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Turning yellow gold jewelry into white gold?

     


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Ed. note: This thread is interesting, but very long and rambling. You may want to see our "Rhodium Plating and White Gold" FAQ to quickly understand the subject.


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Recently prongs on my engagement ring broke. It is set in yellow gold. I have a wrap that is yellow gold as well. I have never been too happy with the setting and have long wanted to have a ring made more to my liking. I have several other yellow gold pieces of jewelry, that I no longer wear, along with the two rings that I was thinking I would have melted down, to use on the new ring. I prefer white gold over yellow gold. I would like to have my new ring in white gold but, want to save money by using all the gold I already have. My question is; is there anyway to add some material or take something out of the yellow gold, during the melting process, to make it white gold?

Rachel Blackwell
consumer - Dillon, Colorado


+++++++

Why did my 18K yellow gold ring turn silver colored when I left it in jewelry cleaner w/ ammonia too long? Can the yellow gold be brought back or did I damage the ring permanently? Only a small portion of the ring turned silver colored, whereas the rest of the yellow gold was fine. How can I make this ring look beautiful again?

Ron Jamroz
hobbyist - La Salle, Illinois


+++++++

My engagement ring was burned a fire......
the diamonds are fine and it is all intact but the gold is sooty like burned looking.......
can this be cleaned or must I get a whole new setting?

Rose Napolitano
dds - Cartersville, Georgia


+++++++

My wedding bands are white gold....I hope. Will white gold plated with rhodium become yellowish or was I misled...meaning my white gold bands are in fact yellow gold with rhodium plating.

Maureen McCandless
consumer - Motown, West Virginia


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It turns out that there is a whole grading system for whiteness, rather than a simple white vs. yellow, Maureen. See letter 24199 and letter 10202.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

+++++++

Hi,
I have a ring that I purchased in Aruba. I had my original diamond set in a new setting that was primarily 18K white gold w/a little bit of yellow gold accents. I'm going back to Aruba in October as I do every year and this will be the 3rd time I have to have it re-rhodiumed as it is very yellowish (and came back that way last year when I had it re-rhodiumed!) Can I have the white part of the ring changed to platinum or even do the entire ring? I was told that 'all white gold is actually yellow gold w/rhodium over it' but now after reading some of your answers, I'm unsure now if there IS actual 'white gold' out there that just has the rhodium on it to give it the shine. Please help!

Karen Fregeau
buyer - Bellingham, Massachusetts


+++++++

I have a yellow gold wedding band w/ several diamonds. However, I wear all silver, white gold. It is my only yellow pc. I don't want the rhodium to wear off and have it look cheap or tacky. Can I have it dipped in platinum instead? If so, will it last and how expensive would it be?

Thanks!

Colleen Calvo
- NYC, New York


+++++++

I read the whole forum and wasn't sure if I got my answer. I have an engagement ring in a white gold setting. The white gold is starting to turn yellow. My question is, can I re-dip it with the diamonds, is that safe? I have a diamond eternal channel band and don't know if you can dip the diamonds into the rhodium or white gold.
Thanks!
Kim

Kim Pdeleted
- Hawthorne New Jersey


+++++++

I currently have a 14K gold wedding set, but have not been able to wear it for the last 10 months at all! I break out in large blisters that itch terrible.
I don't trust what the gal at the jewelry store told me - I think she just wants me to buy a whole new set. But now after reading this site, I don't trust the whole "white gold" thing. And white gold contains nickel too? She stated nickel is probably the reason why I react to my 14K gold set!
What would be my best option as far as the kind of ring I may be able to actually wear?
Thank you, thank you, thank you...

Heather Brown
buyer - Fargo, North Dakota


February 8, 2008

Allergy to Gold. I had recently purchased a yellow gold ring guard. My engagement ring was yellow gold and was turn my fingers slightly black. When I started wearing the ring guard, it would turn three fingers black and the bottom of my hand. I recently brought the ring back to my jeweler and explained the problem to him. I asked him if I could get the settings in white gold. He told me he was first going to plate the rings in Rhodium to see if I still had a reaction to it. If I did, then it would mean I may have a reaction to the white gold. I told him to find out also about changing the settings to platinum. He told me this would be very expensive. I told him I don't care about the cost. It does me no good to have a ring I cannot wear. My question is, if I react to the Rhodium plating, does this mean I am also allergic to white gold? Should I buy something in white gold and wear it to see if I am allergic. Crazy thing to do, but since I have already spent 15,000+ on a set I cannot wear, I am not adverse to spending a little extra. I just want to be able to wear my rings.....any color..

