Gold jewellery is greatly sought after because it is made of precious metal. Gold is the standard for jewellery. Gold jewellery often requires the use of alloy because pure gold is too soft to be used. The alloys copper, silver, nickel, platinum and palladium, all give gold its necessary strength and durability.
Gold being the most malleable and ductile metal can be formed into almost anything. That is why, gold jewellery come in all shapes, sizes and forms.
Gold’s orange-yellow hue provides a unique setting for gemstones. Gold jewellery is highly valuable because it is not only attractive to look at, its value will also appreciate through time.
Gold when combined with other metals may change hues. It could turn rose, red, green, yellow or white gold.
White Gold Jewellery
White gold jewellery is gaining popularity these days. White gold used to be a substitute for platinum. But nowadays, it is a precious metal in its own right.
To be able to come up with white gold jewelry, manufacturers combine gold with alloys. The strongest gold bleachers among these alloys are nickel and palladium. That is why there are two main white golds – nickel white gold and palladium white gold.
Nickel white gold jewellery is harder. Palladium white gold jewellery is softer and more expensive because palladium is costly.
Between the two though, palladium white gold jewellery is the one preferred by many because nickel white gold seems to cause allergic reactions to around 12%-15% of women.
To address this issue, the European Union member countries issued directives to limit the use of nickel in white gold and other items that come in contact with the human skin.
Most jewelers in European Union countries use palladium and give up nickel altogether. Some reduce the nickel content in their white gold jewellery.
The finished product in pure white gold jewellery actually looks dull. That is why most jewelers particularly of the low-grade white gold use a thin coating of rhodium to make white gold look whiter and shinier.
High-premium white gold does not need rhodium because it is naturally shiny. White gold’s hue is often similar to platinum. More often than not, the difference between the color white of white gold and platinum is not discernible.
White gold is also measured in carats similar to yellow gold. The method of determining the carat is also the same. For instance, if the white gold is 18 k that means it contains 75% gold and 25% white alloy such as silver or palladium. An 18k yellow gold contains similar mixture but uses copper as the alloy.