Why Does White Gold Turn Yellow?

by Ultimate Jewelry Guide
Can White Gold Change Into Yellow Gold?

If you have recently purchased white gold jewelry, you might have heard that white gold will slowly start to turn yellow. Is this true? Well in this blog post we will teach you about white gold and answer the commonly asked question “Why Does White Gold Turn Yellow?”.

What Is White Gold?

White gold is not found in nature but is made to give its characteristics silver shiny color. It is made with a mixture of pure gold and other metals such as palladium, nickel, and zinc. This is then electroplated using rhodium. Rhodium is a strong metal with bright silvery color with the characteristic shine and luster that makes white gold desirable, it is the same class as platinum. This rhodium prevents the jewelry from tarnishing and scratching. 

As a result of the larger percentage of gold in the white gold constituents, it is still considered gold. White gold is now popular for strength and durability. It is affordable and resistant to tarnishing. Most people with light skin often prefer white gold because it flatters their skin better.

Generally yellow gold is purer than white gold because of the components in the white gold.

If you notice your white gold turning yellow, it is nothing to worry about, it is simply the rhodium plating wearing away. Ideally white gold should last more than 3 years before it wears, since rhodium is a strong metal that does not wear easily. When your white gold turns into yellow within some week, it is an indication that the rhodium plating used on the gold was light.

How Much Does White Gold Cost?

White gold is an affordable option for your engagement ring. Though white gold is affordable, the value of white goods is more than the common yellow gold. This is due to the process involved in the combination of the metals and also electroplating of rhodium on the gold. The metals used to combine gold to form white gold, such as silver and palladium are more expensive than copper which is used to increase the strength of a yellow good since it is a soft metal. This, therefore, increases the value of white gold over yellow gold.

Does White Gold Turn Yellow?

Yes, white gold changes to yellow gold over time as the rhodium component wears. This is not to say the quality of the gold is poor. So, there is no need to be worried, since white gold is not found in nature. To maintain the white color, it becomes necessary to seek professional expertise,  you simply need to take it to your jeweler to restore the color by electroplating. This process can not be done at home by yourself, hence the need for a professional service.

How Fast Does White Gold Turn Yellow?

Like most jewelry dipped in another metal for electroplating, white gold also wears over time. The duration of the period is dependent on the quantity of the thin rhodium used for electroplating the gold. This can range from a few weeks to several years based on the maintenance of the gold. White gold wears faster with frequent use or exposure of the gold jewelry. 

How To Care For White Gold Jewelry

Maintaining the White Gold will help to increase its lifespan before it wears out. Even though it will eventually reach this stage with time, there are several things to maintain the white gold color.

Avoid constant exposure to water, salt, fragrance, and oils. When gold gets in contact with oil it reduces its lifetime. When engaging in activities that could expose it to water or soap or any chemical such as doing the dishes, you might want to remove the gold, to prevent exposure to water. Reduce unnecessary use of oil or lotion on your skin that could rub the gold which can limit its lifetime. The area exposed to the skin such as the inner part of the ring and underside of the necklace is more prone to wear than other parts of the jewelry. Also, ensure you limit or avoid the use of White Gold paint on the gold, since any contact with it gradually removes the rhodium plating on the jewelry. 

Taking cognizance of this maintenance ethics can prolong the rhodium plating of the gold. You could prevent the wear in the first place with this practice.

How To Clean White Gold Jewelry

To clean your jewelry, use warm water and mild soap and gently use your hand to rub the jewelry to remove the dirt. Soak for ten minutes to remove leftover dirt. Avoid using a hard brush and rough cloth to clean your jewelry. Rinse twice in clean water to remove soap particles and dry with a soft fabric. Keep the jewelry in tissue paper to dry overnight.

Can The Original White Gold Color Be Restored?

If you desire the original color of jewelry when you purchase it, rejoice! your white gold color can be restored through electroplating of the gold. This is because the wear of the jewelry is a result of the rhodium plating removal. 

You simply have to take your jewelry to a professional jeweler who will have the jewelry electroplated, and have white gold back in the condition you first set your eyes on it before you purchase it. This process requires the service of an expert to get the color restored. This process is repeated monthly or on a yearly basis based on your maintenance practice and the level of the wear on the jewelry.

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