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How to Change Jewelry from Yellow to White Gold, p.2

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Q. Hi,

I have inherited a pair of solitaire earrings but they are in yellow gold. Would it be better and cost efficient to change out the settings or have them electroplated instead?

Thank you.

Suzanne Gregoire
- Kenmore, Washington, USA
April 30, 2012

A. Sorry Suzanne, you lost me. I don't know what you want and am not quite sure what you have :-)

Are you saying that you have yellow gold earrings, and you want rhodium plated earrings ... but implying that the earrings have diamonds that are big enough to justify the cost of replacing or plating the metal?

You'll find that settings that are made of good quality white gold will take much longer to "show through" the rhodium plating than your yellow gold settings, but new settings will probably cost a few hundred dollars vs. probably something like $75 to plate. So it's hard to say, but I'd probably try the replating.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
April 30, 2012

Q. I have a 18k White Gold Necklace that weighs around 50 D.W.T or around 78 grams. It is not diamond cut and is very White due to having Rhodium put on according to the person I bought it off. Now I tested it and it passed the acid test, and also passed the Gold Electronic tester -- however, the tester read 14k and not 18k. Why is that? Also is it possible for these precious metal readers to give a false reading? Thank you very much. And one more thing: can 24k Gold Filled or Plated jewelry pass a 8k-10k acid gold tester?

John Colombo
- Milford, Connecticut
May 30, 2012

Q. My father has offered me my late mothers wedding ring for when I get married the thing is I am allergic to yellow gold and have to have white gold is it possible to just plate the inside of the ring where it is in contact with my skin as neither my father nor myself are keen on having the whole ring turned white.

Lolly Smart
- Dudley, England
August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012

Hi Lolly. I'd suggest that you try boiling the ring in the peroxide/vinegar solution discussed on letter 33777. If that doesn't solve it, perhaps visit a dermatologist for allergy testing.

It just seems that you may have jumped to the conclusion that you are allergic to yellow and not to white based on some experiences that should not be considered conclusive. Maybe you were allergic to a gold plated ring with nickel plating under the gold? It seems highly improbable that you could be allergic to yellow gold and not to white gold, because white gold is merely yellow gold mixed with nickel or palladium.

To my knowledge there is no such thing as actual white gold plating (plating with a white mixture of gold and palladium), although most solid white gold these days has a topcoat of rhodium plating. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Q. Hello

I'm getting married in a month and we are both students. My fiancée's mother gave me my future father in law's gordy neck chain and medallion asking me to take it as far away from Japan as possible (we live in Australia). We're wanting to melt it down and make two wedding rings from it but we don't really like the yellow gold. What should we be thinking about adding to it to get a whiter looking result? Trade some of the gold from the original for another metal? Sacrifice one of my tungsten earrings to mix?


Allan Schintu
Creative Artist - Perth, Western Australia
December 9, 2013

A. Hi Alan. Assuming your knowledge and jewelry skills are much better than mine, I suppose you could refine the yellow gold, removing the copper and silver from it, then adding in palladium and/or nickel to turn it whitish. But casting of precious metal alloys is beyond my knowledge. I don't think tungsten can play any role in gold jewelry, and it's not a precious metal anyway, so it has little intrinsic value; therefore it doesn't seem there is any point in ruining a set of earrings.

Tungsten gold is apparently not an alloy, but slang for gold plated tungsten -- a material used as fake gold bars. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
December 10, 2013

Q. Good evening,
I am interested in purchasing a "yellow gold plated white gold ring". I prefer white gold and am wondering at the process to take it to white. Can it just be polished down to reveal the white gold, or must it be polished down and rhodium plated?
Thank you in advance

Caitlin Bath
- Katherine, NT, Australia
April 15, 2015

A. Hi Caitlin. It takes a leap of faith to believe you'll find white gold at all, let alone an acceptable shade without plating -- but I suppose it's possible. Some white gold is not rhodium plated, but that is unusual today as we live in an age of bling ... if your girlfriends all have rings that scintillate with rhodium, it can be hard to settle for "sorta whitish" :-)


