When choosing the perfect setting for your engagement ring, you will inevitably come across white gold rings. However, is white gold good for engagement rings?
Asking someone to marry you is one of the most nerve-wracking moments in one’s life. Even the most modernized couples feel somewhat surprisingly traditional when it comes to getting down on one knee. The most crucial focal point in a proposal is the ring. Choosing the perfect engagement ring can be somewhat daunting due to the numerous options available in the market.
An engagement ring should be personal and reflect one’s sense of style. Some people may prefer a warm golden look, while others prefer cool silver and contemporary look.
White gold engagement rings are a popular choice for people who enjoy a timeless yet slightly exotic look. Some may confuse white gold rings with those made of platinum because they have a similar appearance. However, is white gold good for engagement rings? Before reading this post, I really hope you guys read my awesome post here: Top 10 Hypoallergenic Metals for Engagement Rings. You guys can learn more about how to choose wedding rings.
Is white gold good for engagement rings?
As a matter of fact, white gold is a suitable metal alloy for making engagement rings. It consists of a more silvery cool tone over its white hue than platinum rings. White gold comes about from mixing yellow gold alloy with several white metals, like nickel, palladium, and silver. It is then given an attractive and lustrous coating with a rare and silvery-white metal known as rhodium, giving it its luminous sheen.
Just like any other type of gold, white gold is labeled according to its karats. The karat refers to the purity of gold in the metal. For instance, 14K gold means the metal consists of 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy.
Pure gold is too soft and must be mixed with other metals to make it durable and malleable for making jewelry. If used on its own, pure gold jewelry would bend out of shape quite quickly.
What is white gold engagement rings?
White gold engagement rings are those made form adding white metals, such as nickel and palladium, to pure gold. It also involves plating the resulting alloy to give it its lustrous appearance.
They are highly durable and come in a variety of designs, ideal for anyone who enjoys unique and contemporary looks. However, the rhodium plating will wear out eventually, requiring the wearer to plate the underlying metal to maintain the brilliant white hue. Often, rhodium plating has a lifespan of up to five years before it completely wears out.
More so, rhodium plating prevents the metal within from reacting with sensitive skin as it is hypoallergenic. However, once the plating wears off, it exposes the inner metal, which may contain nickel, causing an allergic reaction. Additionally, white gold offers a beautiful backdrop for diamonds and other gemstones than yellow gold when used in making rings.
White gold properties and usage
White gold is a precious and fascinating metal. It has a similar appearance to silver and platinum but is much more durable than silver and more affordable than platinum. The color of white gold depends on its composition. As discussed above, its silvery color comes from its rhodium plating. Otherwise, white gold would have a dull brown, grey, or pale pink color. Rhodium plating also adds strength and durability to the metal alloy. Rhodium metal is part of the platinum group of metals, which is known for their tensile strength and sturdy nature.
Over time, white gold tends to lose its rhodium plating, exposing the metal alloy of pure gold and nickel, palladium, or silver. If it has nickel in it, people with sensitive skin will likely have various allergic reactions. As a result, some people do not prefer white gold jewelry because of this reason.
The manufacture of jewelry is the most common use of white gold. It makes beautiful earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, among others, because of its lustrous appearance and durability. Gold-nickel alloys are also for making pins due to their hard and strong features. On the other hand, gold-palladium alloys are excellent in white gold gemstone settings due to their pliable, resilient, and soft characteristics.
History of white gold
White gold dates back to 1710 when German alchemists Ehrenfried Walther Von Tcshirnhaus and Johan Friedrich Bottger composed it in Germany. In 1752, another metal with a grey finish that resembled white gold was introduced. However, white gold, as we know of it today, was introduced in the 1920s.
According to history books, there are two variations of white gold discovered at different times and by different people. The Belais brothers combined gold, zinc, and nickel in 1920 to form white gold to substitute it with platinum. Another variation was introduced in 195 by a German chemist, Karl Richter, who made white gold from combining gold, palladium, and nickel.
After the prohibited use of platinum and nickel during World War II, palladium-gold alloys became standard all over the world. Today, white gold is one of the most precious metals used in the UK. More so, many countries prohibit the use of nickel in the making jewelry due to the resulting allergic reactions it causes.
Pros of white gold as a wedding or engagement ring
- Affordable when compared to other traditional jewelry metals like platinum and silver
- It comes in a variety of elaborate and classic designs
- Durable and stronger than pure or yellow gold
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Resistant to scratches, bending, or breaking
- A versatile appearance that complements all types of skin complexions
Cons of white gold as a wedding or engagement ring
- It has a potential allergic reaction risk due to its amount of nickel
- It may tarnish or discolor when worn in swimming pools or hot tubs
- The rhodium plating will wear off eventually requiring re-plating
With the similar appearance of white gold and platinum, it is vital to consider all the benefits of these metals before deciding which one is ideal for your engagement ring. Gold has ruled the world of jewelry for thousands of years, while white gold has recently emerged in modern popular trends. If you are looking for a budget-friendly and contemporary ring with a classic touch of elegance, white gold engagement rings are a perfect choice.
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