What is white gold?

Autor: Piotr Zieliński

What is white gold?

In the past, white gold was an exotic material available only to the elite. Today it can be found in any jewellery store. Unfortunately, it is usually only a trade name. Most large goldsmiths today misuse the term to conceal what they are selling.

Jewellery Supermarket

A common practice is to make a gold alloy of an undefined colour, which is cheaper and facilitates casting (everyone probably realises that jewellery bought in chain stores isn't made by hand, but by machine - usually in China). Then, the finished products are electroplated with a rhodium coating (a metal from the platinum family), which is supposed to give the "white gold effect". Unfortunately, the rhodium coating wears off over time, revealing the real alloy, which bears little resemblance to white, and may also cause allergies. But why should you be surprised? Products of this type have a 2-year warranty - and that is all they are supposed to withstand. Therefore, it is understandable that shortcuts are taken in production to make it as cheap and as fast as possible.

Pierścionek z sieciówki po dwóch latach użytkowania.

Precious white gold

So what is real white gold, from the time when, to make a piece of jewellery, you had to sit down at the table and use your intellect and the strength of your hands? It is a type of alloy that includes a metal that discolours the whole piece to a white colour. Palladium (a metal used, for example, in spacecraft), is added to pure gold, which is even whiter than platinum. Hence, another name for this alloy is white gold. Its advantage is that it costs less than the metal with which it is so often compared, and is easier to sell.

Until someone uses a spectrometer, platinum testing can be difficult. For example, there are excellently prepared fakes with a different composition. Meanwhile, in the case of gold, the matter is quite simple and if it is necessary to liquidate the capital, each dealer will welcome us with open hands.

Physical properties

White palladium gold is valued not only for its features, but also for its prestige. In large chains of jewellery stores, jewellery made of this metal reaches very high prices. It has a high melting point and working with it requires a lot of experience. In Poland, only a few companies undertake work with this metal. However, with varying degrees of success. The most common error is the wrong alloy ratio. It is due to the fact that everyone is trying to save money and adds too little palladium. As a result, the alloy is not sufficiently discoloured, and the products made in this way have a slightly yellowish colour.

In my studio, through trial and error, I came to the perfect proportion, which in the end is a bit more expensive, but after polishing, the gold has a beautiful white colour. I apply this method to all products made of palladium gold. Working with this wonderful material prompted me to experiment further, and I also developed palladium-based rose gold. I use this proprietary alloy only for exceptional projects.

I believe that palladium gold is the most valuable metal that can be used to make jewellery in the 585 and 750 trial. It also surpasses platinum in terms of better marketability. This material does not cause allergies, has its own beautiful specific colour and is rarely used. All these advantages make it my favourite type of gold.