Gold is one of man’s most precious metals. It is greatly sought. Its yellow warm color gives it distinction. Modern jewelry manufacturer, however, could make gold in various shades from red to rose to light yellow even green and of course, white gold.
White gold necklace is comprised of gold plus one metal which is either nickel or palladium. The white color of a white Gold necklace is attained by careful selection of metals which turns deep yellow of pure gold into white. White gold necklace is measured in karats, similar to its yellow gold counterpart.
A white gold necklace is often coated with rhodium. The purpose of this is to give white gold its shine just like silver or platinum. White gold necklace often require re-coating of rhodium later when it loses its luster.
The highest measure of a white gold necklace is between 17 and 21 karat. This is often made up of gold and palladium with a bit of platinum for durability.
White gold for jewelry first came about in the 1920’s used as a substitute for platinum. Now, white gold is no longer considered as a substitute but a metal. They are used as a setting for diamonds and other gems. White gold necklace is gaining much popularity among the fashionable younger set particularly among young brides.
Turning Gold to White
The process of turning gold into white is much similar to mixing paint to achieve the desired ‘white’ results. Adding red metal copper like copper will turn gold to red and adding white metals will turn gold to lighter color until it becomes white. All the alloying metals other than copper can turn gold lighter.
Although any white metal can whiten gold’s color, jewelry makers often prefer to use nickel, palladium and platinum for the process gold bleaching. These metals are considered ‘strong bleachers’ of gold. Silver and zinc are considered moderate bleachers. The rest are either moderate or weak.
The strong bleachers give rise to 2 classes of white golds- the Nickel whites and the Palladium whites. White gold necklace made of nickel often have colder whiter color. The white gold necklace made from palladium, on the other hand, is described as warmer white.
Nickel whites seem to be harder and more difficult to process. Palladium whites appear to be softer, easier to process. The latter white gold necklace is more expensive because of the cost of the metal palladium which is higher than nickel.