What is White Gold?
As we know, gold is a precious metal that when it is mined it is deep yellow, almost orangey and very soft. In jewelry, we mix it with other alloys to make it more durable and less orange to the yellow color we are accustomed to.
For white gold we must change the color from yellow to white so we mix it with white alloys to change the color. These other metals or what we call alloys include:
copper, nickle ,zinc, silver, and palladium
When gold is mined we call it 24k or 100% gold and no alloy. When we make 14k white gold we alloy it so it is 14/24th’s pure gold and the rest alloy. This amounts to just over 1/2 gold and 1/2 alloy.
Sometimes you can see a stamp on the inside of a ring that says .585, which is basically dividing 14 by 24 and coming up to .585, meaning 14k.
18k is 18/24th’s pure gold or 75%. You may see stamps in side rings of 750, which means 18k.
Our engagement rings are all high quality 18k white gold. Having only 25% alloy in an 18k white gold ring will not be enough to change the color to brilliant white so we electro plate them with rhodium to make them brilliant white. This adds a chrome type layer of very hard scratch resistant metal which transforms it to brilliant white.
Here some pics of rings before and after plating. You can see that before plating there is a slight hue of yellow, but after a bright white finish.