The element gold is naturally yellow. To give gold a "white" look, it is mixed with other metals, like palladium and nickel and then electroplated with Rhodium, a precious metal from the same family. The reason why white gold turns yellow is because this coating wears off - usually from the acids on our hands - the gold alloy underneath is revealed. It is common to have the white gold piece re-plated from time to time to restore the bands original luster. This is in no way a flaw and it is quite common to have white gold jewelry re-plated at a nominal cost.
White gold was originally created as a substitute for yellow gold when platinum was needed for munitions during World War II. Lately white gold has gained in popularity for use in engagement and wedding rings. White gold is an ideal complement to diamonds and other gemstones and is very fashionable for engagement rings, wedding rings and eternity rings.
Why White Gold Turns Yellow... or Gray, or White, or Rose
Depending on the alloys used, gold can take on a grey, white or even rose appearance. Rhodium is used to make white gold whiter. Almost all white gold is electro-plated with rhodium to make the white finish flawless. This rhodium plating can wear off over time. It can be easily replaced as you can have all your white gold jewelry re-plated.
Additional discoloring can be a result of exposure to chemicals commonly encountered in the home or workplace. The best way to prevent this is to re-plate the ring with a heavy layer of platinum or rhodium. You can expect about 1-2 years of good wear before another re-plating is needed, if done properly.
To make the plating last longer you can remove your jewelry while in hot tubs and swimming pools. You can also wear gloves while doing household cleaning. These precautionary steps can dramatically extend the life of re-plated white gold jewelry and are just good practice for any jewelry. The brightness of a re-plated ring will be the same or better than when the ring was new.
LC Rings specializes in white gold, gold and platinum bands and rings. When you’re ready to make the most important purchase of your love life, consider LC Rings in your area. Call us to schedule an appointment.