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
April 2015

Q. I received an 1 carat diamond silver ring and I would like to know if it can be turned yellow? I love yellow gold

tana gloss
- bronx New York usa
June 28, 2015

A. Hi Tana. Although gold is not cheap, compared to the value of a good 1-carat diamond it's not expensive. So you might save your money and get a gold setting for the diamond rather than fooling around with plating which will be satisfactory only for a short time. But yes, silver can be gold plated. That's what "vermeil" is, gold plated silver.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
June 2015

October 19, 2015

Dear Ted,
What a fascinating website! Plain jane layout and all that, but at least no annoying ads...

I found your site on Google after looking for "DIY Gold Plate Kit" - good thing I did!!

Was fascinating reading your website. Lots of stuff I never learned in 1970's vintage "Home Economics Classes" and I was never allowed to take Chemistry. But after seeing your website and the very interesting FAQ and school project pages, I'd be tempted to take a basic (College?) level Chemistry (since I never took Chemistry in college either).

One of the things that occurred to me in looking through all the requests to guesstimate how much this or that piece of (electroplated etc) "gold" jewelry is that I need to have my friend the Jewelry appraiser pop down here and maybe shed some light on the subject. She's a certified Gemologist whatever (she'd have to fill you in on all the details) - I'm sure she knows "just enough" about the gold plating and all that to know she didn't want to be in the business of DOING the gold plating, but has the background on art styles and other reasons why jewelry would be "valuable" beyond how much or how little gold or gold plating or other mystery metals had been used. I'll have to ask her. Or you may know some certified Jewelry appraisers who can dovetail with your extensive knowledge on jewelry and the metals used.

Before the internet existed, there were dial-up electronic Bulletin Board Services (BBS) ...
(for historical purposes only; those phone numbers became obsolete in 1995)

I've long admired the look and relatively cheaper costs of vermeil jewelry - and noticed where you commented about gold over silver being vermeil. I've also noticed jewelry sold as "vermeil" where it was gold over brass or bronze. I'm not sure if they were incorrect in calling it "vermeil" when it was over bronze or brass? Or if vermeil is a more generic term than the way you used it? (there again, I should prolly ask my jeweler appraiser!! smile!!).

So - I think my main take-away from hanging out here this afternoon (I LOVE that you have stuff from your old BBS forums - makes me think I'm not senile after all)!! My teenaged son doesn't really believe me when I talk about how electronic communication and forums were done by BBS in the decade before "WWW" was invented), is to just ask my jeweler/appraiser who the processor was that she used to gold plate the locket I inherited from my grandma? And then call them!! Or do you have any gold plating businesses in Wichita KS who advertise with you?? I have a pair of silver (.925 or whatever, fairly high level of silver, but I am not looking at them right this minute, so I don't remember the exact numbers.) earrings that are fairly simple, clean lines, no complicated fussy textured surfaces and I'd like to have a decent yellow gold plating put on them. And so I had thought that I should just do-it-myself. But now, I've recanted, hee hee. Better to let the professionals do it!


Julia Beadles
- Wichita, Kansas, USA

October 2015

Hi Julia. Thank you for the kind thoughts. We avoid offering individual valuations, not only because we know nothing about it, but because everybody has stuff in their attic or junk drawer or jewelry box they'd like to know about, and we'd drown under such requests -- but we'd be pleased to print general guidelines on valuation.


According to Wikipedia, for something to be labeled vermeil in the USA it must be sterling silver, and have a plating of 2.5 µ of 24 karat gold, or an equivalent amount of gold such as 5 µ of 12 karat gold, and the gold plating must be at least 10 karat. Currently the only jewelry plating shop which advertises with us is Red Sky Plating [a supporting advertiser] in Albuquerque.

