White Gold: Your questions answered

White gold has been soaring in popularity over recent years. Here we answer the two questions we're most commonly asked about this wonderful metal.

Does white gold turn yellow?

The appearance of white gold jewellery over time will depend on the composition of the metal. To make white gold, pure gold is combined with other metals such as palladium and nickel to whiten its colour. The finished piece is then coated in rhodium plating to emphasis the colour. Over time, the rhodium plating wears away, revealing the underlying metal.

If the underlying metal is more yellow than the rhodium, it can appear as though the colour is fading or tarnishing. Typically, a higher palladium content will make the metal more naturally white, which minimises this effect. This means that even when the rhodium plating wears away, your piece will still appear white in colour. In the image below, the high-palladium white gold still appears white (not yellow), even when it has not been rhodium plated.

White gold with a high palladium content will still retain its colour (not yellow) without rhodium plating (left side) compared to a rhodium plated piece (right side) - Harlequin Jewellers

White gold with a high palladium content will still retain its colour (not yellow) without rhodium plating (left side) compared to a rhodium plated piece (right side) - Harlequin Jewellers

Will white gold or yellow gold look better?

Choosing yellow or white gold for a piece of jewellery is largely a matter of personal preference. White gold can, however, have some impressive effects with particular gemstones.

When paired with gemstones such as black opals, blue sapphires, or tanzanites, for example, white gold can bring a more modern feel to a piece of jewellery than traditional yellow gold.

White gold also tends to make diamonds appear brighter and more sparkly, making it an exceptional choice for diamond engagement rings. Even if your preference is for a yellow gold ring, using white gold for the setting (the part that holds the diamonds in) can make the feature stones more enticing. The piece below uses white gold in this way.

Yellow gold cluster dress ring, featuring a white gold setting which showcases the diamonds - Harlequin Jewellers

Yellow gold cluster dress ring, featuring a white gold setting which showcases the diamonds - Harlequin Jewellers

Do you have a question about white gold? Email us to have them answered.