ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Is My White Gold Jewelry Turning Yellow?

Updated on June 19, 2013

You might be surprised and even shocked to find that the beautiful piece of jewelry you recently bought is losing its attractive white luster and it’s looking decidedly yellowish. Your first thoughts might be that you’ve been sold something other than white Gold, that you’ve been bamboozled, hood winkled, or even or outright cheated.

Rest assured you have not. To understand what’s happening to the disappearing spark of your new jewelry we have to first grasp the nature of Gold and how it came to be from its natural yellow color to the much desired white color.

Gold in its natural form is yellow. Gold comes out of the ground as a yellow mineral. Gold is also the most malleable and ductile substance known. It can be flattened out to less than .00001 of an inch (less than .000065 cm), and a 1 oz. (28 gram) mass of gold can stretch out to a distance of over 50 miles (75 kilometers). This malleability make is easy to work with, but makes Gold a poor material for something that will be used every day, such as jewelry.

Understanding Karat Weight

24 Karat gold is 100% pure gold. 24k gold is too soft and malleable to make durable, long-lasting jewelry. Other metals are used to make gold less malleable, and more durable. These metals such as copper, silver, zinc, nickel , palladium, and platinum when mixed with Gold are called alloys. The amount of alloys used determines the amount of karat weight. 18k Gold is 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloys, (18/24) or 75% gold. 14k Gold is 14 parts gold and 8 parts alloys (14/24) or 58.3%. 10k gold is only 41.7 % gold (10/24) meaning that there are more alloys than gold content in the given jewelry. That is why some consumers don’t consider 10k gold jewelry to be gold at all, because the gold content is less than half of the total metals contained.

How white gold is made

Now that we understand how gold content is determined it is easily seen how white Gold can be achieved. White gold is simply yellow Gold to which other alloys have been added, usually, palladium, nickel, platinum or zinc. An 18k white Gold ring may be 75% Gold and 25% Platinum or Silver. Or it could be 75% Gold, 10% Palladium, 10% Nickel, and 5% Zinc.

Why does White Gold turn Yellow?

And now that we understand how white gold is made we can also understand why it seems to turn yellow. If you have a can of yellow paint that’s 75% full (18k) and add 25% (alloys) of white paint into it, you would end up with a lighter yellow, maybe even yellowish white. But you would not end with white paint. That is the same result you get when you add white metals to yellow gold. The end product is yellowish. In order to get that lustrous mesmerizing white color the end product must be electroplated with another metal, Rhodium. Rhodium is the platinum family and is very white, very shinny and very durable, but the electroplating process is not permanent.

Through everyday use, the Rhodium coating fades away exposing the true color of the gold underneath it, making it look to the owner of the jewelry, as if their jewelry is turning yellow. A quick trip to the jeweler will fix everything as it is a simple matter to re-coat the item and make look like knew again. White gold jewelry should be restored at least once a year.

There’s no way to prevent white Gold jewelry from eventually showing its true color, sort of speak. If the possibility of your white gold jewelry turning yellow concerns you, then you should consider purchasing only platinum jewelry. Platinum is naturally grey-white in color. It too is normally rhodium plated to give it that highly reflective luster, and needs to get restored at least once a year as well, but it won’t turn yellowish.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)