What Is White Gold?
Pure gold that is twenty-four (24) karats has a natural yellowish color. Karats refer to the composition of pure gold in the piece of jewelry. Thus, a ten-karat bracelet is around forty-two percent pure gold (divide ten by twenty-four). However today, white gold as opposed to yellow gold is the preferred color when it comes to gold jewelry.
What is white gold? It is an alloy or a combination of pure gold and either nickel and palladium. How is white gold created? Using nickel makes the gold very white and this is preferred by a lot of gold connoisseurs. However, some individuals develop an allergic reaction when using white gold jewelry that is mixed with nickel. It is for this reason that white gold alloyed with platinum can be alternatively used. The result is a white gold alloy that is on the grayish side.
Apart from the major differences between nickel and palladium alloy white gold jewelry, the tones of the white gold jewelry also varies because of the amounts of nickel and palladium that is mixed into it. Another difference between nickel and palladium white gold alloys is that nickel is typically used to make white gold rings. The reason for this is that nickel is a very hard substance that is strong as well. Meanwhile, palladium is softer and pliable, thus it is more suitable for making white gold jewelry that will be used to create settings for gems and stones.
In order to give white gold jewelry a shiny look, a thin coating of rhodium will be layered on top of white gold jewelry. However, the shine diminishes over years of wear, thus it is possible to send your white gold piece to the jewelers in order for them to apply another coating of rhodium to make it shine like new once again.
It is important to note that just because gold is alloyed with nickel and palladium, the gold is still valuable and is still worth a lot. Do not think that you are getting a substandard piece just because your piece is white gold. In fact, white gold jewelry is the preferred and more fashionable choice of gold today. It is even just as expensive and most of the time, even more expensive than yellow gold jewelry.
Why is white gold jewelry so fashionably “in” nowadays? Perhaps it is because white gold looks more contemporary and modern. There is a certain tackiness that has become associated with purely yellow gold that a lot of people, young and old, want to avoid nowadays. White gold is associated with looking more elegant, classier and more expensive.
The choices are varied and the possibilities are endless when it comes to white gold jewelry. You will find a lot of stores carry complete sets of necklace, ring and bracelet collections that are set in white gold. Diamonds look better on white gold jewelry, and so do most of the precious gems that are fashionable today. In fact, most of the movie stars, celebrities and socialites nowadays sport white gold jewelry instead of yellow gold.