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 some thing 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 jewellery retailer, and it costs considerably less than platinum, but in excess of time white gold may possibly return to its authentic colour. Your white gold jewellery could want to be whitened once more and once again, a method that will make a greater dent in your cost savings than a platinum ring would.

To realize what is heading on, very first you need to discover how gold is employed in jewellery. I will also explain the differences between “nine karat,” “14 karat,” and “18 karat” gold, and assess gold to other equivalent metals this sort of as Palladium, Platinum, and Silver.


Gold, in a natural way, is a delicate malleable steel with an extreme yellow color.

Pure gold is frequently deemed “way too” yellow for most people’s preferences, and its softness helps make for extremely delicate jewellery in its pure sort. Pure (24k) gold jewelry is considerably way too comfortable to defend a solitaire diamond, or for any piece of jewelry that will be worn frequently.

So, for these quite very good causes jewellers will blend other metals into gold, creating alloys. The metals they choose to mix with gold generate diverse colours – making it possible for for some mad combinations these kinds of as green, red, and purple gold. Well-known colors are rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold.

Various Sorts OF GOLD

Yellow Gold: Gold in its pure type is yellow. Yellow gold is blended with metals such as copper and zinc to lessen its price tag, increase sturdiness, and tone down its yellow colour.
White Gold: White gold is an alloy of yellow gold and at the very least one white metal (often palladium.) Virtually all white gold is plated with rhodium, which I will clarify in a bit. There is no this sort of point as pure white gold, because it would be yellow.
Rose Gold: There is no such factor as pure rose gold either, given that rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper. Rose gold, red gold, and pink gold are all manufactured from various combos of gold, copper, and (at times) little quantities of silver. The varying share of copper employed determines the coloration of the gold.


There are different mixes with varying purities of gold utilised. The time period “karat” is employed to denote the proportion of gold in an alloy. “Karat” is pronounced like “Carat” (which refers to the excess weight of a diamond) but its that means is distinct. Karat is usually abbreviated as “kt” or “k.” Pure gold is 24 karats so one karat of gold is one/24 gold, or 4.16% pure.

9k Gold: 37.5% pure. Stamped 375. Calling 9k “gold” is like contacting a sizzling canine “meat.” It truly is a gold-ish funk with some gold in it. 9k is not recognised as gold in several nations around the world like the U.S.
10k Gold: forty one.7% pure. Stamped 417. 10k is still less than 50% gold, but it fulfills the authorized karat limit to be considered “real” gold in the United States. It is uncommon in fine jewelry and generally regarded to be of bad quality.
14k Gold: fifty eight.three% pure. Stamped 583/584. 14k is the most well-known kind of gold because it wears nicely, is resistant to scratches, and is far more resilient than the larger karat values. It is superb for use in jewellery.
18k Gold: 75.% pure. Stamped 750. 18k is the minimum gold standard for sale in Italy. It is yellower and much more malleable than 14k, but regarded as to be best quality. It is also excellent for use in jewelry.
24k Gold: 24K gold is 100% gold and is popular in Asia. However it is usually deemed to be as well delicate for use in jewelry.


A lot of gold mixes nonetheless do not achieve the desired color. For case in point, a yellow tint is current in all white gold. To mask white gold’s correct color, jewellers coat it with a lustrous white steel known as Rhodium.”Rhodium Plating” seems phenomenal, and provides your jewelry a mirror-like complete. Even so, considering that it is just a coating it may possibly put on down more than time. When this transpires, your jewellery will get rid of its luster. If the primary metallic is white gold, it will commence to appear a uninteresting, pale yellow.

Folks dress in their jewellery in a different way, and there is no way to accurately predict how lengthy your rhodium plating will last. On earrings and Necklaces it can final a really lengthy time, due to the fact individuals pieces knowledge extremely minor bodily speak to with the surroundings. Rings and bracelets are a various story. Continual put on on a ring can lead to rhodium to rub off in as little as six months. From my encounter both selling and sporting white gold jewelry, it looks that a ring will need to have to be re-plated about once each and every six months to two many years.

Your regional jeweller can rhodium plate your ring for you. The approach normally takes a handful of minutes if they can do it on-internet site, or up to a single week if they send out it absent. Most jewellers charge close to $sixty for this support (at time of writing). The value of rhodium changes, however, and the value for this services will alter in excess of time.

