Walking through a jewelry store or browsing online can bring up a lot of questions for the casual jewelry fan. There are a lot of terms unique to the world of metals and gems, many of which we’ve never heard before.
White gold is one of those terms that sounds kind of vague, and most of us don’t really know what it means. If that’s where you’re at, this is the right article for you. We’re taking a deep dive into the definition of white gold and answering all those questions you never thought to ask.
Is white gold gold, or something else? Is the color actually white, or is that just a weird name? Do we pay more or less for white gold than yellow gold, and why? What other factors come into play, and how do you know if your purchase is worth it?
We’re tackling all these important questions and more right now, so let’s get right to it.
White Gold Definition
The word we’re going to need to figure out the meaning of white gold isalloy. An alloy is the result of two or more metallic elements combined, usually to boost the strength of the final product.
When you mix ingredients in the kitchen to make something new or combine paint colors when painting a picture, it’s the same idea – what you get is something bigger than the sum of its parts with unique features you can’t predict without trying.
For thousands of years, metallurgists andalchemists have been blending, melting, and mixing various materials in search of the way to make gold, and white gold was one of the many discoveries they’ve made.
White gold is an alloy of gold andat least one white metal – most commonly combined with nickel, silver, or palladium. As you might expect, these metals mix with gold to create distinct final products, even though they all go by the same name.
That’s why you should always ask about the details of white gold when a deal is in the works. You want to know exactly what blend of materials you’re working with since the answer will determine the value, durability, and hypoallergenic properties of the metals.
These are important things to know soinvestigate away.
Of course, when someone is showing off their beautiful white gold bracelet for the first time, you should know better than to ask about the purity or blend of the materials.
With that said, the term white gold is used loosely, so it’s crucial that you have at least a basic understanding of it before making any big buys.
In general, you’ll seegold-palladium-silver as the best white gold alloy, whilegold-nickel-copper-zinc will be the more common and affordable variation. Nickel creates a much tougher material, while palladium is more pliable and better for gemstone settings.
You will also find other alloy mixes in your search, each with certain qualities that will impact price, longevity, and maintenance protocols. As with any foray into gold, learn as much as you can about the purity of the product you’re buying.
White gold will generally be 14K (58.5 percent gold) or 18K (75% gold), with the remaining alloy materials filling out the rest of the piece.
There are a few misconceptions about white gold that we should get out of the way, as well.Rhodium plating can be confusing since it shines with a bright white glow, but this is not the actual color of white gold, so keep that in mind.
If we’re being honest, white gold looks pretty similar to yellow gold, sometimes maintaining a pale straw, light brown, or pale rose color beneath the rhodium sheen. You’ll see these colors eventually, so be prepared.
Once again, you want to learn as much as you can about jewelry before you buy it, so ask these questions and stay smart.
The Pros And Cons Of White Gold
White gold is more popular than ever, thanks to some heavy marketing and the undeniable advantages to the material.
First off, white gold looks great, and it complements a wide range of skin tones. Lighter and rosy skinned-people wear white gold well since it doesn’t contrast with their natural color.
It also offers a similar vibe to platinum, one of the most expensive materials on the planet. Expect to save between 40 and 50 percent by opting for white gold jewelry instead of pure platinum, which can get you a lot more material for your money.
That’s not to say that white gold is low quality – it’s a better price performer compared to platinum, and you get many of the same traits upfront. That gleaming surface is what matters to most people at the end of the day, and that’s exactly what you get with white gold.
When pit head-to-head with yellow gold, white gold is actually tougher and more resilient to scratches and dents. This is a big plus if you work with your hands, like to exercise with some jewelry, or want to have a more durable collection.
As far as downsides go, there are a couple we should mention here.
Compared to platinum, white gold isn’t quite as durable, although it is strong enough to wear every day without a problem. As long as you follow some basic guidelines which we’ll discuss soon, white gold will retain its value with ease.
If your piece is rhodium-coated, you may have to take it back to a jeweler now and then to get that exterior re-finished and polished to perfection.
Finally, you might have a minor allergy to nickel, which is one of the more common alloy mixtures in white gold jewelry. If this is the case, white gold may not be for you unless you want to upgrade to a palladium-silver grade item. This is something to keep in mind when buying gifts, so get the details before you purchase anything.
Tips To Maintain White Gold Jewelry
Let’s start with cleaning methods. If there’s some stubborn dirt, get in there with a soft wooden toothpick and gently scrape away, or scrub the piece with a small brush if it’s sensitive.
Also, you’ll want a reliable jeweler who can replenish that rhodium at a moment’s notice, no questions asked. Sometimes they’ll even do it for free if you’re a regular customer.
Stick With A Trusted Jeweler
Since white gold is somewhat difficult to pin down in terms of authenticity and purity, you need to be extra careful when hunting for that perfect piece of white gold jewelry.
The internet has been a blessing and a curse in this sense. You’ve got more options and a ton of information at your fingertips, but you also run a few risks when buying from vendors on the web. You aren’t the only one who has found themselves ripped off or disappointed in a product when it arrives in the mail (if it ever arrives).
That’s why we stress the power of a great jeweler in this Wild West World of the World Wide Web. When buying white gold – or any kind of jewelry for that matter – you want the straight facts, no runarounds, and stellar service every step of the way.
These qualities are pretty rare, which is why you should find a ride-or-die online jeweler and stick with them for the long run.
Once you get a glimpse of white gold jewelry and see how great it looks in your collection, you will be a lifelong fan, guaranteed.
With the knowledge you’ve gained from this article, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of the game in terms of your leverage and buying power when searching for white gold jewelry. These are vital advantages that serve you well.
Whether you’re buying a simple ring for a friend or splurging on a Diamond Gucci Link Chain, this white gold education will help you make the right call, protect your investment, and ensure you maintain a pristine collection for years to come.