WHITE GOLD GUARANTEED NEVER TO YELLOW?
Q. I, LIKE MOST OF YOU, WAS MISLEAD ABOUT WHITE GOLD. I NEVER HAD ANY REASON TO BELIEVE IT WOULD CHANGE COLOR AFTER 1 1/2 MONTHS. I HAVE HAD THE RING OVER 2 YEARS NOW AND AM READY FOR A DIFFERENT SETTING. AT A RECENT TRIP TO A JEWELRY STORE I EXPLAINED MY CONCERN ABOUT WHITE GOLD AND BECAUSE OF COST REASONS, PLATINUM WAS NOT AN OPTION. SHE SAID THAT HER CASTER HAS A "NEW" WHITE GOLD METAL THAT IS GUARANTEED NEVER TO TURN YELLOW. WITH EVERYTHING I HAVE READ THIS DOESN'T SOUND POSSIBLE. IS THERE A CHANCE THAT THEY HAVE COME UP WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. I HAVE CONSULTED A FEW OTHER JEWELERS AND THEY SAY IT IS NOT POSSIBLE. HAS ANYONE HEARD OF THIS METAL? ANY INFORMATION ON THIS WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
THANK YOU.MICHELLE MELOCHE
- FENTON, Michigan
A. Hi Michelle
Please see our FAQ: White Gold and Rhodium Plating, Michelle, which will explain this issue pretty clearly I think.
Yes, some white gold is much whiter than other white golds. But no white gold can ever even approach the reflectivity of rhodium -- and we've become so accustomed to the bling, that most of us would be be disappointed by even the finest unplated white gold.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Q. Hi, My husband bought my engagement ring about two years ago. It's white gold with diamonds, after only about four months of wear, it started turning yellow. My question is, I've read that palladium (compared to nickel) will not turn yellow after time, and I know right now the only thing I can do is have my ring replated. Is there only rhodium plating, or can you have your ring replated in white gold made with palladium? (My wedding band was purchased from a different jeweler and I've worn it for 1 year and it's still bright silver, so I don't think it's the acids in my skin that's turning it yellow) Thank you! P.S. My ring is stamped with 14K AM-Gold .32 on the inside, does anyone know what this means? I've never seen this before?Monica
insurance - Walnut Creek, California
A. Hi Michelle,
I am not aware of any new casting material for white gold that will ensure that it will not be perceived as "yellowish" over time. White gold is achieved by adding an alloy such as nickel, silver or palladium to yellow gold to acquire an alloy that is "white" in color.
In reality any white gold setting using the aforementioned alloy materials will still be "grayish white" when highly polished. These alloys are enhanced commercially to a whiter appearance using another metal called rhodium. Rhodium is electroplated over the white gold to make it appear whiter. Rhodium reflects about 75% to 80% of the light striking it so it appears brighter to the human eye.
In contrast, all white gold depending on alloy content reflect only 60%-68% of the light striking it.
In other words without the rhodium plating, white gold will always appear grayer. As white gold becomes blemished with numerous micro scratches from normal wear, some of that light striking it is diffused. !
This causes the human eye to perceive some yellowish "tint" especially when inspected under sunlight. Repolishing can remove or diminish that tint, but the white gold alloy will never have the high specular quality of a rhodium plating.
There is some literature that suggests that silver and small amounts of platinum combined with yellow gold will produce a white gold that is whiter and more stable than nickel based white gold.
In the final analysis, and from a basic "physics" standpoint you are correct to be skeptical. Stay with the palladium white golds and at least avoid the nickel allergy issues.
There are at least 2 or 3 high end jewelry stores in the Detroit metro area who can help you make the correct selection.
Hope this helps, DaveDavid Vinson
Metal Arts Specialties - Leonard, Michigan
Q. Just like everyone else seems to have experienced, the ring I recently gave my fiance is "white gold," or what I thought was white gold anyway. It's September now, and in February I purchased a 14Kt. White Gold Diamond engagement ring.
We took it in to get it sized, and when it came back, it looked almost like Yellow Gold. I couldn't believe my eyes. I called the manufacturer of the ring, and they explained to me that the "rhodium" layer had been polished off, and would need replating.
After reading the postings on this site, I've decided to give up the good fight, and spend the oodles of cash needed to replate. By the way... how much should one expect to pay to get this done?
Thank you for the advise.
