Gold is not mined as a white metal but is created by alloying pure gold with white metals, such as palladium or silver. This largely overrides the gold’s natural colour but it will always have a faint hint of yellow. The quantity of palladium in an alloy can vary, affecting the whiteness of the metal. All of our 18ct white gold wedding bands and diamond rings made in our workshop use high palladium white gold that is closer to a true white than many lesser alloys.
Most white gold rings are finished with a plating of rhodium which is a hard, very bright metal from the platinum family that gives a brilliant mirror finish. As this is a thin coating it will wear with use. How long the plating lasts depends on how the ring is worn and what the wearer does. When a ring is worn regularly the first signs of wear can appear within a few months; this is typically at the highest wear point of the ring at the back of the shank so is less noticeable and it usually takes longer before it affects the more visible areas. Chemicals such as cleaning solutions and alcohol rubs can damage rhodium plating and significantly shorten the life of the finish. Other jewellery items will usually show less wear to the plating than rings do.
If you prefer the warmer natural finish of white gold all of our rings can be supplied in a natural polished finish.
White gold is available in 9ct, 14ct and 18ct gold and is generally whiter in the more gold-rich alloys.
We have worn examples of 9ct and 18ct white gold rings, including our own high palladium white gold to illustrate the different colours.
Pros: 9ct white gold in particular is comparatively affordable and a huge range of jewellery items are available in 9ct and 18ct white gold. The availability of different carats of gold means that white gold is available at a range of price points.
Cons: Does not have a true white appearance when worn, to keep white gold looking at its best it will usually need re-rhodium plating periodically.