An alloy of gold and any white metal was developed to give jewellery a different look. Usually it is coated with an extremely hard element, rhodium, which makes it appear white. Rhodium shares many of its properties with platinum, thus it is thought to be similar to white gold.
It makes for a magnificent setting for white diamonds. Jewellery with both white and yellow gold is called two-tone jewellery.
Here’s why white gold is a must for your jewellery box:
- Useful Properties
Depending on the metals used and their proportions, white gold alloys can have many different properties. A nickel and gold alloy is strong and hard, and thus used for making pins and rings. Gold-palladium alloys are used for white gold gemstone settings along with platinum, copper and platinum, as they are soft and pliable. Copper makes the white gold alloy more malleable.
White gold, as mentioned earlier, is made by mixing yellow gold with a white metal such as nickel, manganese, silver or palladium. The alloy coated with rhodium has a sparkling white finish. In order to retain its finish and colour, its rhodium plating must be replaced, which is a simple process, often offered by jewellers as a free service. White gold looks very similar to platinum, and thus can easily be used as a replacement. The difference between the two is that while platinum appears more gray, white gold tends more towards silver. White gold looks splendid with white diamond.
In terms of cost, white gold certainly scores over platinum. Platinum is rarer than gold and mined much lesser, hence it is more expensive. While 1500 tons of gold are mined annually, only 160 tons of platinum are mined every year. Also, platinum being denser than gold, it weighs more and hence costs more. A platinum setting will cost almost double that of white gold. All in all, you can save big by opting for white gold instead of platinum, for the same colour, more or less.