We are fascinated by gold and its derivations. The jewels in this material are exclusive and they hypnotize anyone with all beauty and brightness. Generally, when we think of gold we visualize the intense yellow color of real metal, but today there are variations of gold in terms of color, such as rose gold, red gold, blue gold, black gold and white gold.
More in detail, gold is a precious metal characterized by its yellow color. In the periodic table of the elements its symbol is Au, coming from the Latin aurum whose meaning is “bright dawn”, interesting, right? Another characteristic is that it is very soft and malleable enough, that is why it can undergo to a great deformations without breaking and obtain the “gold leaf” from this metal, probably you have seen it, but you did not know its name, it is an extremely thin sheet of beaten gold that is used in different surfaces, such as: sculptures, vases, frames, jewelry and more … this property of plasticity at the same time is a disadvantage for the manufacture of objects with this metal, that is why it is mixed with other metals to give it a better hardness and rigidity, in order to create pieces with better finishes and greater resistance to abrasion and scratching.
In this post you will find
What is white gold?
Actually white gold as such does not exist, it is an alloy or mixture between gold evidently yellow color together with other metals, in this case palladium or platinum both whitish gray color. Palladium is an element discovered in 1803 and is a noble metal such as gold or silver, similar to platinum, although palladium has a higher cost than platinum and gold, making jewelry made with this material also have a higher price. The color of Palladium is a little less silver than platinum (see picture below). On the other hand, if the gold is mixed with copper or silver it will keep its distinctive yellow color, as I mentioned earlier, the gold is too inconsistent, and for this reason it is usually mixed in a proportion that usually goes from 10 carats (10 gold and 14 gold). of another metal) to 18 carats (18 parts of gold and only 6 parts of other metals, that is to say a ratio of 75% to 25%) to this gold is known as gold of first law; The so-called “pure gold” is 24 carats but we already know that it is too fragile for use in jewelry.
How to identify white gold?
It is extremely difficult to differentiate a white gold alloy from another gold alloy at a glance. Often to all these pieces, a rhodium bath is made superficially and in fact its color is slightly modified, they can adopt the appearance of high gloss or mirror finish of other white metals, such as silver, platinum, palladium and even metal. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate thoroughly. To determine the composition of an alloy with precision, it is necessary to carry out a more in-depth laboratory analysis, people usually do not carry this kind of equipment with them.
It should be mentioned that the regulation on white gold does not take into account the quantity of other materials, only the weight in gold. White gold is sold in 18 carats, as are other gold alloys, which consists of 75% pure gold, and normally 16% palladium and 9% pure silver. You can also find 14 carat white gold, lowering the percentage of pure gold to 59% of the total alloy. Most of the objects in white gold bear a mark that allows to identify the amount of gold present in the alloy, this way consumers who do not have the scientific tools are allowed to know the amount of carats that the jewel has.
Something very important that you should also know about this type of gold is that as other metals, some people may be allergic or sensitive to contact with their skin (approximately 13.5%), normally reactions do not go beyond a simple redness or a slight rash, but nobody wants to go through that unpleasant moment and less after having invested so much money on that piece of luxurious material. The allergy is due to the fact that some alloys contain nickel and this can irritate the skin, however, its use has now been reduced to avoid this inconvenience
What is rhodium and why is it associated with white gold?
Rhodium is a pure precious metal, like gold or silver, but its price is at least 10 times that of gold. It has the property of having an unalterable bright white color, although it is too inconsistent to make pieces of this material alone.The Rodio mines do not exist, it is an additional or parallel extraction to other mining activities. In South Africa, it is a byproduct of platinum, 80% of the production is concentrated, while Russia is second and is obtained as a by-product of nickel.
Rhodium is used in applications and electrical installations. It is galvanized (electrochemical process by which one metal can be covered with another) easily to form surfaces more resistant to wear, bright permanently, is used in mirrors, reflectors, jewelry and electrical contacts.
It is considered one of the most expensive metals in the world, having reached its price in 2018 to more than 2300 dollars an ounce.
On the other hand, speaking of white gold is a great ally for its exceptional brightness, greater and more durable than silver. Its brightness, which is usually present in most high-quality jewelry, and also usually coated the pieces of white gold with a bath of rhodium. This brightness has a issue, over time disappears and i have a bit more discouraging news, not only the brightness disappears but also the whitish all characteristic of these jewels, however, the good news is that with a simple new Rhodium in your trusty jewelry, the piece will regain its mirror-like brightness and the best thing is that it is not excessively expensive
How were made before the rings of white gold and why maybe there were better?
Before gold rings were not bathed in rhodium, so they never acquired the spectacular brightness as they have now. At the same time, the mixture was as white as possible, so that was the final color. Today, sometimes the jeweler thinks that if the piece is going to be bathed in rhodium, it is not worth the effort to get a very pure white gold. So when buying a white gold ring, it is positive to ask that the base ring be really white or similar and not just rhodium-plated yellow gold.
The white gold jewelry is beautiful. You can match precious stones like emerald, ruby and sapphire, and the combination will be impressive for its bright colors, but white gold can go with any stone.
One of the most popular jewelry made with white gold are wedding rings and / or engagement rings, people love having some exclusivity in such a significant and memorable event in their lives and it makes a lot of sense do not you think?
What is your favorite gold color and what kind of jewel would you prefer to use? I invite you to leave us your comment about it, I would love to read your opinion… that unique brightness, I think it is a bit difficult to select just one piece, they are all beautiful! I also invite you to subscribe to our blog, where you can continue to enjoy information about the exciting world of jewelry of great interest.