth in America than other countries that utilize it as more of a currency. Since we tend to use it for fashion, you may want to consider some alternatives that are more cost-effective.
Are There Cheaper Options Than Solid White Gold?
As you’ve now seen, white gold by itself can be pricey, so most jewelers will use the process of gold plating to make it more accessible. A piece that is plated consists of a base metal that is covered in a thin layer of gold alloy.
The only difference between gold plated pieces and solid gold pieces is the cost. On the surface, there is virtually no difference between the two. It’d require equipment, as well as professional experience, to discern between pure gold and gold plating.
While plated pieces may tarnish over time, high-quality base metals allow them to have a much longer life.Stainless steel is one of the most durable base metals, making it a good indicator of a quality piece of gold plating that is built to withstand wear and tear.
Are There Gold Colors Other Than White?
Since gold is such a unique metal, it can react with many other materials to yield all sorts of different colors and appearances. While white gold has that polished look, you may want something with a little more flair.
The karatage of gold is what gives jewelers their freedom to play with colors as they choose. 18k is a common option for them to experiment with, but karatage as low as 10k can be used in production. It’s important to note that 10k gold, or 41.7%, is the minimum karat designation that can legally be called gold in the US.
By combining gold with copper, jewelers can create a popular gold alloy known as rose gold. As the name implies, this is a pinkish colored metal. Rose gold jewelry is a great gift for a loved one who might want to make a bold statement. If you want to invest in a look that is sure to make waves, you could even combine rose gold and white gold in this2 Tone Bracelet.
Similarly, metallurgists might want to make a greenish gold hue, which can be achieved by combining gold with silver. These are distinct looking pieces that, when worn properly, can complement your look.
White gold is a beautiful gold variant that is subject to the same market prices as its pure element. Factors like supply, demand, and currency movements affect the price of gold, and therefore the cost of your next piece.
Because of the high cost of pure gold, it is smart to invest in much cheaper options, like gold plated necklaces and bracelets. These look and feel just like the real thing without breaking the bank. On top of that, these can come in tons of unique colors that will suit any personality.