Is White Gold Hypoallergenic? White gold has increased in popularity over the years, where yellow gold is no longer the only type of wedding band that couples go for.
Despite its modern look, not everyone has the luxury of wearing what they want, especially if they have sensitive skin.
In this article, we are going to answer whether white gold is hypoallergenic, and also consider the advantages and disadvantages of the same.
What is white gold?
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White gold is made through combining pure yellow gold with other metals to give it the white color.
Apart from the color, the additional elements make the gold harder, given that pure gold is too soft to work with when making jewelry. The metals typically used vary; they can be zinc, silver, copper, nickel, or palladium.
How white a piece of white gold jewelry does depend on the elements used to alloy it. From the proportions added, you will find that some are white while others have somewhat of a yellow tint.
You would expect the former if a silver-colored metal gets used and the latter if a darker metal, such as copper, is added.
For the most part, you will find that jewelers add rhodium plating to make the gold look more silverfish. That’s because most gold alloys still tend to look a bit yellowish.
It is the rhodium that gives the jewelry the silver-chrome color that people have come to associate white gold with. The other reason rhodium plating is standard is that it adds hardness and strength to the metal itself.
Is white gold hypoallergenic?
White gold is not hypoallergenic. A lot of the brands in the market tend to contain trace amounts of nickel.
It makes part of the alloy metals because it is corrosion-resistant, and that makes the jewelry more durable.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they state that about 10 to 20 percent of the population have a nickel allergy. That’s why most people will still wear white gold and not have any reactions.
However, one can still get a nickel allergy over time, even though they didn’t have one initially.
It happens as the ring wears on, and some of the properties begin to break down. As a result, you get a reaction to the ornament. The good news is you don’t have to get rid of your jewelry or even your wedding ring and purchase a new one.
You can take it to the jeweler and have it plated with rhodium or platinum, both of which are hypoallergenic.
Is 10k white gold hypoallergenic?
The lower that the gold karat, the more metals it has in the alloy. It typically has ten parts or old and 14 parts of other metals. The purity of the gold, therefore, stands at 41.7 percent.
The other metals present include silver, copper, zinc, or nickel, all of which tend not to be hypoallergenic.
Having less gold in the jewelry means that there is a higher content of other metals, and that includes nickel. Thus, 10k white gold is more likely to cause an allergic reaction compared to the different karats.
Is 14k white gold hypoallergenic?
Similar to 10k white gold, there is nickel, and that makes 14k white gold not hypoallergenic.
It does have more gold and less nickel than the former, but the fact remains that it contains a metal that is known to cause allergies in some people.
Is 18k white gold hypoallergenic?
18k white gold often has nickel, along with palladium, zinc, and copper. It makes the metal resistant to bending or scratching because gold is exceptionally soft.
Given that the quantity of gold is higher, nickel would be the ideal metal to counter the softness and make it less susceptible to scratches and dents.
18k white gold is thus not hypoallergenic, and just as with the other karat gold metals, it contains substantial amounts of nickel.
Even so, since it has more gold, it would have lesser amounts of nickel, so it is somewhat less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
White or yellow gold: which is more hypoallergenic?
There is typically no nickel in yellow gold or even rose gold, and therefore that makes them more hypoallergenic.
You, however, have to check with the jeweler to find out of they are nickel-free because not all yellow gold jewelry in the market is nickel-free.
However, you do have a safer bet with yellow gold if you have sensitive skin as compared to white gold.
Pros and cons white gold jewelry
Let’s not explore the good and the less desirable aspects of white gold jewelry.
- White gold is quite an attractive metal to have, even more so when it has a stone setting. It is popular because it makes diamond rings look exceptionally bright.
- White gold jewelry is a great and cheaper alternative to platinum, which is quite pricey because of how rare it is.
- There is a broader selection of jewelry for white gold than there is for platinum
- Gold is a precious metal and therefore a luxury to have compared to similar colors metals such as silver, or even stainless steel
- It is not hypoallergenic, given that it contains nickel. It can thus cause an allergic reaction for some people
- It yellows over time simply because gold is yellow. The other alloys will wear off over time to expose the actual color. As a result, you’ll have to re-plate it with rhodium periodically
Gold remains to be a coveted metal for many since it is a precious metal.
The emergence of white gold has allowed people to have gold pieces that aren’t traditionally yellow.
Those who prefer silver metals to the gold color, therefore, can have their cake and eat too. However, those losing out from owning white gold jewelry are those how are sensitive to nickel.
If you require hypoallergenic white gold, you’re not in luck, unless you get one with a rhodium finish.