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19. White Gold : No Rhodium-Plate
Tuesday, 06 May 2014
A few words about 'white gold.'

What you are actually looking at when admiring those bright, shiny white gold rings in a jewellery shop is not actually gold at all, but the rhodium that is plated onto it.

It is an industry-wide practice to plate all white gold with rhodium, which is much brighter and whiter. Real white gold has a touch of yellow to it, which is hardly surprising when you consider that gold is a rich yellow colour, and if your ring is 14K (for example) then 14 parts out of 24 (24K is pure gold) are yellow.

Given this fact, it is obvious that the end result cannot be completely white, hence the rhodium plating.

I prefer to leave my rings un-plated.

Firstly, I like my white gold to be just that, and secondly, plating always wears off over time, especially where the bands rub against each other (which they do, even when the ring is snugly in place on your finger). This is why jewellers commonly recommend re-plating white gold rings every few years.

While it is easy enough to plate an all-white-gold ring, it is significantly more complicated to plate selected bands only. For example, if you wanted to plate the white gold band of a BECK Tri-Gold (where the other 2 bands would be yellow gold and pink gold) things get messy, so I definitely prefer not to have to do that.

Regardless of the above, I will get your ring plated if you insist, but in some cases might charge you a little extra.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

To do some reading on the subject, you can follow these links :

or simply Google "white gold looks yellow".