Do you have a seat? We’ve got to talk. You should be aware of the following facts regarding your White Gold Jewelry:
The colour of white gold is yellow.
It’s not as yellow as an omelette, but it’s yellow anyway. Although it appears white at a jewellery store and is less expensive than platinum, white gold may fade with time. Your white gold jewellery may need to be whitened several times, a procedure that can deplete your finances faster than a platinum ring.
To grasp what’s going on, you must first understand how gold is utilised in jewellery. I’ll also compare gold to other related metals like Palladium, Platinum, and Silver, and explain the variations between “9 karat,” “14 karat,” and “18 karat” gold.
Naturally, gold is a soft, pliable metal with a bright yellow hue.
Pure gold is generally seen to be “too” bright for most people’s preferences, and its softness makes it ideal for delicate jewellery. Pure (24k) gold is far too soft to safeguard a solitaire diamond or any other item of jewellery that will be worn regularly.
As a result of these compelling reasons, jewellers will combine other metals with gold to create alloys. The metals they blend with gold produce a variety of colours, allowing for unusual combinations like green, red, and purple gold. Rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold are popular colours.
GOLD IN ITS MANY FORMATS
Yellow gold is gold in its purest form. To decrease its price, boost durability, and tone down its yellow colour, yellow gold is mixed with metals like copper and zinc.
White gold is a mixture of yellow gold and one or more white metals (often palladium.) I’ll explain why almost all white gold is coated with rhodium in a moment. Pure white gold does not exist since it would be yellow.
Rose Gold: Rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper, thus there is no such thing as pure rose gold. Rose gold, red gold, and pink gold are all created from different alloys of gold, copper, and (in some cases) silver. The hue of the gold is determined by the proportion of copper utilised.
Various gold purities are utilised in different combinations. The proportion of gold in an alloy is denoted by the term “karat.” “Karat” is pronounced similarly to “Carat” (which refers to a diamond’s weight), but it has a distinct connotation. The abbreviation for karat is “kt” or “k.” 1 carat of gold is 1/24th of a karat of gold, or 4.16 percent pure.
The purity of 9k gold is 37.5 percent. 375 is stamped on it. To term 9k “gold” is like to referring to a hot dog as “flesh.” It’s a gold-ish funk with a hint of gold. Many nations, including the United States, do not recognise 9k as gold.
The purity of 10k gold is 41.7 percent. Stamped with the number 417. Although 10k is still less than 50% gold, it satisfies the legal carat standard in the United States to be deemed “genuine” gold. It’s not frequent in fine jewellery, and it’s often thought to be of low quality.
The purity of 14k gold is 58.3 percent. 583/584 is stamped on it. Because it wears well, resists scratches, and is more durable than higher karat values, 14k gold is the most popular. It’s perfect for making jewellery.
75.0 percent pure gold in 18k gold. 750 is stamped on it. In Italy, 18k is the minimum gold standard for sale. It’s yellower and more pliable than 14k, but it’s still regarded top-notch. It’s also fantastic for making jewellery.
24K gold is 100 percent gold and is quite popular in Asia. It is, however, often thought to be too delicate for use in jewellery.
PLATING WITH RHODIUM
Many gold mixtures fail to provide the required colour. All white gold, for instance, has a yellow hue. Jewellers cover white gold with a beautiful white metal called Rhodium to hide its actual colour. “Rhodium Plating” is a stunning finish that gives your jewellery a mirror-like appearance. However, because it is only a coating, it is possible that it will wear down over time. Your jewellery will lose its brilliance as a result of this. If the primary metal is white gold, it will turn a dull, light yellow colour.
People use their jewellery in different ways, so it’s impossible to say how long your rhodium plating will endure. Because earrings and necklaces have relatively little physical interaction with the environment, they can survive a very long period. Rings and bracelets, on the other hand, are a different matter. In as little as six months, constant wear on a ring can lead rhodium to peel off. Based on my experience selling and wearing white gold jewellery, it appears that a ring should be replated every six months to two years.
Your ring can be rhodium-plated at your local jeweller. If they can perform it on-site, the procedure takes a few minutes, but it might take up to a week if they ship it away. For this treatment, most jewellers charge roughly $60. (at time of writing). The price of rhodium fluctuates, hence the cost of this service will fluctuate as well.
The advantage is that your ring will have a completely fresh surface every time it is rhodium plated, making it seem nearly brand new. Scuffs and scratches will fade away. The expense and time involved are, of course, disadvantages. To save money, most individuals prefer white gold to platinum. However, when you consider the cost of preserving white gold in the future, platinum is generally less expensive.
