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Why Did My White Gold Ring Turn Yellow?

December 26, 2014 1 min read

Precious Metal Information

“Why did my white gold ring turn yellow?” This is a great question and I hear it quite often. Here’s the answer. There really is no such thing as white gold. Say what? White gold is actually yellow gold mixed with alloys such as palladium, nickel or even manganese. When you cast 14kt white gold, you are getting 58.5% yellow gold mixed with other alloys. When you cast 18kt white gold, you are getting 75% yellow gold mixed with other alloys. Believe it or not, when white gold comes out of casting, it does have a slight yellowish tint. It makes sense since the majority of the material is yellow gold. The last step for a jeweler when making a white gold piece of jewelry, is rhodium plating. This is what makes the piece look super white!

What is rhodium plating?

Rhodium plating is commonly used by jewelers to make a piece of jewelry look very white. It’s an electroplating process in which the piece of jewelry is dipped into a solution and when it comes out, it’s totally white. It’s good to know that rhodium will wear off over time. Hence, your white gold piece of jewelry will show a slight yellowish tint. All you need to do is go to your local jeweler and have the item dipped again. It’s super simple and easy to do.


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