Love WHITE GOLD? What you NEED TO KNOW before buying!
Is Your White Gold Jewellery Starting To Slowly Turn Yellow?
The first thing you should know is that this is not a flaw, in fact, it is a completely normal characteristic of white gold.
That’s right. The slow colour change from white to yellow is the normal and natural evolution of your white gold jewellery- be it the prongs of your earrings, or studs and hoops, down to your white gold wedding band. Over time, all are dstinned to turn a beautiful yellow patina.
Did You Know That White Gold Doesn’t Exist In Nature?
Pure gold is always yellow. Pure gold is also very soft and usually far too soft to use in making jewellery, so instead it’s mixed with various alloys, to make it strong enough to stand normal wear. Typocally copper or silver is added to gold, with lower amounts of copper to bring out the lovely rose gold hue, or silver to make it a paler whiter colour.
So How Is White Gold Made?
Whilst some manufacturers of gold may use nickel to create its white tone. This is less common due to many people being allergic to nickel. Palladium is often used as an alternative and is noticeable by having a more grey tone than the golden yellow. Or silver and zinc can also be used instead.
On top of this, a thin rhodium-plated layer is often added to give a nice white tone to the gold.
Why Does White Gold Turn Yellow?
As the rhodium plating is so thin, it will fade and wear over time. You’ll typically notice this with prongs and edges, which take harder wear when your jewellery is in use. This will reveal the warmer hues of yellow underneath, which are the original colour coming through.
This happens quicker when your jewellery is polished often, subjected to chlorine from swimming pools or other chemicals, worn daily. Sand and salty seawater can also take their toll.
How Do You Turn It Back To White Gold?
There are two options to consider when debating on what to do about your white gold changing colour. The first option is that every few years you can choose to have your gold replated with rhodium. It’s a simple process that can be done at most jewellers, and locally. It’s also the perfect time to get these items checked to ensure no stones in settings are coming loose and there’s no other wear and tear to the item that could need a small repair from your local jeweller if you choose.
The second option is the simplest and it just means accepting that lovely yellow patina will eventually come through. Its a feature of the gold and will look just as beautiful over time if you let it.
Choosing to let your white gold naturally patina to yellow tones over time will mean there’s much less maintenance to worry about. You can enjoy it slowly changing over the years into a truly unique item that’s part of your personal history, and even a future family heirloom.
So will you have your white gold replated, or let it naturally patina? It comes down to personal choice in the end. If you choose to let it fade you always have the option of having it polished and re-plated at a later date.