How to keep white gold white
You have white gold and you like its gorgeous look. But will your favorite jewelry always look perfect?
Unfortunately, there is a high probability that the gold ring, earrings or chain will lose their color and shine. We have good news – you can return their original beauty to them.
If over time white gold jewelery has turned yellow or darkened, no need to blame the manufacturer for the manufacture, and the store is selling a fake. Changing the shade is a natural process, the speed of which depends on many factors related to the conditions of storage and wearing of jewels.
How do white gold
In the jewelry industry, the term “white gold” is rarely used to describe gold alloys. The fact is that the term “white” in this case covers a wide range of colors: from pale yellow to light pink. To hide an undesirable shade on jewelry helps rhodium, which is applied to their surface in an electroplating manner.
The most common metal allergy is nickel allergy (in 10% of women and 1% of men). Main symptoms: severe itching and rash on the skin. Therefore, high nickel alloy jewelery is not certified in EU countries.
For the manufacture of “white” products, jewelry enterprises use two alloys:
gold palladium silver;
Palladium and nickel play the role of primary bleaching agents for classic yellow gold. Zinc in the second alloy is necessary to reduce the coloring effect of copper. The intensity of the yellow tint depends on how much and what white metal is in the alloy.
For example, the yellowness will be clearly visible on the gold jewelry 750 sample, made of standard alloy and not treated with rhodium. 14.5 g of nickel and 5 g of zinc, which are part of 100 g of the alloy, simply cannot qualitatively bleach 75 g of yellow gold and 5.5 g of copper. A sample 585 item made of 58.5% gold, 30% silver and 11.5% palladium will turn white, but this is not for long – over time, the silver will begin to darken, giving the ornament a light greenish-gray tint.
Why does white gold change color?
You already know that white gold products from various samples are covered with rhodium. It gives a white-silver shade and protects the metals that make up the alloy from oxidation, which is inevitable with the constant interaction of the decoration with air and water.
Manufacturers guarantee the durability of rhodium plating. However, consumers often complain about the early appearance of yellowness.
What contributes to the premature abrasion of rhodium plating?
The proximity of jewelry to the body. Sweat and sebum – chemically active substances (free lower and higher fatty acids, alcohols, hydrocarbons) erode rhodium, exposing yellowish or grayish “white” gold.
Intense wearing. Friction is another enemy of the rhodium coating. Rhodium belongs to the platinum group metals, which determines its high strength and wear resistance. Rings and chains with factory coating begin to change their color after 5 years, earrings – 7–10 years after purchase.
Mechanical damage. They are most susceptible to wedding rings that are worn without removing. Even shallow scratches spoil the look of the jewelry. This fact is aggravated by the impossibility of grinding and polishing the product, since these operations, although they level the surface, will erase the decorative rhodium layer.
How to save white gold
The best way to keep the white color of gold jewelry is not to wear it :). If you are not going to give them up, be prepared for the fact that over time they will need to restore the rhodium coating. The cost of the service depends on the type of jewelry, the purity and topography of the surface, the thickness of the layer and the complexity of applying rhodium: from 20 hryvnia per 1 gram at a coating thickness of 0.1 μm.
By the way, rhodium can be applied to a product made of yellow or pink gold. This is a great option for those whose preferences for the color of the metal have changed, and you do not want to melt or sell your favorite jewelry.
Jewelers use two ways to restore the rhodium plating: roding in the bathroom and roding with a pencil. The second method is indispensable for dimensional products that do not fit in the bath, and with the partial processing of jewelry.
To postpone sending yellowed or darkened rings, chains or pendants to the jeweler’s workshop, follow our recommendations:
Keep white gold jewelry separate from other jewelery. If you have only one box for all the jewelry, use small bags.
When doing domestic work, visiting a pool or sauna, remove jewelry to avoid contact with household chemicals, chlorine and hygienic cosmetics.
Do not use abrasives or hard brushes to remove dirt. Contact an experienced jeweler who will clean the product, taking into account the peculiarities of white gold.
If you notice a change in the shade of white gold, do not be upset.