In thinking about trying to gold plate your own jewelry there are two competing sides to the question:
- On the positive side is that jewelry is much much easier to plate than most other things because it's already polished and shiny; whereas trying to copper-nickel-chrome plate a pitted old zinc hood ornament from a classic car can take an expert a full day.
- On the negative side is that gold plating solutions are very costly because of their gold content, so it's an expensive process for trial-and-error learning.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Q. I have read some of your posts regarding others who want to cover yellow gold with white gold/rhodium. I have a yellow gold ring that I would like to cover with rhodium plating. Can you recommend someplace that can do the work?

Thank you,

Sheryl Thrasher
- Frankfort, New York USA
November 19, 2015

A. Hi Sheryl. In general we can't post brand or sourcing suggestions (why?), but I recommend Red Sky Plating [a supporting advertiser] if this is a ring you're only going to wear a couple of times a year. I cannot recommend plating it for daily use; platings are thin and rings usually suffer enormous wear.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Q. Hi, I have a gold Italian horn that my grandmother used to wear. I rarely wear it because most of my jewelry is white gold. Is there a way to do some sort of plating to make it appear white gold?
Thank you!

annemarie schreiber
- trinity Florida usa
January 30, 2016

A. Hi Annemarie. I don't know what you mean regarding "wearing a horn" -- perhaps it's a broach or charm in the shape of a horn? Rhodium plating or other white plating is not difficult, many jewelers can do it for you ... but it's very thin (millionths of an inch), so the issue is longevity against wear. If it receives no wear, and it's plated well, it should be satisfactory. If it receives high wear, the plating will not last no matter how well done it is. Please clarify what this horn actually is. Thanks.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
January 2016

thumbs up signYes,sorry. The Italian horn is a charm

Thank you!!

annemarie schreiber [returning]
- trinity Florida usa
January 30, 2016

Want to melt down a tri-color gold bracelet to separate the three colors of gold

Q. I have a bracelet that is black hills gold with 3 colors if I melt it down should I separate the colors or just melt it all together?

Trevor Naugle
- Richland Washington United States
April 28, 2016

A. Hi Trevor. I don't know why you want to melt it down, but you will not be able to separate the colors if you do.

All pure 24 kt gold is the exact same yellow color; there are no isotopes of gold that are other colors. The 3 colors you are seeing is because in the 3 different areas the gold has been diluted with other metals such as copper and silver, and the different metal alloys give different colors. I don't know whether it was cast in those different ratios, or just plated with the different ratios. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
April 2016

Hi I have 2 yellow gold rings that I am inheriting and would like to know if I can get them melted down and made into white gold ones? Thank you

Meagan Goodwin
- Brisbane Tasmania Australia
January 24, 2017

A. Hi Meagan. It would be much more practical to sell those 2 rings to a jeweler or a store that buys gold and buy a new ring. If you are trying to do this for sentimental reasons, it's probably not completely impossible -- but finding a goldsmith to do it might be quite a job. Getting the copper and silver out of the yellow gold alloy to 'make room' for the nickel and/or palladium needed for white gold is a big refining task; trying to hold the middle ground of sentiment, neither keeping your inheritance nor selling it, will probably be very tough :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
January 2017

Q. I have a 9kt gold ring with opal and sapphire stones. However, it leaves a black tarnish on my skin. From researching I believe the tarnish is caused by a chemical reaction with my skin. I wonder if it is possible to just get the inside of the ring (where it touches my skin) plated with Rhodium or Silver or something similar? I wear an 18kt rhodium plated gold ring on my other hand and no tarnishing occurs.

Patricia Holmes
- Belmullet, Mayo, Ireland
December 12, 2017

March 27, 2019

Q. Hi I'm looking to buy an engagement ring, 18 karat white gold, but want to know if I can use my late mother's gold wedding ring and add that to it? Any ideas please or answers

ricky smith
- london england

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