Joan Champagne
buyer - Youngsville, Louisiana


April 6, 2009

hello I would like to know if you can turn a sterling silver ring into a white gold ring I just got married and my rings are sterling silver they are beautiful and I don't want to by a new set so I was wondering if this can be done because the sterling silver has tarnished gone black and its starting to cut my finger. Is there anything I can do to have that done and would it cost me much to do so thank you.

Jennifer Benki
- Canada


April 2009

Hi, Jennifer. I can't see why a jeweler would not be able to rhodium plate a sterling silver ring. They can put a flash of rhodium on, which will be pretty much unnoticeable but will deter tarnishing. Or they can put a heavier coat on so it looks exactly the same as a rhodium plated white gold ring.

Of course, rings are high-wear items, so the rhodium will wear off eventually.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

July 30, 2009

I seem to have the exact opposite problem as the others posting here. I prefer yellow gold, and my engagement ring is yellow gold. When I chose a wedding band, the one I preferred was displayed in white gold at the store. I knew of the rhodium dipping issue with white gold, and assumed that it would be easy to get the ring made in yellow gold instead.

I asked the clerk and she said it could be done. When I received the ring, it was perfect. After about a month of wearing, the gold has turned white (it's the dull, non-rhodium dipped white). I'm assuming that they must have dipped the white gold ring in something yellow to turn it that color, and it wore off within a month. Any thoughts on this issue?

Jennifer W.deleted
- Chandler, Arizona


July 31, 2009

Hi, Jennifer. Although the colors are reversed, the problem is much the same: if you put a thin plating of a contrasting color on a very high wear item like a ring, the underlying color will show through in short order.

You would be better off insisting on a yellow gold ring unless the wedding band has acquired too much sentimental value. I think the jewelry store did something ridiculous in plating a white gold ring with yellow gold.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 27, 2009

So I have a pair of cufflinks that are mother of pearl in the middle with the edges and an insignia in the middle being yellow gold...if dipped in Rhodium will that mess up the mother of pearl?

Daniel O.deleted
- Charleston, South Carolina


September 21, 2009

I have a similar question that many have asked here, but I still need to inquire. I bought a pair of YELLOW GOLD earrings with diamonds for my girlfriend. However, I forgot she is allergic to yellow gold. I heard I can bring them to a jewelry store to have them dipped and changed to white gold. Is this true? What's the approx. cost? Would she be able to wear them at that point?

Thanks for your help.

Allen Kesser
- Freeport, New York


September 21, 2009

Hi, Allen. It is possible for a jeweler to rhodium plate them, and it probably won't be terribly expensive, say $40-$80. But, sorry, I doubt that it would fix her allergy issue.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 25, 2009

How about turning a yellow gold diamond band into a rose gold one? Can you dip or flash rose gold onto yellow?

Erika Spencer
- Santa Cruz Mountains, California


November 25, 2009

Hi, Erika. There should be no difficulty plating a rose colored gold onto yellow gold, although you must find a jeweler or plating shop who offers that service. But again, wedding bands eventually (several decades) wear all the way thru, so a thin plating obviously cannot last nearly as long as the solid metal.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 5, 2009

Attention concerned yellow and white gold owners. There is no price difference between the actual gold content. If you own a 14kt yellow gold ring and a 14kt white gold ring, the only difference is taste. And the reason why jewelers plate their yellow gold is because some people like the look of white gold, but there is no monetary difference. Your 18Kt white gold ring is not worth more than it's 18Kt yellow gold counterpart, that is of course both have the same weight. It's all about taste!