The reward is that each and every time your ring is rhodium plated, it will get a total new surface area and can appear almost like-new. Minimal scuffs and scratches will disappear. The draw back is, of training course, the expense and time needed. Most folks select white gold more than platinum to help save money. But when you aspect in the future cost of maintaining white gold, platinum is frequently less expensive.

I just lately read an report titled “Rhodium Plating like Colouring Your Hair, Only For Jewellery!” The write-up advocates making use of rhodium plating to “modify up” your previous jewellery. This is a fun thought, but hold in mind that plating white rhodium more than a yellow or rose gold ring is a whole lot like bleaching brown hair blonde. It will appear fantastic at initial, but then it will commence to dress in down and require upkeep. Be geared up for a great deal of maintenance – or go by means of that awkward stage the place your “roots” are demonstrating.

diamond jewelry bangkok OTHER METALS FOR Fine Jewelry

Rhodium: Rhodium is amid the rarest and most valuable valuable metals. Rhodium is resistant to corrosion and it does not oxidize. It is commonly utilized as a slender coating more than White Gold, Silver, and Platinum Jewellery. Solid rhodium is hardly ever utilised in jewellery simply because it really is difficult to work with and pure rhodium is extremely costly.
Silver: Like gold, silver is extremely comfortable in its purest type. “Sterling Silver” is ninety two.5% pure, so it is normally stamped 925. Silver is frequently alloyed with copper, platinum and/or zinc. For a lot more information about Silver Jewelry, study my weblog entry All That Glitters is Not Gold: Everything You Need to have to Know About Sterling Silver.
Palladium: I truly like Palladium, but most jewellers do not operate with it. A giant conspiracy? No. It is just considerably less malleable than Gold or Platinum, and calls for specific gear and particular training.
The metallic alone is fairly low-cost, so palladium (when it is obtainable) is an exceptional cash-conserving option to platinum. Palladium is gentle, which is a plus when utilized in earrings, mens rings, and outsized jewellery. Like platinum, palladium is normally white and very durable. Palladium in jewelry is often 95% pure, stamped 950Pd. Thanks to its purity, palladium it is excellent for individuals with allergies to metal alloys like nickel.
Platinum: Just like in the globe of tunes, in jewellery platinum is king.Platinum is dense, robust, and extended-lasting making it perfect for engagement rings. When utilized in jewelry, platinum is normally 90-ninety five% pure. It is almost often much more high-priced than white gold.
Platinum is acknowledged for its excess weight, which implies it isn’t fantastic for earrings (ouch) or chunky jewellery. However the added weight is a good touch in smaller sized pieces – when you keep a platinum ring and a 14k white gold ring side by aspect, the platinum ring feels more considerable.
Platinum’s normal color is a dull metallic white or pale grey, so it is occasionally coated in rhodium like white gold. But as opposed to white gold, when the rhodium wears down your platinum jewellery will nonetheless seem colourless. Just cleanse and buff your platinum every so-often to preserve its natural great seems.
Titanium: Titanium is a grey-white metal utilized in a extremely pure form (ninety nine%). Titanium is economical, durable, and lightweight it feels “feather gentle” in comparison to platinum and gold. It is also one hundred% hypoallergenic.
I consider the most enduring cause for titanium’s reputation is that it appears awesome. If you ended up a superhero, what would your ring be created of? Effortless reply.
That explained, titanium is very difficult to operate with. It can not be soldered, and speedily wears down jewellers tools. So if your ring is broken or your fingers alter measurement, depend on getting to buy an entirely new ring. Titanium is best reserved for extremely basic jewelry this sort of as mens bands.
Tungsten: Tungsten Carbide is low-cost, large, and very durable. When I worked in a jewellery keep, I used to problem our clients to try out to scratch our tungsten marriage bands. Some men and women invested ages scraping the rings on the ground or metal counter. They kept me entertained – but no one at any time managed to scratch one.
Tungsten arrives in darkish gray, gentle grey (referred to as “white tungsten”) and black. Like titanium, tungsten cannot be resized and is challenging to perform with. For now, it truly is also ideal reserved for mens bands.

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