Is White Gold Fake or is it Really Gold?

White Gold

Glittering white gold is becoming more and more the first choice when couples are deciding on their wedding or engagement rings. But you may wonder what is white gold actually made up of and what makes it such a popular choice among many. Is white gold actually real gold?

White gold is real gold. It is mixture of gold and at least one white metal which could be silver, nickel, zinc or palladium. The purity of white gold is measured in karats just like yellow gold. Its qualities differ based on the amounts of various metals used.

Is White Gold More Valuable than Yellow Gold?

You might be surprised to know that white gold actually does have a higher price point than regular yellow gold. The reason is that white gold has a much higher silver content which gives it that desired white color. Yellow gold uses copper as a base which costs less.

White gold truly is beautiful and what makes it even more valuable is that it always retains its luster because destroyers of metals like air and water will never affect it. It has an amazing capacity to resist corrosion and always remains shiny.

White gold also requires a special finishing process that is usually applied by hand. This special process is called rhodium plating and platinum is involved, which is another reason why white gold is a bit pricier then yellow gold.

Why Does White Gold Require Rhodium Plating?

It’s important to note that after a white gold ring is made it is then covered in a precious metal called rhodium. Rhodium is comprised of the same family of metals known as platinum. Why does it have this coating you may ask? This special layer boosts the piece’s fortitude and durability. This rhodium is also what gives the jewelry its very gleaming white patina and also protects the piece from scratches.

Over time, however, your piece will need a recoating of chromatic rhodium to maintain its color otherwise it will eventually wear off revealing the gold alloys beneath. This can be done very easily and most jewelers can have it done in a few days at a minimal cost.

Is Platinum Superior to White Gold?

Heavy platinum is better than white gold in terms of durability. The reason why is because platinum is much more solid. It is 20% denser than its shiny partner. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between the two metals, however, platinum is much more expensive and more impenetrable.

What you have to ask yourself when choosing your metal is what is more important? Is it price, composition, or upkeep? Platinum still needs to be polished regularly, replated every few years, and does require a little more maintenance than white gold.

White gold is just as beautiful as platinum, will last you many years, and is a stunning choice for all jewelry.

How Long Does White Gold Last?

The special rhodium plating on white gold will wear off in usually one to three years. It may last longer depending on how often you wear your ring.

Other factors will come into play such as if you take your rings off when you wash your hands or do housework for example. If you take special care to remove your ring in certain situations that will help to prolong the finish.

Most companies that you purchased a ring from will even do the first refinish free or at a reduced cost, but just because the rhodium wears away doesn’t make the piece any less desirable.

Why should you Choose White Gold?

White gold has so many amazing advantages. This precious metal looks like platinum and silver but it’s much more economically priced than platinum. White gold is significantly more durable than silver and will last much longer.

Also, white gold is much stronger than yellow gold which makes it more scratch-resistant and enduring. White gold definitely is tears above yellow gold its counterpart.

It really is the perfect selection for those who want a more modern silvery white look over the less modern yellow gold. All gemstones look stunning encased in its natural color which doesn’t detract from the gem but gives it just the right elegance that enhances. It’s no wonder that white gold is now the most popular choice when it comes to engagement rings.

White gold truly is a naturally beautiful option for encasing any wedding ring or piece of jewelry. Who could say no to a shimmering diamond encased in a dazzling stunning white gold setting?

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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