White Gold: What is it? June 22 2013, 1 Comment
I have been asked so often about this subject that it prompted me to write this post about it. White gold is not a naturally occurring metal, it is made by alloying yellow gold in various proportions with other white metal alloys to create a "whitish" gold.
For example a very common grade of metal used in this country is 18ct white gold. 18ct white gold is made up of 18 parts of yellow gold and 6 parts of other white metal alloys. The finished metal is made up of 24 parts in total, 18 of which are yellow gold so naturally the finished product has a yellowish hue, this is the natural colour to 18ct white gold. In order to give it its bright white finish it has to be rhodium plated, a process of plating rhodium (a platinum alloy) to the white gold to make it white.
As this is a plating process it does wear off revealing the natural colour underneath. I would recommend replating your 18ct white gold rings perhaps once or maybe even twice a year depending on how hard wearing you are on your jewellery.
14ct white gold would need to be plated less often as it is 14 parts yellow gold and therefore less yellowish to start with. I hope this has been helpful and not too technical. Ill explain the rhodium plating process in the next blog. If anyone has any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.