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  • 6 min read

White gold is a popular choice when it comes to jewelry, but what exactly is it? If you are new to the world of jewelry, you may be curious to learn more about white gold, how it is made, and whether it is a good option for you. In this article, we will dive deep into the world of white gold, exploring its origins, composition, and the reasons why it has become a sought-after choice among jewelry enthusiasts. Whether you are considering buying white gold or simply want to expand your knowledge, this comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about this captivating metal.

What Is White Gold?

White gold is a type of metal commonly used in jewelry-making. It is an alloy made by combining pure yellow gold with other white metals such as silver, palladium, or nickel. The resulting mixture creates a durable and beautiful metal that resembles the appearance of platinum or silver.

How Is White Gold Made?

  1. Gold Extraction: The first step is to extract gold from the earth through mining. Gold ore is typically obtained from gold mines or through the process of gold recycling.
  2. Gold Purification: The extracted gold is then subjected to a purification process to remove impurities. This is usually done through methods like smelting or chemical refining to obtain pure gold.
  3. Alloy Formation: Pure gold is too soft to be used in jewelry, so it needs to be alloyed with other metals to enhance its durability and strength. Commonly used metals for white gold alloys include silver, palladium, nickel, and zinc. These metals are added in precise proportions to achieve the desired color and properties.
  4. Mixing and Melting: The gold and the selected alloying metals are mixed together and melted in a furnace at high temperatures. This process ensures that the metals are thoroughly combined and will produce a homogenous alloy.
  5. Casting or Forming: Once the mixture is melted and homogenized, it can be cast into molds to create various jewelry components like rings, bracelets, or necklaces. Alternatively, the alloy can be formed into sheets or wires for further processing.
  6. Cooling and Finishing: After the jewelry components are cast or formed, they are then cooled to solidify the alloy. Once cooled, the pieces are polished, buffed, or treated with other finishing techniques to achieve the desired appearance and shine.
  7. Rhodium Plating (optional): To enhance the white color and provide additional protection, white gold jewelry is often plated with a thin layer of rhodium. Rhodium is a precious metal that gives white gold its bright and reflective surface.

White Gold vs Yellow Gold Whats The Difference?

One of the main differences between white gold and yellow gold is their color. Yellow gold has a warm, rich hue that is often associated with traditional and classic jewelry pieces. White gold, on the other hand, has a bright, silvery appearance that can be more modern and versatile.

Another difference between white gold and yellow gold is their composition. While yellow gold is made solely from pure gold, white gold is an alloy made by combining gold with other white metals. This alloying process gives white gold its distinct color and properties.

Is There Pure White Gold?

No, there is no such thing as pure white gold. White gold is always an alloy, meaning it is mixed with other metal elements to create the desired color and properties. Pure gold is naturally yellow in color and too soft to be used in jewelry on its own, so it needs to be mixed with other metals to increase its strength and durability.

How Much Percent Of Yellow Gold Is In White Gold?

The percentage of yellow gold in white gold can vary depending on the specific alloy used. Typically, white gold is made with a mixture of gold and other white metals such as silver, palladium, zinc, or nickel. The gold content is usually around 75% or 18k, while the remaining percentage is made up of the other metals. However, it's important to note that the exact percentage can vary depending on the specific jewelry piece and manufacturer. In the case of 14K white gold, which is a commonly used alloy, the percentage of yellow gold is about 58.3%. This means that 14K white gold is composed of 58.3% pure gold and other metals that give it its white appearance.

Is White Gold Stronger Than Yellow Gold?

White gold is generally stronger than yellow gold due to the addition of other metal alloys. Pure gold is a soft metal and can be easily scratched or damaged, which is why it is often mixed with other metals to increase its strength and durability. The specific alloys used in white gold can vary, but they are typically chosen for their strength and ability to maintain the desired color and properties of the jewelry. This makes white gold a popular choice for everyday wear, as it is more resistant to wear and tear compared to yellow gold. However, it's important to note that white gold can still scratch and show signs of wear over time, so proper care and maintenance are still necessary.

