Today, white gold is becoming even more popular, even more so with its sparkling white metal color that is perfect for you to use as your necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, and other jewelry. It’s also a suitable match for diamonds, making your diamond rings look even better when you wear them. So, what is white gold made of? Let’s dive into it with this guide.
What is White Gold?
White gold differs from regular gold, as it doesn’t have a 100% pure gold composition. Instead, white gold contains around 75% of pure gold and 25% of white metals, such as zinc, palladium, silver, and nickel. At first, jewelry companies used white gold as the imitation or replica of platinum, which is a natural white metal with 100% white metal appearance. With white gold, you can have gold-based jewelry with the appearance similar to platinum. It is something unique, and it can become an excellent alternative to the much more expensive platinum jewelry.
Some people might not like the yellow or golden color of gold and prefer having their jewelry made of white metals, such as silver and platinum. White gold can be an excellent choice for them, as it can provide the silver or platinum appearance for the jewelry items, while retaining its value as gold-based jewelry. Also, it’s important to know that white gold is often more expensive than regular yellow gold because of its more complex manufacturing processes.
What Makes White Gold Better than the Regular Yellow Gold?
There are certain things that make white gold unique, and there are various reasons people prefer to use white gold for their jewelry than the regular yellow gold. Here are some important points that make white gold unique:
- It’s much more durable than regular gold. The white metals, such as nickel, silver, palladium, and others, make the structure of white gold even more durable than the regular 100% pure gold. White gold is a much preferable material to use for precious jewelry, as it has the durability that can withstand the regular damages from daily use.
- It looks like platinum and silver. Some people might prefer the silvery or white appearance of platinum and silver in their jewelry, which is something that white gold can provide for them. It makes their gold jewelries look even better and more valuable than the regular gold counterparts.
- White gold is more affordable than platinum. Platinum is quite an expensive metal you can use for your jewelries, and some people might prefer a cheaper alternative. White gold has become the imitation or replica of platinum ever since its first production, so it can become an alternative to platinum with its more affordable price. You can still get your jewelries to look more like platinum when you use white gold.
- Best match for diamonds. Diamonds are often not a suitable match for the regular yellow gold. So, white gold is often becoming a suitable alternative if you want to put diamonds in your rings or other jewelry. It might be best to match the diamond with platinum, but white gold can still offer you a suitable alternative to create a matching look for your precious jewelry.
- Scratch resistance. Another thing that makes white gold unique is that it can withstand scratches better than the regular yellow gold. It means you don’t need to worry about damaging your precious rings, necklaces, or bracelets because it can withstand scratches throughout the years. You can keep them looking their best even when you use your jewelry in a rough way.
The Disadvantages of White Gold
White gold might be better than regular yellow gold in some aspects, but it also has some disadvantages that you need to keep in mind. White gold is an 18-karat gold, as it only contains around 75% pure gold in its composition. So, if you are looking for a full gold value, white gold is not something you should look for. Here are some disadvantages of white gold:
- It is less durable than platinum. You can’t expect white gold to be as durable as platinum. White gold is just an imitation or replica of platinum, so it can’t get to the same level of platinum in terms of quality. So, you need to stick with platinum if you prefer the best durability for your precious jewelry.
- It can trigger allergic reactions. Some people might get allergic reactions when wearing certain jewelry made of white gold. It often happens when there is nickel included in the white gold composition. It’s very common for people to get allergic to nickel, so when they wear the white gold jewelry with the nickel composition in it, they might experience unpleasantness because of the allergic reactions.
- The white metal color might get dull from time to time. White gold does not always have the metallic white color, as the white metal color can get dull and turn to yellow as time goes by. This is one disadvantage of white gold that might turn people off from using it in their jewelry.
- Regular plating is necessary to keep the white gold’s white metallic color. To keep the white metal color for the white gold jewelry you have, you need to plate it with rhodium from time to time, such as every 6-12 months depending on the composition. The regular rhodium plating will keep the beautiful white metallic color for the white gold intact for a short period.
Is White Gold worth More than the Regular Gold?
By looking at the value of white gold based on its karat, white gold is not worth more than the regular gold, because it only has 18 karats at most (75% pure gold). The best gold value would be 24 karat or 99.99% pure gold. However, when you look at the price of the white gold, it will be much more valuable than the regular gold.
The reason is that the manufacturing process involved to make the white gold jewelries take more complex steps, which is the reason the jewelries made from white gold are often more expensive than the ones made from the regular gold. It will be up to you to pick white gold or regular gold, depending on your needs and preferences.
Should You Choose White Gold Rather Than Platinum?
Platinum is the best choice for you if you look for the white-colored metal with the highest value and the best durability. However, white gold can be an excellent alternative to platinum if you are on a budget. Choosing between white gold and platinum will depend on your own preferences and needs. You also need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of white gold and platinum before picking them as your jewelry.
The white gold has various mixtures that turn the regular yellow gold color into the white metallic color. However, to keep its white metallic color, you will need to plate the white gold with rhodium from time to time, which can add more to the costs of white gold ownership.
Now, you have learned about what is white gold made of. You can choose the mixtures of white gold you would like to have, as there are many variations of white gold compositions you can use. For instance, nickel is not a recommended mixture to take if you are allergic to it. In the end, white gold is a valuable type of metal that can be an excellent alternative to platinum, and it can also be one of the best precious metals you can have for your jewelry.