White gold know-how: Everything that glitters is gold

Exclusive white gold jewelry creations promise timeless joy. But why is white gold premium and where can you find the most beautiful jewelry?

white gold
Quelle & Copyright by KBH Jewels

Author: Julia Schindler

Gold jewelry can be classic and delicate or symbolic and opulent. What the exclusive pieces of jewelry have in common is that they are timeless, bring joy again from generation to generation, bring happiness or hold memories. On the other hand, apart from the style of creation, there are also differences in the alloy of gold. Particularly high quality and popular: white gold, gold with a silvery look. But what exactly is hidden behind the precious metal?

What is white gold?

White gold is an alloy of gold, the chemical symbol Au. This means that it is a mixture of different metals. Consisting of shares of other precious metals such as silver and platinum or nickel and palladium. Pure gold is very soft and accordingly not hard enough to be processed - especially in the manufacture of delicate rings. As a consequence, jewelry creations made of pure gold - or even those with a high gold content - would quickly lose their shape and scratch.

No matter which gold you choose, it is always important to ethical gold to put. This ensures that raw materials are extracted free of toxic pollutants and is mined under fair working conditions. Most manufacturers use the "Fairminded certification".

Premium white gold

Depending on the choice of metals for the alloy, different shades of gold can be achieved. While each metal of the alloy removes the yellow color intensity from the gold, the nuances can range from steel gray to blue gray to pale yellow, determined by the metal mixing ratio. The higher the proportion of platinum or palladium, the more defined is the white-gray-silvery color of the gold. A quality feature. The official orientation framework is the White Gold Task Force of World Gold Council and Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America. This categorizes different colors of white gold and differentiates between the quality levels 1. Premium White, 2. Standard White and 3. Off White.

Chopard - Happy Dreams white gold chain women


Source & Copyright by Chopard

approx. 6.270 € - available at Farfetch

About the creation of white gold

The origin of the precious metal was in Germany in 1912. In Pforzheim, a city in Baden-Württemberg. Due to political upheavals, it was no longer possible to buy platinum from Russia at this time. But since it was very popular, an alternative had to be found quickly. This should have the silvery color of platinum, but in contrast to conventional silver, it should not oxidize and therefore tend to discolour and ensure a certain degree of comfort. Despite the popularity of platinum, it was considered to be comparatively heavy and its processing was also tedious due to the hardness of the precious metal.

With the process, the alloy, for the production of white gold, the disadvantages of other precious metals could now be countered. For the first time, a metal was found that was cheaper and easier to process than platinum, but was of the same color, without showing any traces of the yellowish character of gold and not like classic silver. Another advantage of the process is its holism. The mixture of metals means that jewelry is holistically gold - right down to the deepest layer. Small scratches and flaws do not lead to the removal of the paint.

In addition, the silvery gold is often provided with a layer of the silvery shiny metal rhodium. This protects against corrosion, heat and wear, while producing a lighter gold tone. It is used to upgrade low-quality white gold alloys. However, as rhodium is also used to coat other metals and give them white gold look, caution is advised. If the layer wears off after some time, the original material appears.

Differences to other precious metals

White gold versus platinum

As a natural, white precious metal, platinum is somewhat lighter than white gold, which, depending on the ratio of the alloy, can have a slight yellowish tinge, for example. Platinum is more complex to process. The reason for this is that it is the hardest metal in jewelry processing. Abrasion and scratches are correspondingly lower with platinum and other precious metals. The fact that it is therefore marginally more difficult is noticeable when wearing rings - but should be seen as a quality feature rather than a burden.

Vorsicht: Aufgrund der Härte des Metalls zerkratzt Platin zwar selbst nicht, dafür aber Schmuck aus anderen Edelmetallen, wenn er permanent gegen Platin reibt. Ein Beispiel dafür wären die Kombination aus Ehe- und Verlobungsring an einem Finger. Weißgold hingegen lässt sich einfach mit anderen Stücken tragen.

White gold versus silver

In terms of color, white gold and silver don't give each other much. They are so visually similar that an untrained eye can often see no differences. Nevertheless, it is worth distinguishing between the two - there are differences in terms of hardness and oxidation. Differences that affect the longevity and quality of the piece of jewelry.

Silver has a very low hardness. The result: it bends easily - especially when it comes to delicate creations. In contrast, more material stability can be achieved with an alloy, which is why white gold is more robust and pieces of jewelry made from Eden metal therefore remain flawless for longer. A big plus, because jewelry should be timeless and can and should be worn over several generations. In addition, the oxidation of silver is a common problem. Due to sulfur in the air, chemical compounds cause it to turn gray to black. While this can be remedied using silver cleaning cloths, white gold does not even do this.

White gold versus yellow and rose gold

Yellow gold is created from an alloy of gold, silver and copper. The aim is to maintain the pure gold color while improving the material properties. The major difference between white and yellow gold lies in the alloy and the look that goes with it. The situation is similar with red gold. The color spectrum of red gold ranges from rust red to rose gold. The reason for this is the high copper content of the alloy. That is why it is also susceptible to oxidation: regular maintenance is a must-do.

Because platinum is in the alloy of white gold, it is harder and therefore more stable and scratch-resistant than yellow and red gold. The high quality of the precious metal is often reflected in the price.

Cartier - love wedding ring


Source & Copyright by Cartier

approx. 1.140 € - available at Cartier

Overview of advantages and disadvantages of white gold


  • No oxidation, no discoloration
  • Simple processing (adjustments can also be made afterwards)
  • High quality (high gold content and addition of platinum)
  • Available in different shades, depending on the alloy
  • More robust than silver, yellow and rose gold


  • Sensitive to scratches compared to platinum
  • Depending on the alloy, often more expensive than other gold variants

Must-have: white gold marriage and engagement ring

The classic Tiffany variant is probably the symbol of an engagement ring - elegant, beautiful, timeless, simple. The choice mostly falls on a silvery ring, because this color nuance brings out brilliant diamonds and diamonds particularly well. In addition to aesthetics, it also has to shine in terms of combinability and suitability for everyday use. The same applies to wedding rings. And that's exactly why white gold is the preferred material for engagement and wedding rings. While a white gold ring captivates with simple elegance, it is also practical. Despite the silver look, it is not so easy to scratch and is resistant to discoloration. Although platinum is even more robust, the white gold price scores.

But also for everyone who is not currently preparing for a romantic occasion, there are many beautiful creations. Be it a bracelet or a chain for men or women. Jewelry made from this material is high quality, beautiful, durable and can give every outfit the right elegance.


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