- Chesterfield, Michigan
Q. I have a white gold ring that is hand engraved with my Initials. I have worn it every day for 9 months, through everything the shower, the beach, the pool. I started noticing a few months ago a few tarnish spots on it. Should this be happening? This past week I got it buffed and I still notice spots, what should I do?Elizabeth Fleck
- Hull, Massachusetts
A. I just wanted to add that I received an 18k white gold palladium alloy ring a year ago that I have worn everyday. I haven't noticed ANY change in color since I have received the ring. I do take my ring off when showering, doing household cleaning, etc. So, there just might be something to the theory that white gold alloyed with palladium doesn't change colors. I also have rings passed down from my grandmother that are white gold that haven't changed colors, yet the platinum rings have (they turn a strange looking grey).Milana
- Belmont, Michigan
Q. Today is October 30th. I became engaged on October 1. My ring is COMPLETELY tinged in a yellowish color. When I bought it, the WHITE gold was as sparklingly white as the diamonds. It was BEAUTIFUL! It now looks dull and cheap. I haven't even been wearing it the whole time because for about 1 week and 2 days it was in getting sized and appraised! I've been wearing it LESS than one-month. It's VERY disappointing. Had they told me there was a chance it would turn color...I wouldn't have bought it. OR I would have bought YELLOW gold - at least then it would be a certain color - not this in between mess! I love my ring, but I loved it as WHITE gold not tinged yellow. I've read other stories on here and see this is NOT (unfortunately) a rare problem. Although I love it - I think I am going to return the ring today. I feel the jewelers should have forewarned me...now I feel scammed! Wish me luck in dealing with the store!Jenn Pasch
Counselor - London, Ontario, Canada
A. The problem of "white gold" turning yellow has recently been addressed by the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America, a group composed of industry leaders. They have composed a white gold index by which retailers can assess what type of white gold they are purchasing. There is a grade (1) which does not require rhodium plating and I would suspect that this is the palladium alloyed white gold. Grade 2 is considered white with rhodium plating optional and Grade 3 is yellowish and definitely needs to be rhodium plated to appear white.
As we see more and more finished jewelry coming in from India and Thailand we will have more and more problems with the white/yellow gold until such time that the manufacturers in these countries settle on a standard alloy that satisfies the consumer's demand for quality balanced with price.
jewelry manufacturing - Decatur, Illinois
! Thanks, Barry. We appreciate your insight and your effort to help. But it is still completely ridiculous to speak of "the consumer's demand for quality balanced with price".
Have you ever heard of a customer who was consulted about what "quality" of white gold they wanted their ring made of? Have you ever heard of a customer who wanted their engagement ring to be made in India or Thailand? Have you ever seen a jewelry store that labeled their white gold as plated vs. unplated, or Grade 1 vs. Grade 3, or with the country of manufacture?
And with more than 30 percent of young women condemned to the misery of nickel allergy for the rest of their life because of exposure to nickel-bearing white gold jewelry, do you know a single jewelry store that even labels their jewelry as "contains nickel"? No, whereas nickel is outright banned in Europe, it's not even labeled in the USA :-(
This nonsense (and tragedy) of yellowish and off-white and nickel-bearing "white gold" is 100% the fault of the manufacturers and jewelry stores and the scummy politicians their dirty dollars have bought. Please do not attempt to shift even 1/100 of a percent of the blame to the consumers who are innocents deliberately kept in the dark.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
March 27, 2008
Q. Hello- After seeing all these post on white gold rings I can't help but ask is there any kind of plating that will not wear like rhodium does? I purchased my 14K ring from Kays and the shiny plating started to wear off after no less then a year. I am living overseas (military) so getting back to the original company at the moment is not an option. Can I get it plated with the palladium or does the ring have to be originally mixed with it?Stephanie Savage
hobbyist - Renton ,Washington
A. Hi, Stephanie. These threads get long and confusing, so I would suggest that you read our new FAQ, Rhodium Plating & White Gold, to get a good quick understanding of the issues. My wife's first wedding ring (and many other people's) wore all the way through in about 20 years, so any plating would wear through much faster than that. Rhodium is a fabulously expensive precious metal (over $7000 per ounce and still climbing rapidly); there is nothing better.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
October 21, 2008
A. X1 white gold no tinting whatsoever.Tony Munez
jewelry - Florida
April 9, 2012
A. Well, in answer to everyone's question "is there a white gold that never turns yellow?" YES there is. I have a 14K. white gold rope chain which I've had now for about 9 years & it's never turned yellow on me. My theory is that it may be made of 58.5% Gold & 41.7% Palladium. So if this helps anyone in any way, then I'm glad to have helped. Thank You. :)
- Palm Springs California
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