Many people know gold, but many have misconceptions about white gold. Jewelry called white gold is often thought to be made from platinum, whereas white gold and white gold jewellery in question are often made from materials that are completely different in both characteristics and quality. So what is white gold?
White gold is a combination of gold metal and one or more other metals that are white such as silver and palladium. While the gold content in white gold alone can be only 18 carats, 14 carats, or others. For example, you might make a white gold bar using 75% gold mixed with 25% silver and palladium.
Yellow gold is also made similarly, only the mixture is different; for example, yellow gold made with 75% gold mixed with 25% copper and zinc. In the past, nickel was also widely used in making white gold, but now nickel is used less often because nickel blends can cause allergic reactions for some people.
When it was new, white gold was coated with another white metal material, like Rhodium, to make the color shinier. Rhodium is very similar to platinum, including its white color; and this what makes many people misunderstand.
The white gold color without the rhodium layer will look dull, while the appearance of polished white rhodium will be very similar or even more brilliant than platinum. However, this layer of Rhodium will eventually disappear, so white gold needs to be polished every 12-18 months.
While platinum is a white metal which when it is used to make jewelry does not need another mixture. Unlike the soft gold metal, platinum is denser and heavier, so if a platinum ring is used, for example, it will feel heavier than an 18-carat gold ring. In contrast to white gold which needs to be coated with rhodium, platinum is already quite shiny by itself. Therefore, the price of platinum is much more expensive. A platinum ring can be worth twice the 18-carat white gold. It’s because of the high price of platinum, then among investors, it has the nickname of “white gold”, but the meaning of “white gold” here is different from the white gold mentioned earlier.
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- Securely holds diamonds and protects them from outside forces
- Enhances the ring’s sparkle with side stones
- Maintains a sharp design without losing stability
- Is unlikely to snag on clothing and other materials
- Often requires more time and effort to clean (dirt can become trapped in the channels)
- Can sometimes hide diamonds slightly more than prong settings
- Can be challenging to repair and resize due to the numerous channels (it’s possible the channels will become bent or misaligned, or that the side stones will loosen during the repair process)
Many people have questioned whether white gold is more expensive or cheaper than ordinary gold that has yellowish sparkle. The answer is not certain, because as mentioned earlier, white gold is the same as ordinary gold; the only difference is the mixture that produces the color.
Gold is classified as soft precious metals, so it is rare to find 24-carat pure gold jewelry. Therefore, gold jewelry is the result of a combination of gold metal with other materials, both white gold, and yellow gold. In general, a mixture of copper or silver will produce yellow gold, while a larger mixture of nickel or palladium will produce white gold. Besides, another difference between yellow gold and white gold is the rhodium coating mentioned previously.
What needs to be known here is that rhodium is a very expensive precious metal. The price can be ten times higher than gold, and the volatility is great. Rhodium is also difficult to process, so it is rarely used as material for making jewelry on its own. However, due to its brilliant shine, this metal is a favorite choice for coating white gold. This causes the price of jewelry with white gold becomes more expensive than ordinary gold.