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What is White Gold?

THE TRUTH ABOUT WHITE GOLD!


BY JEFF GEAR
October 1st, 2020

It seems plausible that many people would assume given by its name that white gold would be truly white, but this is not so. White gold in its natural state is a mix of slightly yellowish/brownish colour metal.

White gold, particularly 18ct gold which is the most popular choice for Diamond Engagement Rings and Wedding Rings, contains 75% pure gold and a mixture of other metals to make it look white which are called alloys.


It is not possible for white gold to reach a pure white finish even after it is professionally polished this is why it is plated with a very fine white metal called Rhodium. This covers the ring and makes the ring shine very brightly. It would be very visible if you looked at two rings, one which was Rhodium plated and one in its natural state. Most of our rings contain 14% Palladium within the alloy amount, which helps your engagement rings to stay whiter for a longer time because Palladium is a naturally white metal.


The Rhodium plating will wear off a Diamond Engagement Ring usually at the back of the finger near the palm; this is where most of the wear and tear happens. This can occur from touching door handles, coins, keys and anything that can scratch it. It is necessary to use caution whenever possible after all, you will have paid quite a bit for your engagement ring and will want it to last.


When is plating necessary?

It is necessary to have your ring re-plated if the colour bothers you, it should be noted that it is not good to have your ring rhodium plated too often, this is because the polished has to remove all the existing rhodium from inside and outside the ring causing a very slight eroding of the original metal. You won’t notice but over several years and after getting it polished many times it could affect the claws, so it’s better to have it carried out only every three years.


White gold vs platinum, what's the better choice?

One of the questions we get asked about quite often is the difference between Platinum and White gold, Platinum used to be unattainable because of its price but these days the value of the two metals are similar.

Platinum is a naturally white metal that is 95% pure, it a physically strong metal and it is noticeably a heavier metal. It’s a popular choice for celebrity diamond engagement rings. It can sometimes develop a lustre and appear shiny, but you will still see scratches. The other effect of Platinum is that it can turn a dull grey colour;  this can easily be polished on a polishing motor to restore its natural beauty.


We are here to help you.

 If you have any questions about how to take care of your ring or which metal is best for you, contact one of our Diamond Advisors. We would be happy to assist you. 


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