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What is White Gold?

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

August 7, 2019

Many of our most beautiful diamonds are set in white gold. But what is that? A lot of people confuse white gold with platinum or silver because of its color. However, these are definitely not the same. White gold is actually real gold. Let me explain this to you.

Gold color

When you think about gold, you may instantly think about the yellow-colored metal. While many people call this gold, we refer to this as ‘yellow gold’. That’s because gold (jewelry) comes in a wide variety of colors, not only yellow. Besides yellow gold, there is also white, rose gold, grey and even red gold. Therefore, gold does not refer to a specific color in the jewelry branch, but to the type of metal. The gold color you choose is a matter of personal taste.

different gold colors rings

What is white gold made of?

White gold is usually a mix of palladium (or sometimes silver) and gold. The metal is rhodinated to give it a fine white color. The karat tells us how much percentage of the metal is actually gold. The higher the karat, the more gold it contains. 24 karat is pure gold. This is not suitable for jewelry. That’s why we use 14 and 18 karat for our pieces. 14 karat white gold consists for 58% of gold. The rest is palladium or silver. 18 karat contains 75% gold and therefore less palladium or silver. In some countries, they use nickel instead of palladium or silver. But in the EU, it is forbidden to use nickel because it can cause allergic reactions. That’s why all our products are free of nickel.

different colored rings

What is yellow gold made of?

Yellow gold is a mix of copper or silver and gold. The amount of gold in the metal is determined in the same way as for yellow gold. 14 karat yellow gold contains 58% gold and 18 karat has 75% gold. The combination of the white silver and red copper gives the gold the yellow color. A mix of only gold and copper creates rose gold.

White gold vs. yellow gold

When you look at the prices of the different colored golds, white costs, in general, more. That’s because palladium is more valuable than copper. But in terms of selling it, the differences between white and yellow gold are negligible. That is why we make no price distinction for our gold settings. 

female hand multiple rings on one finger

White gold vs. platinum

White gold and platinum often get mixed up because they almost have the exact same color. In general, platinum costs more. Not only because it is rarer, but it also never changes color. Platinum always stays white. That’s because platinum is white of its own. While white gold was made white by men. That’s why it can get a yellowish hue over the years when the rhodinated layer wears off. Fortunately, if this happens, our lifelong warranty guarantees that our goldsmiths make it white again. Therefore, you never have to worry about your beautiful white ring turning yellow.

Get in touch with one of our consultants and find that perfect white gold jewelry piece. 

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