Does 18K White Gold Scratch Easily?(Jeweler’s Answer)

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White gold jewelry is the most popular version of gold on the fashion scene today, and if you are looking for an engagement ring or a nice set of earrings, you will be surprised by the large array of white gold jewelry available.

It’s beautiful and lustrous, and if you are looking for the best fine jewelry, then this would be the best option for you. But before you do, how durable is it? Will the 18k white gold ring last long enough, and will it be worth your money?

Keep reading!


Brief introduction of 18K white gold

Does 18K White Gold Scratch Easily

18k white gold is a gold alloy that’s made of pure yellow gold that is mixed with silvery-white metals such as silver and palladium. The reason for mixing pure gold with the stronger, more durable white metal ensures a more durable version of gold. Even with the higher percentage of pure gold, the added white metals ensure that the 18k gold alloy lasts long is strong for long-term use.

In the case of 18k white gold, the percentage of gold used is 75% against 25% of the white metals. Note, however, that despite the addition of white metals to the gold, the resultant white gold isn’t really lustrous, and its lustrous state is the result of plating the white gold with rhodium, white precious metal from the platinum family.

Rhodium plating enhances the durability and the strength of the 18k gold while adding a lustrous sheen, which means that in as much as 18k gold is naturally a softer gold alloy, coating with rhodium increases its durability.


The 18K White gold making process

Does 18K White Gold Scratch Easily

As mentioned above, 18k is a gold alloy made of 75% pure gold and 25% metal alloys. The metal alloys mixed with the pure gold include silver, zinc, palladium, or in other cases, nickel, then coated in rhodium which ensures that nice white, lustrous sheen. Essentially, the proportion of the alloy that is added to the gold is what will determine the resultant gold’s karat rating, and consequently, the hue of the white gold’s final color.


The Mohs Scale of 18K white gold

18K white gold has a hardness level of 2.75, which is as close to the hardness level of pure gold as it gets (pure gold measures 2.5 on the Mohs scale). 18k gold’s hardness is higher thanks to the added metal alloys, which means that despite the 75% pure gold, the 18k white gold is harder than 14k or 10k gold.

Does 18K White Gold Scratch Easily

Does 18K white gold scratch easily? Why?

18k white gold scratches relatively easily, and even with the rhodium plating, the underlying gold alloy is a little too soft, which means that the jewelry made of 18k gold will scratch if it’s scratched against a hard surface.

It also gets scuffed, meaning that if you are looking for 18k gold jewelry, you should be ready to take a little extra care of your pieces for them to last a really long time. Note, however, that the 18k white gold jewelry would still get scratched, even with the best level of care provided.

Keep in mind that the base metal in white gold is a soft metal that gets scratched easily.

Does 18K White Gold Scratch Easily

Tips for protecting your 18K gold jewelry (Avoiding scratch)

  • Don’t wear your gold jewelry when swimming because chlorine has a negative effect on the integrity of the gold
  • Avoid working out with your 18k gold jewelry to avoid dents and scratches from the metals and other workout equipment
  • Wear gloves when gardening or doing household chores to protect the gold jewelry from getting damaged
  • Avoid getting the jewelry in contact with the household cleaners, and if you must use harsh cleaners, make use of rubber gloves
  • Remove jewelry when getting to the shower or bath
  • Always wear the jewelry last and after makeup, perfumes, hairsprays, and lotions
  • Don’t wear your 18k gold jewelry if you will be engaging in activities that would be damaging to the jewelry
  • Wear more durable pieces like the ones made of silicone or stainless steel when working out

Does 18K White Gold Scratch Easily

  • Don’t wear your 18k gold jewelry regularly
  • Don’t expose the jewelry to direct sunlight; the sub can bleach gold as well as other natural elements in the jewelry.
  • Don’t wear the jewelry in the sand or out in the ocean
  • Avoid wearing the jewelry in cold water because cold water causes shrinking of the fingers, meaning a higher risk of loss
  • Store your jewelry in a clean, airtight, and soft velvet bag
  • Look out for the common signs of weakness and vulnerability



If you have 18k white gold jewelry or if you are interested in investing in 18k gold jewelry, you should know that though high-valued, the jewelry isn’t scratch-resistant, and it calls for a lot more care for it to last long.

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