The Truth About Gold: The Inside Scoop on Gold, Platinum, and Palladium Jewelry

Are you sitting down? We need to have to chat. There is anything you need to know about your White Gold Jewelry:

White gold is yellow.

Not yellow like an omelette, but it is yellow. It seems white in a jewelry keep, and it costs less than platinum, but in excess of time white gold may possibly return to its authentic color. Your white gold jewelry could need to be whitened again and yet again, a process that will make a bigger dent in your cost savings than a platinum ring would.

To understand what is actually going on, very first you require to learn how gold is employed in jewelry. I will also clarify the distinctions between “nine karat,” “14 karat,” and “18 karat” gold, and compare gold to other equivalent metals this sort of as Palladium, Platinum, and Silver.


Gold, naturally, is a gentle malleable steel with an intense yellow color.

Pure gold is typically considered “way too” yellow for most people’s preferences, and its softness can make for quite sensitive jewellery in its pure form. Pure (24k) gold jewellery is considerably way too soft to shield a solitaire diamond, or for any piece of jewellery that will be worn regularly.

So, for these quite great reasons jewellers will combine other metals into gold, creating alloys. The metals they choose to combine with gold create distinct colors – allowing for some nuts mixtures these kinds of as environmentally friendly, crimson, and purple gold. Well-known colours are rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold.

Distinct Types OF GOLD

Yellow Gold: Gold in its pure type is yellow. Yellow gold is mixed with metals this sort of as copper and zinc to lessen its price tag, improve toughness, and tone down its yellow color.
White Gold: White gold is an alloy of yellow gold and at least one particular white metallic (frequently palladium.) Virtually all white gold is plated with rhodium, which I will make clear in a little bit. There is no this kind of point as pure white gold, because it would be yellow.
Rose Gold: There is no this kind of factor as pure rose gold both, given that rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper. Rose gold, crimson gold, and pink gold are all manufactured from different mixtures of gold, copper, and (often) small quantities of silver. The varying percentage of copper employed establishes the colour of the gold.


There are various mixes with different purities of gold used. The time period “karat” is employed to denote the percentage of gold in an alloy. “Karat” is pronounced like “Carat” (which refers to the fat of a diamond) but its indicating is diverse. Karat is often abbreviated as “kt” or “k.” Pure gold is 24 karats so one karat of gold is one/24 gold, or 4.sixteen% pure.

9k Gold: 37.five% pure. Stamped 375. Calling 9k “gold” is like contacting a hot puppy “meat.” It’s a gold-ish funk with some gold in it. 9k is not recognised as gold in many nations around the world such as the U.S.
10k Gold: pure. Stamped 417. 10k is nonetheless significantly less than 50% gold, but it satisfies the authorized karat limit to be regarded as “true” gold in the United States. It is unusual in wonderful jewelry and typically regarded as to be of bad good quality.
14k Gold: 58.three% pure. Stamped 583/584. 14k is the most well-known kind of gold since it wears nicely, is resistant to scratches, and is far more resilient than the increased karat values. It is exceptional for use in jewelry.
18k Gold: seventy five.% pure. Stamped 750. 18k is the bare minimum gold normal for sale in Italy. It is yellower and much more malleable than 14k, but considered to be prime top quality. It is also excellent for use in jewelry.
24k Gold: 24K gold is one hundred% gold and is well-liked in Asia. Nevertheless it is generally regarded to be as well gentle for use in jewelry.


Several gold mixes still do not attain the wanted color. For case in point, a yellow tint is existing in all white gold. To mask white gold’s real colour, jewellers coat it with a lustrous white metal named Rhodium.”Rhodium Plating” seems to be phenomenal, and offers your jewelry a mirror-like finish. Nevertheless, because it is just a coating it could use down above time. When this takes place, your jewelry will shed its luster. If Bohemian Jewellery is white gold, it will commence to appear a dull, pale yellow.

Men and women dress in their jewelry in different ways, and there is no way to precisely forecast how prolonged your rhodium plating will previous. On earrings and Necklaces it can very last a really lengthy time, because people items knowledge very small actual physical speak to with the environment. Rings and bracelets are a different story. Constant put on on a ring can lead to rhodium to rub off in as small as six months. From my encounter both marketing and putting on white gold jewelry, it would seem that a ring will need to be re-plated around once every six months to two years.

