Do you love the attractive color of platinum, but prefer a more low-cost alternative? When you work with our custom design jeweler in Seattle and Bellevue, you have the option of choosing white gold as an alternative. For many years, white gold has been an ideal substitute for platinum, mainly because of the cost savings involved. You can save up to 50% when you choose white gold over platinum. But white gold can come with its own unique set of maintenance issues. So if you want to get the best value for your dollar in regards to white gold, it’s a good idea to learn a little about the material before you make your purchase.
To begin, realize that there technically isn't such a thing as "white gold". The metal known as gold is always going to come in the same, yellow color. White gold jewelry is simply a mixture of nickel alloy and yellow gold, with the nickel causing the jewelry to appear white in color. This resulting alloy will then be coated in a thin layer of rhodium to fully mask the natural yellow of the gold.
Over time, the rhodium on white gold tends to wear off and the yellow surface underneath can bleed through. This tarnished look can easily be reversed by replenishing all of the lost rhodium in the piece of jewelry. That process can be done at most jewelers, usually for less than $50. In general, white gold jewelry should undergo this type of treatment about once a year, but it really depends on how well you take care of it and how much wear it gets.
The variation of color between white gold jewelry and yellow gold jewelry is only slight, but still noticeable. For example, white gold has a very silvery, soft appearance and is known for its luster. Plus, it can be cleaned and polished to look like new. The strength of white gold is something that you should also look into. Regular gold is easily pliable. However, when you mix gold with other alloys, it immediately becomes stronger and more reinforced. Since white gold contains more metals than regular gold, it will be more durable and lost for a longer period of time.
Be aware that some metals wear down more quickly than others over time. But do realize that white gold jewelry will not "wear thin" as time progresses. It is true that the rhodium in the alloy may wear down, causing the color to fade, but this doesn’t mean that the alloy itself is wearing down. Most white gold jewelry simply needs to be re-plated with rhodium on a regular basis- because it keeps the color contrast in line. As long as you take proper care of your white gold jewelry, it can serve you well for many years. And it is twice as durable as yellow gold. White gold is always a good investment too, mainly because the life expectancy is so long, and it is an excellent choice for almost any type of jewelry.