The beauty, elegance, and affordability of white gold have ensured its use in the production of fine jewelry for a long time. Not only does white gold bring a simple, elegant flair to any piece of jewelry, but it also costs about the same as platinum while being less expensive to produce. However, it may come as an unpleasant surprise for the owner of a white gold ring to find it suddenly turning a dull yellow color. What causes this phenomenon and what can you do to solve it? Read on to find out more.
What Is White Gold?
White gold is a high-quality, affordable alloy that combines pure gold with other metals, such as palladium, nickel, or silver. The resulting mix is then plated with rhodium, which is a metal in the platinum group. Plating white gold jewelry with rhodium gives it a silvery-white sheen with warm undertones, as well as makes the metal more resistant to being tarnished. This durability makes white gold a suitable alternative to other metals with similar appearances, such as silver and platinum.
Why Does White Gold Turn Yellow?
When a yellowish tint suddenly appears in the white gold of your favorite ring, it's not because of poor quality. Instead, it's because the rhodium plating around the gold alloy interior is slowly wearing away. As a result, white gold requires upkeep from a professional jeweler to retain its silvery sheen over the years.
Rhodium plating will typically last for a few weeks to several years before it becomes noticeably diminished. The amount of time it takes for the plating to begin wearing away is dependent on how often and under what conditions you wear your ring. For example, excessive rubbing and scratching will abrade the rhodium plating off of your ring easily. In addition, the longer your ring remains in contact with your skin, the more of your body's natural oils will end up on the ring, softening the plating.
What Can You Do If Your White Gold Turns Yellow?
Thankfully, the solution to this issue is quite simple. Through a process called electroplating, a jeweler can fuse a new layer of rhodium to your white gold ring, restoring its shine and luster to what it once was. Of course, it would be best to have your ring re-plated every few weeks to every couple of years, depending on how often you notice the white gold being worn away.
Otherwise, you should take steps to protect your white gold ring from tarnishing. Because the rhodium plating can be worn away by being rubbed off, it would be best to avoid situations where your ring can be rubbed or damaged. If you need to wash your hands, remove any white gold rings before applying hot water and soap to your skin. Finally, don't wear white gold rings in adverse conditions, such as swimming pools, hot kitchens, or any task that would potentially expose you to harsh chemicals.
Whether for that particular person or yourself, white gold is an excellent choice when making your next ring purchase. And Acredo is an excellent place to make that purchase. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please get in contact with us today!