So if your ring starts to turn yellow, don't worry, it's still gold, however the plating is just wearing off. White gold is white because of the nickel/palladium that is mixed with yellow gold to turn it white. Nickel and palladium metals are naturally white. Your white gold ring didn't come out of the Earth white. Mixed with the correct metals, red and pink gold can also be made. Again, it's all about taste. Hope this info helps a little.

Luis Cantu
pilot - San Antonio, Texas


April 26, 2010

Hello I was wondering if you could inform whether by changing a yellow gold diamond ring into a rhodium plated ring and then reversing this back into the original yellow gold would have any compromising effects on the welfare of the ring itself?

A reply from you respected organisation would be highly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance

Mrs Gavin

Lola Gavi
- Manchester


April 26, 2010

Hello I was wondering if you could inform whether by changing a yellow gold diamond ring into a rhodium plated ring and then reversing this back into the original yellow gold would have any compromising effects on the welfare of the ring itself?

A jewellers rhodium plated my (Wedding Ring) yellow gold ring in error and they want to reverse it back instead of giving me compensation.

A reply from you respected organisation would be highly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance

Mrs Gavin

Leila Louis
researcher - Manchester


April 2010

Maybe they lost track of whose ring it was because they didn't realize that Leila Louis and Lola Gavi and Mrs. Gavin were all the same person with three different names?  :-)

My understanding is that it's tedious to polish the rhodium off, but that it can be done, without harming the ring. But that doesn't mean that you're not entitled to compensation for their mistakes.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 21, 2010

Alloy for white gold alloy is different than yellow gold alloy. White gold alloy contains metals like palladium which has bleaching effect on other metal like gold. Normally white gold jewellery is made from gold with white gold alloys. Rhodium plating is also done to white gold article to give it brilliant white colour. It should be at least 0.1 micron thickness plating to last longer.
Now white gold alloy are available which produces almost white colour on gold up to 18Kt purity. All standard manufacturer uses white gold alloy to manufacturer white gold jewellery. However since white gold alloys are costlier and difficult to fabricate, some local jewellers may use rhodium plating yellow gold in place of white gold.

Dinesh Sinha
- Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India


August 28, 2010

I got a white engagement ring and noticed it started to turn yellow on the bottom half after about 3 months. I have read quite a few articles about white gold turning yellow.

I can get the ring changed but would like to know if I should for yellow gold instead. I don't know how many kt my white gold one is so not sure whether to go for the same number of carats or higher in yellow. I work as a nanny so my hands are always busy cooking, cleaning etc. so my ring with be exposed to a lot of wear and I do not want to risk taking it off and loosing it.

Many thanks.

Faith Jones
Enagagement - London, United Kingdom

August , 2010

Hi, Faith.

In matters of wear, yellow gold is the same color through and through, so is always a better choice for that. But here are no right answers in matters of taste, and brilliant rhodium plated white gold makes diamonds look bigger :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

September 1, 2010

I noticed someone on here (and some other threads) saying that 24k gold is "too soft" for jewelry, and that a ring cannot be 24k gold because nobody makes jewelry from 24k gold.

Nobody except the Chinese, the Thais, and King Tut!
I have been making custom jewelry (constructed and cast) from fine gold for over 30 years. I wear a 24k chain and a 24k wedding band.

It is extremely misleading for a so-called professional to parrot these false-hoods to the public and, frankly it harms my business.

Please redact those statements.

Robert Hale
- Powell, Tennessee, USA

September 2, 2010

Hi, Cousin Robert. Thanks for the correction. That's something I didn't realize and a great thing to know!

Still, this is a forum of more than a half million postings from around the globe; the people posting here range from elementary school children to post doctural metallurgists, and they offer everything from peer-reviewed documentation, to personal opinion and wild speculation. We don't pretend to be the ultimate experts in fifty-thousand subjects, presuming to redact people's "errors". Rather, we offer the rest of the world the opportunity to present contrary evidence, better explanations, improved references, or challenges to what they see here -- and we thank you for yours!

One thing we don't print, though, because it poisons the camaraderie the forum is trying to build, is ad-hominems. So we encourage you to challenge any statements which you feel are wrong, but we won't print anything further that includes terms like "so-called professional", and "parrot falsehoods".

