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Gold in its purest form is yellow in color however as an alloy it is available as White Gold and Rose Gold too. Pure gold is 24 Karats, but it is soft, so other metals are added to it to improve its durability. White gold was introduced to replicate platinum by alloying 75% gold with 25% Nickel and Zinc. However, it is sold like pure gold at 18 karats. 

What is White Gold?

  • An alloy of gold and whitish metal.
  • It originated as a replacement for platinum, as it is more affordable.
  • It constitutes 75% of 24K pure gold and 25% of Nickel or Zinc.
  • A coat of rhodium (Silver/whitish metal) adds shine to it.
  • Ornaments at 14K and 18K are sold as pure ca.
  • 14K category is stronger and more durable.
  • Similar to yellow gold, it is also stamped with a hallmark.
  • Its purity can be judged by the hallmark stamped on it.

Why is White Gold Gaining Popularity?

  • It is more popular among people who prefer the appearance of silver over yellow gold.
  • The classic color of this precious metal is suitable for various events and matches outfits of different colours.
  • It is more durable than silver and at the same time more affordable than platinum.
  • This form of gold is also suitable for studded designs. Stones of different cuts and colors look elegant when set in this color. 
  • Upkeep is easier and not as expensive as that of Platinum.
  • It is more durable for everyday wear than platinum.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying White Gold

Following are the advantages of buying white gold
  • It is a precious metal prepared from pure gold and it has the same appearance as platinum or silver.
  • Durability for daily wearing is more than platinum and silver.
  • Its silvery appearance makes it preferable over yellow gold. It looks like an imitation of platinum though cheaper than it.
  • It is more malleable than platinum.
  • The neutral color of this metal is perfect for setting gemstones of different colors and shapes. 
Following are the disadvantages of buying white gold
  • It turns yellow over time and therefore requires regular recoating and repolishing to maintain its color.
  • The presence of Nickel alloy makes it unsuitable for people suffering from metal allergies.
  • It is susceptible to scratches if you wear it daily and therefore requires more maintenance.

What is Platinum?

Platinum is the most precious and rare metal on the planet. It is currently around 50% more expensive than Gold. Platinum is naturally white and its density is higher. It is useful for creating unique pieces of jewelry as it is hypoallergenic. The rare metal is a symbol of prestige and is very durable. Moreover, the strength of platinum increases by preparing an alloy of silver and rhodium. However, the upkeep of Platinum is expensive as it easily gets scratched and loses shine. 95-98% Platinum can be used to produce ornaments but due to higher density, the piece is more expensive than gold. 

Difference Between White Gold, Yellow Gold, and Platinum

Following are the differences between White Gold, Yellow Gold, and Platinum

CriteriaWhite GoldYellow GoldPlatinum
Composition18 Karat is 75% Pure Gold14 Karat is 58.3% Pure Gold
Mixed with metals like Nickel and Copper.
24 Karat is 99.9% Pure Gold.22 Karat is 91.7% Pure Gold.18 Karat is 75% Pure Gold.14 Karat is 58.3% Pure Gold.
Mixed with metals like Zinc and Copper.
95-98% platinum. 
Mixed with metals like Copper and Palladium.
ColorWhite and lustrousYellow and lustrousWhite and lustrous
PriceSame as yellow goldSame as white gold40-50% higher than gold
DurabilityEnough for everyday wearEnough for everyday wearHigh
MaintenanceToughEasyToughest
PropertiesNot hypoallergenicHypoallergenicHypoallergenic
RepolishSometimesRareFrequent

Frequently Asked Questions

Is white gold real gold?

White gold is real gold mixed with white metals like nickel and zinc to form a durable alloy. It was originally developed as a replacement for platinum (a rare and expensive naturally white metal). The alloy contains around 75% pure gold and is therefore good enough for everyday use.

How do I check the purity of white gold?

Karats are an indicator of the purity of white gold. Each piece of jewelry produced using white gold is stamped with Karat and can be tested for purity. If your jewelry reads 18K then it comprises 75% pure gold. You can also use a gold testing kit to test the purity of your ornament using Nitric acid.

Why does white gold look like yellow gold after a few years?

White gold does not occur in white color naturally, it is coated with rhodium which wears away over time. In order to maintain the color through the years, it needs regular upkeep. You can take assistance from a professional jeweler to get your ornaments repolished and recoated.

Why is white gold coated with rhodium?

All white gold jewelry pieces are plated with rhodium to add sheen. Rhodium is a white metal that resembles platinum and adds shine to the ornament. It forms a strong layer over the gold alloy to resist corrosion and reduce any chances of allergy.

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