White Gold: What It Is & Common Styles

White Gold: What It Is & Common Styles
White gold screw nut shape wedding ring with diamonds

When you think of jewelry the first thing that comes into your mind is gold. For many years gold has been held as one of the most precious metals. It has been used for religious artifacts, jewelry making, and many other uses. Yellow gold is the most common type of gold found throughout history. Years later with the advances in technology and with the knowledge to mix gold with other metals has grown, different gold colors have been discovered. In terms of fashionable popularity from the 1960s-1980s yellow gold was very popular, then in the 1990s started to take over the popularity of white gold. And in the past few years, the popularity of rose gold has started to resurface.

What Is White Gold And How Is it Made?

White gold is a precious metal made up of pure yellow gold, mixed with alloy metals that have a silvery-white color such as silver and palladium. On its own, pure gold is a very soft metal and has to be mixed with harder metals for added strength and durability.  White gold jewelry is also coated with another metal known as rhodium, which comes from the same metal family as platinum.

Many jewelers use rhodium plating to make white gold sparkle. Over time rhodium plating tends to wear off and the yellow hue of the white gold will show through. So, white gold needs replacements every few years in order to sparkle like new again.

Different Types of White Gold Jewelry

When choosing wedding bands or engagement rings, the options can be overwhelming, diamond and gemstone cuts, settings and fit are just a few of the choices couples have to make. White gold is always an excellent option when purchasing jewelry. There are many necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and pendants in ornate and elegant styles. You might find available just a few jewelry items such as:

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  • White gold chains
  • Dangle earrings
  • Bangles
  • Heart pendants
  • Lockets

How to Style White Gold Jewelry

White gold jewelry goes with nearly everything because it is relatively neutral. So, it is easy to mix and match white gold jewelry with the jewelry you already own. If you want to look like a sophisticated or chic woman choosing neutrals is the easiest way to do it. Dressing in neutral colors allows you to wear more bling and that is because it offers a subtle palette that contrasts with your white gold jewelry. White gold jewelry is so luxurious and you don’t need a lot of it, try to stick with one or two eye-popping accessories. For example, you can opt for a white gold ring and white gold earrings. Or maybe you can wear a ring and a diamond necklace, but do not wear all three.

You shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with white gold jewelry. It can be hard to pull off white gold with copper and yellow gold. But I would stick to white gold with one other metal and it works very well if the pieces aren’t next to each other. You can explore also another jewelry combination. Play with colors, you can pair a neutral skirt with a bold top. The neutral aspect of white gold makes rich colors like burgundy, turquoise, royal purple, and fuchsia look sophisticated and regal. So, allow yourself to try something new, maybe you will like it even if it is not your style. 

Is White Gold Affordable?

The price of white gold depends on the karat 14K vs 18K and on how much metal was used to make the jewelry. It ranges from $180 for a simple ring to $2,500 for a complicated ring setting. In general 18K white gold is the most prized out of all purities used in jewelry, also in comparison to 10K and 14K white gold is very durable. So, the cost depends on the amount of white gold used, the vendor, and your jewelry design. If you are reselling your setting, you will get 50 cents for every dollar of scrap metal.

How to Clean White Gold

Cleaning white gold jewelry is simple and also inexpensive. It is a process that can be done at home with your household products. To clean white gold, you have to fill a small bowl with warm water, add a mild soap to the water, and stir. Then put your white gold jewelry in the water and let it soak for 15-25 minutes. 

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Once time is up, use a soft-bristled brush or a soft toothbrush to lightly scrub the surface of each piece. You can also get under any designs, gemstones, or engraving. Now, rinse each piece and dry it with a lint-free linen cloth to remove any soap residue. You can add several drops of ammonia to the water only if your jewelry is very dirty.