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

October 22, 2010

I had a yellow gold pendant of several diamonds in a heart shape... I had a jeweler plate it in rhodium being my preference is white gold, however it is very tarnished looking... on the back side it is dark and on the side where the prongs are it's dark as well. I took it back to him 2 days later and her claimed they forgot to polish those areas. he gave it back to me and it looked ok, not as shiny as I would have liked. Now 10 days later the insides and sides are tarnished looking again, almost as though it was coated with nickel- what should I do?

Ann Connors
stay at home Mom - Temecula, California USA

October 25, 2010

Hi, Ann. You have probably analyzed the situation perfectly. The pendent was probably nickel plated, which is fine, followed by a flash of low-quality darkish rhodium, which is not so fine. They probably polished away the burnt rhodium, allowing the nickel to tarnish.

But what to do is a good question. Cut your losses by taking it to a different jeweler or insist that this jeweler do it right? It probably depends on whether you spent $50 or over $100 on the plating.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

April 4, 2011

I have a yellow gold ring that was dipped in white. It wore off after a month! it looks weird.
Should I have it plated yellow again?

Devorah Kaye
student - Spring Valley, New York, United States

April 5, 2011

Hi, Devorah.

I think you'd be better off having the jeweler mechanically polish away the remnants of the white plating, because then you are done. Whereas if you have it plated in yellow, that will wear off and the white start showing again. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

April 25, 2011

Ted Mooney,

Actually, there are rings made of pure 24 karat gold. Most of my mom's jewellery is pure gold, and I also have many rings made of pure gold. True, it is very soft, but there is jewellery that is made from it.

Gurpreet Riyat
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

April 26, 2011

Thanks, Gurpreet. Reader Robert Hale has made a similar point.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

September 8, 2011

hi my name is Bernie I sent in my engagement ring to get stone put back in as the grip snapped my ring is gold when I went to collect it they had changed the color to white gold as they said ? It looked silver to me I am very upset over this as I don't know if my ring will be ruined with changing it back to gold .

Bernie Sheridan
homeowner - Ireland

September 9, 2011

Hi, Bernie

It is tedious work, but they can polish the white color off. The question is why did they do it, and my suspicion is the solder they used for the repair is white.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 14, 2011

I HAVE A YELLOW GOLD CARTIER LOVE BANGLE (THE TYPE THAT IS SCREWED ON). I WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE THE COLOUR TO PLATINUM OR WHITE GOLD . WHICH WOULD BE THE BEST OPTION / PROCEDURE TO ACHIEVE THIS & DO YOU THINK THE RESULT WILL BE OK?
MAYBE I SHOULD LEAVE WELL ALONE !!
ADELE

ADELE ELLIOTT
- LONDON UK

February 29, 2012

Q. I purchased a supposedly white gold ring and now have found it was 14k yellow gold plated. What can I do. I paid for white gold.

Mike Taffer
- Louisville, Kentucky


February 29, 2012

A. Hi, Mike.

The intrinsic value of white gold and yellow gold are essentially the same, but I believe it may be illegal to sell rhodium plated yellow gold as white; at the least, it is unethical. Try searching gold.org. In www.gold.org/download/rs.../SFBK_WhitegoldChris%20Corti.pdf, you will see the following quote: "In most countries, rhodium plating of yellow gold and passing it off as white gold is not allowed and is considered fraudulent."

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

April 30, 2012

Q. I have a 40 year old piece of costume jewelry that the gold finish has worn off in spots showing nickel. Other than electro plating, is there a more cost effective way to A) change it to silver or B) redo the gold finish so it not showing wear.
Any kind of gold leafing or something I could do that would not wash off.
Not sure it's worth the 65.00 to have silver plating put on it.

mary scheck
- seattle Washington


April 30, 2012

A. Hi, Mary.

Although experienced and specialized hobbyists will argue with us, electroplating is not something usually associated with do-it-yourself. So the issue is that there will be labor costs for the plating, and $65 doesn't cover much labor, as you probably know from dealing with plumbers and mechanics.

Leafing may require some skill, but can be a do-it-yourself deal; and with a proper topcoat it can probably be durable enough for a pin or broach or the outside of a bracelet. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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