“Rhodium Plating; Like Coloring Your Hair, But Only For Jewelry!” was the heading of an article I just read. The article suggests that you use rhodium plating to “spruce up” your antique jewellery. This is a lovely concept, but plating white rhodium over a yellow or rose gold ring is similar to bleaching dark hair blonde. It will appear beautiful at first, but it will eventually wear out and require upkeep. Prepare for a lot of maintenance – or the awkward stage where your “roots” start to show.
FOR FINE JEWELLERY, OTHER METALS
Rhodium is one of the most expensive and rare precious metals. Rhodium is corrosion resistant and does not oxidise. It’s widely used to add a thin layer of protection to white gold, silver, and platinum jewellery. Solid rhodium is rarely used in jewellery due to its difficulty in working with it and the high cost of pure rhodium.
Silver: In its purest form, silver, like gold, is exceedingly soft. Because “Sterling Silver” is 92.5 percent pure, it is frequently stamped with the number 925. Copper, platinum, and/or zinc are frequently used to alloy silver. Read my blog post All That Glitters Isn’t Gold: Everything You Need to Know About Sterling Silver for additional information about silver jewellery.
Palladium: Palladium is one of my favourite metals, yet most jewellers do not deal with it. Is there a massive plot going on? No. It’s just less malleable than Gold or Platinum, and it necessitates the use of specialised equipment and skills.
Palladium (when it is available) is a fantastic money-saving alternative to platinum because the metal itself is quite affordable. Palladium is lightweight, which makes it ideal for earrings, men’s rings, and large jewellery. Palladium, like platinum, is naturally white and extremely durable. Palladium in jewellery is frequently branded 950Pd, indicating that it is 95 percent pure. Palladium is ideal for persons who are allergic to metal alloys like nickel because of its purity.
Platinum is king in the world of jewellery, just as it is in the world of music.
Platinum is ideal for engagement rings since it is thick, sturdy, and long-lasting. Platinum is normally 90-95 percent pure when used in jewellery. When compared to white gold, it is nearly always more costly.
Platinum is recognised for its weight, therefore it’s not ideal for earrings (ouch) or bulky pieces of jewellery. However, in smaller pieces, the increased weight is a lovely touch; when you hold a platinum band next to a 14k white gold ring, the platinum ring seems more substantial.
Because platinum’s natural colour is a dull metallic white or pale grey, it is often plated in rhodium to make it look like white gold. However, unlike white gold, your platinum jewellery will remain colourless as the rhodium wears away. To keep your platinum looking beautiful, simply clean and polish it every now and again.
Titanium is a grey-white metal that is utilised in its purest form (99 percent ). Titanium is a low-cost, long-lasting, and lightweight metal that seems “feather light” when compared to platinum and gold. It’s also completely hypoallergenic.
The most compelling reason for titanium’s appeal, in my opinion, is that it sounds awesome. What would your superhero ring be made of if you were a superhero? The solution is simple.
Titanium, on the other hand, is incredibly difficult to deal with. It can’t be welded and wears down jewellers’ tools rapidly. As a result, if your ring is destroyed or your fingers get larger, you’ll have to buy a new ring. Titanium is best used in simple jewellery, such as men’s bands.
Tungsten Carbide is a low-cost, hefty, and long-lasting material. I used to dare our clients to scratch our tungsten wedding rings when I worked at a jewellery store. Some folks spent a long time scraping the rings from the metal counter or the floor. They kept me occupied, but no one ever scratched one of them.
Tungsten is available in three colours: dark grey, light grey (sometimes known as “white tungsten”), and black. Tungsten, like titanium, cannot be resized and is difficult to deal with. For the time being, it’s better left to men’s bands.
Mixing gold and silver is fashionable, but be sure that any jewellery that comes into contact with it is made of the same metal. Rose gold, white gold, and yellow gold can all be worn together as long as the Karats are the same, however 10k and 18k should never be mixed. Wearing gold with platinum, titanium, and other metals has the same effect.
This is particularly important when it comes to stacking rings, wedding bands, and engagement rings. If you’re buying a chain and a pendant separately, this is equally vital.
Because various metals have varying densities, this is the case. When a harder metal and a softer metal are worn together, the softer metal will be harmed over time.
If you want to buy diamond earrings, a diamond pendant, or a diamond necklace, 18k or 14k gold is the way to go.
Consider spending a bit extra on platinum if you desire a white metal and are buying an engagement ring.
Palladium is a beautiful, sturdy, and less expensive alternative to platinum if it is available.
If you’re thinking about silver, go for a basic design without any diamonds.
Tungsten and titanium are two metals worth considering if you’re shopping for a men’s band. If you want to be able to resize your ring later, opt with palladium, platinum, or gold.
Make sure that any jewellery that comes into contact with it is made of the same metal.