Is White Gold More Expensive Than Yellow Gold?

The cost of white gold can vary depending on factors such as the purity of the gold, the specific alloy used, and market fluctuations. Generally, white gold is priced similarly to yellow gold of the same purity. However, it's important to note that the price of white gold jewelry may be slightly higher due to the additional steps involved in its production. The alloying process and the use of other metals can add to the overall cost of manufacturing white gold jewelry. Additionally, certain white metals used in the alloy, such as palladium, can also contribute to the higher cost. Ultimately, whether white gold is more expensive than yellow gold will depend on the specific jewelry piece and its characteristics.

Why Does White Gold Eventually Start To Look Like Yellow Gold?

White gold eventually starts to look like yellow gold due to a natural process called "yellowing." White gold is coated with a thin layer of rhodium, a precious metal that gives it its bright white appearance. However, over time, this rhodium plating can wear off, exposing the underlying metal alloy, which has a yellowish tint. This is why white gold jewelry may appear to change color and take on a yellowish hue over time.

How To Maintain and Care For White Gold

Regular Cleaning

Regularly clean your white gold jewelry to remove dirt, oils, and other residue that can accumulate over time. You can use a mild detergent mixed with warm water and a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the jewelry. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a soft cloth.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

White gold is susceptible to damage from harsh chemicals, such as chlorine and bleach. Avoid wearing your white gold jewelry when using household cleaning products or swimming in chlorinated pools. These chemicals can cause discoloration and weaken the metal.

Store Properly

When not wearing your white gold jewelry, store it in a separate jewelry box or pouch to prevent scratching and tangling with other pieces. You can also place a piece of anti-tarnish paper or a silica gel packet in the storage area to absorb moisture and prevent tarnishing.

Professional Inspection and Maintenance

Periodically take your white gold jewelry to a professional jeweler for inspection and maintenance. They can check the condition of prongs, clasps, and settings to ensure that stones are secure. They can also perform professional cleaning and polishing to restore the shine and remove any surface scratches.

Avoid Impact and Abrasion

White gold is not as durable as some other metals, so it is important to avoid exposing it to unnecessary impact or abrasion. Remove your white gold jewelry when engaging in activities that might cause damage, such as sports or heavy manual labor.

Replenish Rhodium Plating (if applicable)

If your white gold jewelry has a rhodium plating, it may wear off over time, resulting in a dull appearance. Consult a professional jeweler to have the rhodium plating reapplied, which will restore the bright white color and protective layer.

Conclusion

In conclusion, white gold is a stunning and versatile metal that has captivated jewelry enthusiasts worldwide. Its allure lies not only in its brilliant white appearance but also in its connection to the natural world. From the mining of gold ore from the earth to the careful combination of metals to create the desired composition, the creation of white gold is intertwined with nature. By properly maintaining and caring for your white gold jewelry, you can preserve its beauty and craftsmanship, allowing it to continue shining like a precious treasure from the natural world. Embrace the elegance of white gold and indulge in the timeless beauty that nature has bestowed upon us.

Final Thoughts

At 6 Ice, we take pride in the artistry of jewelry making, delivering exceptional craftsmanship that enchants the senses. Our collection encompasses a wide array of meticulously crafted chains, rings, bracelets, and more, each reflecting our commitment to superior quality. Whether you're drawn to our distinctive designs or seek the allure of customization, we offer an unmatched combination of luxury and affordability. Experience the magic of fine jewelry, attainable exclusively at 6 Ice.

Sources

  1. https://canadagold.ca/the-gold-refining-process/
  2. https://www.halsteadbead.com/articles/what-is-an-alloy
  3. https://malenyjewellers.com.au/blog/index.php/2021/08/04/five-things-you-need-to-know-about-rhodium-plating/





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