Is white gold all equal? – Paying the same price for lower grade metals.
There are several metals used in the creation of fine jewellery. By knowing information about the different metals, their benefits compared with each other and theirunique qualities you will be able to make a better and more informed decision about purchasing your jewellery.
The metal types commonly used to make jewellery include gold, platinum, titanium, silver and stainless steel.
Gold is the most popular choice
There are two things to consider when looking at gold. First, which gold carat to choose and second, the gold color or the combination of gold colors available.
As the color difference is due to the metal components in the alloy mix, the color of yellow gold and rose gold will not chip, fade or wear off with age.
But what about White Gold? Is white gold all equal?
The short answer is no. Regardless of the karat weight (the gold content) White gold comes in two different forms. Low grade and high grade. Interestingly you the consumer pay the same price for these but the benefits of high grade white gold can been seen for many years not only in the overal beauty of your jewellery but the price in the up keep is much less.
All gold regardless of colour is is made up of pure gold and alloys. Pure Gold is always yellow.
9ct gold contains 37.5% pure gold
18ct gold contains 75% pure gold
The difference in color between yellow, white and rose is determined by the metals used in the alloy mix that make up the rest of the % of the metal.
White Gold is not naturally occurring so to give it a white appearance it is mixed with alloys, but that’s not all. Although most people think white gold is a shiny white metal, that color is actually from the rhodium metal plating that is applied to all white gold jewelry. Without the rhodium coating, white gold might be a light gray colour, dull brown, or even pale pink depending on its alloys.
There are two different alloy mixes when creating white gold.
The lower grade – Gold, copper, zinc alloy – this can also include the use of Nickel as well however as nickel can cause skin reactions, it is often omitted. The problem with this alloy make up is that when the rhodium plating wears off this white gold can and will tarnish to either a dull brown, yellowish or slightly pink colour very quickly leaving your beautiful piece of jewellery dull and tarnished. This type of alloy will need to be rhodium plated more often to keep up its white appearance.
The higher grade – Gold, palladium, silver alloy. Hunter Valley diamonds handcrafted white gold jewellery is created with this type of alloy. The palladium (also an alloy of platinum) is extremely strong but both palladium and Silver are white in appearance so when the Rhodium plating wears from your piece of jewellery it will still remain white rather then tarinsh. This is a huge difference not only in the appearance of your jewellery but also the price in the up keep.
The lower grade alloy mix is cheaper for the jeweller becasue they are cheaper metals but because it is considered white gold its price for you is the same.
So if your paying the same price for your jewellery to be made out of either of these alloy mixes of white gold, your first question should be…. What are your alloys?