Your local jeweller can rhodium plate your ring for you. The process will take a handful of minutes if they can do it on-web site, or up to one particular 7 days if they send out it absent. Most jewellers demand about $sixty for this services (at time of composing). The price of rhodium adjustments, even so, and the value for this support will modify over time.

The reward is that each and every time your ring is rhodium plated, it will get a whole new area and can seem nearly like-new. Small scuffs and scratches will disappear. The downside is, of system, the expense and time necessary. Most individuals choose white gold in excess of platinum to conserve income. But when you aspect in the foreseeable future price of keeping white gold, platinum is frequently less expensive.

I not too long ago go through an article titled “Rhodium Plating like Colouring Your Hair, Only For Jewellery!” The article advocates utilizing rhodium plating to “adjust up” your aged jewellery. This is a exciting idea, but preserve in thoughts that plating white rhodium more than a yellow or rose gold ring is a whole lot like bleaching brown hair blonde. It will look great at first, but then it will commence to put on down and need maintenance. Be prepared for a lot of upkeep – or go through that awkward phase exactly where your “roots” are exhibiting.


Rhodium: Rhodium is amid the rarest and most valuable valuable metals. Rhodium is resistant to corrosion and it does not oxidize. It is frequently used as a slim coating over White Gold, Silver, and Platinum Jewelry. Reliable rhodium is hardly ever utilised in jewelry because it is difficult to operate with and pure rhodium is really high-priced.
Silver: Like gold, silver is extremely delicate in its purest type. “Sterling Silver” is ninety two.5% pure, so it is typically stamped 925. Silver is often alloyed with copper, platinum and/or zinc. For more data about Silver Jewellery, go through my weblog entry All That Glitters is Not Gold: Every thing You Require to Know About Sterling Silver.
Palladium: I really like Palladium, but most jewellers do not perform with it. A big conspiracy? No. It truly is just significantly less malleable than Gold or Platinum, and needs unique equipment and particular education.
The metallic itself is comparatively economical, so palladium (when it is available) is an excellent cash-saving option to platinum. Palladium is gentle, which is a in addition when utilized in earrings, mens rings, and oversized jewellery. Like platinum, palladium is in a natural way white and really tough. Palladium in jewellery is usually 95% pure, stamped 950Pd. Owing to its purity, palladium it is excellent for men and women with allergic reactions to steel alloys like nickel.
Platinum: Just like in the entire world of songs, in jewellery platinum is king.Platinum is dense, robust, and long-long lasting producing it ideal for engagement rings. When employed in jewelry, platinum is generally ninety-95% pure. It is practically constantly much more costly than white gold.
Platinum is recognized for its weight, which signifies it isn’t really excellent for earrings (ouch) or chunky jewellery. Nonetheless the additional bodyweight is a good touch in smaller items – when you maintain a platinum ring and a 14k white gold ring facet by aspect, the platinum ring feels far more considerable.
Platinum’s natural color is a dull metallic white or pale grey, so it is often coated in rhodium like white gold. But unlike white gold, when the rhodium wears down your platinum jewelry will nevertheless show up colourless. Just cleanse and buff your platinum every single so-usually to keep its natural very good seems to be.
Titanium: Titanium is a gray-white metallic employed in a very pure type (ninety nine%). Titanium is low-cost, tough, and lightweight it feels “feather light-weight” in comparison to platinum and gold. It is also one hundred% hypoallergenic.
I consider the most enduring explanation for titanium’s reputation is that it seems cool. If you have been a superhero, what would your ring be created of? Straightforward response.
That mentioned, titanium is extremely tough to operate with. It can not be soldered, and swiftly wears down jewellers tools. So if your ring is damaged or your fingers modify measurement, rely on possessing to buy an entirely new ring. Titanium is ideal reserved for very standard jewelry this kind of as mens bands.
Tungsten: Tungsten Carbide is inexpensive, large, and really durable. When I worked in a jewellery shop, I utilised to obstacle our customers to try to scratch our tungsten wedding ceremony bands. Some folks invested ages scraping the rings on the floor or steel counter. They retained me entertained – but no one at any time managed to scratch one particular.
Tungsten will come in dark grey, light-weight gray (referred to as “white tungsten”) and black. Like titanium, tungsten are not able to be resized and is tough to function with. For now, it’s also greatest reserved for mens bands.


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