Does White Gold Tarnish In Chlorine? (Jeweler’s Expert Answer in 2024)

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If yours is an engagement or wedding ring made of white gold, you will be tempted to flaunt it everywhere just because the white gold piece of jewelry is nothing but stunning. Unfortunately, the white gold pieces are imperfect, and after some months, you will notice some changes in the color and the overall appearance of the piece.

You could, however, keep that silvery-white finish and gleam for longer if you take the right precautions, which means that there are places you shouldn’t wear that piece of jewelry.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the important things you need to keep in mind about white gold jewelry and wearing the ring in the swimming pool. For instance, will there be any tarnishing if the white gold piece is exposed to chlorine?


Does white gold tarnish in chlorine?

Does White Gold Tarnish In Chlorine

Yes, and you should never wear your white gold piece of jewelry in the pool or other areas with chlorine because chlorine will not only cause damage but also discolor the white gold ring.

There is also the risk of losing the ring in the pool because your fingers will naturally shrink in the cold water. That said, it might be time to add the swimming pool to the risk of the places you shouldn’t wear the ring in.

That said, if you do accidentally wear the ring in the pool, you’d want to polish it almost instantly and vigorously to get rid of the temporary film on the ring.


Understanding the components of white gold

Does White Gold Tarnish In Chlorine

Initially developed as a platinum imitation, white gold is one of the alloys of gold. It contains 75% gold and only 25% zinc and nickel or any other white metal.

The white color results from the use of carefully selected alloying metals that naturally bleach pure gold’s deep yellow color. It is one of the most popular alternatives to silver, yellow gold, and platinum; it’s a preferable option for most people.

Depending on its chemical composition, white gold can be dull brown, gray, and in other cases, pale pink. The components of the white gold determine the karatage – this is determined by the amount of the alloy that is mixed with the gold. The most common version of white gold is 14k or 18k.

The rhodium plating used for white gold gives it a white finish because white gold is naturally very white and hard.

Does White Gold Tarnish In Chlorine

Why white gold react with chlorine?

Does White Gold Tarnish In Chlorine

White gold tarnishes when exposed to chlorine, and since it’s made of a mixture of palladium and nickel, plus gold. But even with these metal alloys, the piece is plated with rhodium for that nice lustrous white finish. Once the rhodium plating starts to wear out, there will be tarnishing.

For white gold pieces, tarnishing results in a yellowish tinge. In extreme exposures, the white gold rings exposed to long and high levels of chlorine may even start to show signs of distress, for example, cracks. Therefore, exposure of the white gold pieces to chlorine should be avoided at all costs.

Does White Gold Tarnish In Chlorine

In the case of the pronged ring with notches, the metals are pretty much opened up, which means that corrosives would easily seep into the grain boundaries, which may result in something known as prong shear, which is a common phenomenon with nickel-based white gold.

This is also known as stress corrosion, and it represents a chemical reaction that takes place in the microscopic grains of the alloy, a change that makes the metal (alloys) a lot more susceptible to chlorine and bromine, as well as their salts. Stress corrosion weakens the bonds between the metal elements, which results in the easy breakage of the metals.

The good news is that if you opt for the palladium white gold pieces, they wouldn’t be damaged by chlorine and other corrosive components. The only problem is that platinum white gold pieces are quite expensive.


How to protect your white gold jewelry if your white gold jewelry in chlorine accidentally?

1. Re-plate it with rhodium

Does White Gold Tarnish In Chlorine

If you’ve noticed tarnishing on some parts of the white gold ring, for example, you’d want to get it back to the jewelers to have it re-plated. This often works because rhodium is a tough metal that lasts a long time before it tarnishes again.


2. Don’t wear white gold jewelry to the gym

Does White Gold Tarnish In Chlorine

You also need to remove the ring when going to swim, moisturizing, primping, working out, cleaning, cooking, or showering. As mentioned above, chlorine is corrosive to white gold jewelry, which is why it would be an excellent idea to keep it off areas with chlorine.

Keep in mind that chlorine is a huge enemy of white gold, solid gold, and yellow gold. One of chlorine’s base chemicals naturally discolors and corrodes the gold alloy surfaces, which would result in stress corrosion cracking.


3. Get it polished

Does White Gold Tarnish In Chlorine

The other important thing to do is to get the ring polished for easy restoration of the ring’s original look.



White gold tarnishes when exposed to chlorine because of the tarnishing of the white gold’s rhodium-plated layer, which exposes the gold layer, resulting in stress corrosion cracks.

Therefore, keep your white gold jewelry away from chlorine, read swimming pool.

Please read more jewelry metal posts here or here. Thanks for reading. See you guys in the next post!

Hey! I finally find the Answer!