What are the differences between white and ‘normal’ gold?

When it comes to having a nice detail with another person in the form of a jewel, we have often wondered the differences between white and yellow gold. Are they just as resistant? And price? What are the different shades in which we can find this metal due to?

Gold is a metal that has characteristics very soft and malleable; in addition to its bright yellow hue. Another of the peculiarities of gold is that it is very resistant to rust, hence its durability; but we must be careful if we expose it for a long time to chlorine or bleach, for example.

The color of gold

Thus, when its use is for jewelry, it is usually mix with different alloys such as zinc, silver, copper or nickel. In this way, we will obtain a piece that stands out for its durability and resistance. Precisely in this process, and according to the percentage that we use for each metal, we will obtain one tonality or another.

Jeweler worked a piece of gold (Bigstock)
  • Yellow: it is obtained by mixing gold with copper –which gives it a red tinge– and silver –which gives it a slightly more greenish touch.
  • White: it is achieved by mixing 18-karat gold with the occasional off-white metal such as platinum, manganese, palladium, zinc or nickel. In addition, jewelers often use rhodium to give that piece a bath and give it a shiny finish.
  • Pink: it is obtained from the mixture of gold with fine silver and copper, in less quantity to differentiate it from the more conventional tone.

Did you know that, in addition, of these best known shades, we can have green, blue, gray, red and even black? In this way, if we mix gold and silver we obtain a green tone; blue if we make the alloy with iron; gray when it comes to gold with nickel or red if we join it with copper. For its part, the black hue is obtained through a rhodium plating. The only downside in this regard is that, being a coating, it needs more frequent maintenance.

Differences in price or durability?

If we take as an example an 18 carat gold ring and another of the same purity, but in a white tone, the cost hardly varies in one case or another; since the percentage of gold used in both cases is maintained and other metals are added in its composition. Normally, price differences lie in design; in if it has added other kinds of precious pieces.

As for its resistance, it is often alluded to the fact that white gold has worse maintenance than yellow. However, like everything else, it depends on the use and care we give it. In this sense, over the years the damage to a piece of yellow gold can be noticed; while in the case of white, as it is coated in rhodium, it needs a bath every so often.

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