What Is White Gold?

This is one of the most accurate questions one can ask. White Gold is widely confused with platinum and rhodium and sometimes even silver! What the exact difference is will be revealed in this article! This in-depth look on white gold will try to explain how white gold is made, what white gold is and why it is different from platinum, rhodium and silver!

Is White Gold actual Gold?

Yes, white gold is actual gold! Many confuse white gold with platinum but it is made of pure gold and a mix of other metals. These other alloy metals are metals that have a silvery-white colour, such as palladium, silver and in sometimes even nickel and manganese (although not advised due to skin allergies). When mixed with pure gold they give gold new properties such as extra hardness and a silvery appearance.

The first difference between white gold and platinum is the most basic and is the foundation of all the other differences. White gold and platinum are different metals altogether with different chemical properties but some similar characteristics because they are both noble metals. Noble metals are chemically resistant, and thus, are unique for jewellery. Gold is more abundant than platinum, but its high demand makes gold way more valuable than platinum since gold was always linked with the idea of value.

Platinum is itself a white metal but it is a pure metal like pure gold while white gold is an alloy. In short white gold and platinum may share a similar appearance but are in fact different materials.

Why is gold mixed with alloy metals?

Pure gold is very malleable. 24K gold is so soft it cannot be used in fine jewellery so gold generally needs alloy materials in order to become more durable.  The uses of 24k gold are mostly for collecting and trading purposes.

This is the case whether the jewellery is made from yellow gold, rose gold or white gold, because, in any of these variations, gold on its own would be too soft.

In white gold, additionally, the silvery-coloured alloys help to create the desired white colour.

Is white gold always coated with rhodium?

Rhodium prevents tarnish and keeps the surface of the jewellery piece shiny and silvery. Jewellery appearance plays an important role as well as functionality and rhodium is the ideal precious metal to make your white gold jewellery even more sparkling. Rhodium is applied on silver and white gold as a very thin film that will prevent corrosion and keep the jewellery it has been applied to in pristine condition!

Why does white gold eventually start to look like yellow gold?

Over time, the rhodium coating becomes worn, revealing the yellow gold or white gold colour underneath. This is a completely normal phenomenon and can be easily repaired at a jewellery technician.

Why does it happen

What can be done about it? This can be resolved easily by getting the jewellery re-coated with rhodium every so often. This can be easily done at most jewellers. The cost for recoating an engagement ring is around £25.


Is white gold real gold?

Yes white gold is real gold! Your jewellery's hallmark is the way to tell.

In the UK, all jewellery over 1 gram in weight must be hallmarked to ensure it contains the exact amount of the certified precious metal stated.

A hallmarking is a small symbol stamped on the inside of a piece of jewellery that identifies it as a certified and authentic by the strict standards of The Government Assay Offices.


White Gold Pros and Cons


It is great for setting literally any gemstone.

It is more durable and tarnish-resistant due to rhodium plating.

No yellow reflections in Diamonds Engagement Rings (unlike yellow gold).

White gold is minimalistic. The Silvery appearance helps it match nicely with most outfits.

It is a precious metal alloy and together with platinum and silver is the most used material in fine jewellery.


As white gold is made from a mix of pure yellow gold with alloys and coated in rhodium, over time it will need recoating to maintain its colour.

Although this is an easy and fairly inexpensive process that can be done by most jewellers, it could mean that you’ll need to be without your engagement or wedding ring for a period of a few days while it’s being done. Overtime, it will add to the overall cost of your


What to know about pure gold in my white gold jewellery?

The gold content of all gold jewellery – whether white, yellow or rose gold – is measured in “karats”.

Karat is often expressed with the letter K. For example, 9K or 18K gold.

All 9K gold jewellery items contain 37.5% pure gold, while 18K gold items contain 75% pure gold – regardless of the gold colour. The bigger the overall karat weight, the larger the amount of gold is present.

Conclusion – is white gold for me?

Whether white gold is for you is ultimately a personal choice. Overall, white gold makes for a stunning choice if you love the neutral, classic look of silver or platinum.

It has much more durability and value than silver, but if you’re on a budget, it is less expensive than platinum.

Over the last half a century, white gold has become much more popular than classic yellow gold and is in fact the most often chosen metal for engagement rings. This attests its contemporary, versatile look, exceptional value and high quality feel.