White Gold or Yellow Gold? YES!
It’s almost a question for the ages–or at least the last century or so: Should I choose white gold or yellow gold for my ring?
The answer is not so simple, and yet, it is.
While there are trends that come and go in jewelry–for instance, you see a lot of white gold in jewelry from the 20s and 30s, and you saw a lot of yellow gold in the 80s and 90s–it currently is really anyone’s game.
There are several things that you might want to take into consideration when selecting gold jewelry. The first, of course, is preference. If you don’t have a strong preference for one or the other, think about which might look better with your coloring–some people think they look better in one metal tone or another.
The second is maintenance. In it’s natural form, all gold is yellow. In fact, it’s usually a rather rich orangey yellow. White gold is alloyed with other white metals–usually nickel, manganese, or palladium–in order to achieve it’s white color. But the story of white gold doesn’t end there. Typically, white gold jewelry is also coated in a thin layer of a platinum-family white metal called rhodium. The rhodium is bonded to the jewelry by a process called electroplating, where the item being plated is dipped in a solution with dissolved rhodium, and then jolted with electricity, causing the rhodium in the solution to bond to the gold, giving the bright, white appearance. The procedure is semi-permanent, in that the bonding is permanent, but the layer of metal on the surface is quite thin. After a while–especially things that are worn very regularly, like rings–nearly all jewelry will show a little wear and tear. When the rhodium layer of a piece of white gold jewelry wears off or starts wearing thin, the ring will begin to look duller, as un-plated white gold has a bit of (what I can only think to refer to as) a “dishwatery” appearance. Yellow gold generally just needs a quick polish to get it looking brand new again, while white gold will need polishing and then to be re-plated with rhodium (often referred to as “dipping”). This is something that nearly any jeweler can do for you, for a nominal fee. If you purchased your diamond ring from Union Diamond, you can bring it in to have it polished or polished and re-plated, free of charge, and usually while you wait. How often you’d choose to have your jewelry re-plated is also a matter of preference, and depending on the ring and the wear, some people go very long periods of time without ever re-plating their white gold jewelry.