For first time buyers, it can be confusing to choose between white gold, rose gold, and yellow gold. How do these types of gold differ from each other?
What is White Gold?
White gold is an alloy of gold and metals that have a white color, like palladium, nickel, and even silver. Silver is commonly used in most cases because it can be found in excellent quantities globally. White gold is also coated with rhodium during processing.
Since white gold is an alloy, it is not pure gold and never will be. Pure gold is rarely produced because gold is a soft metal and does not stand up well to daily wear and tear. When an alloy of gold is created, it is done to make the final jewelry more durable and fitter for practical use. The value of white gold, like other kinds of gold, depends on the number of carats in a given piece of jewelry. 14k gold has less gold than 18k gold, and so on.
You can’t eyeball the value of a piece of gold jewelry. You have to ask the jewelry the number of carats in it. The price of white gold thus varies depending on the territory, the type of jewelry in question, and the carat content.
You can get a pair of cute white gold earrings for as long as $180, but some earrings seem to be just the same size and weight but will cost you more, like $2,500. The main advantage of choosing white gold is it is a more popular variety of gold (compared to yellow gold), and white gold is often manufactured to be scratch-resistant. Many people also say that white gold looks better when it is paired with diamonds.
We also recommend white gold for people who have pinkish or rosy skin as it complements them the best. On the other hand, white gold needs to be maintained every few years (we call this dipping) so it will be able to retain its former appearance. Ask your jeweler about rhodium plating if you have some old white gold at home that has seen better days. Take note also that white gold may have some nickel content, and some people have nickel allergies.
What is Rose Gold?
Rose gold is an alloy of gold that is manufactured using alloys from silver and copper. The rose color is from copper, which has a natural reddish tint in its original state.
Again, rose gold is not pure gold, it is not a substitute for pure gold, and it is an alloy because gold is rarely used in its pure form due to its high malleability. The typical ratio for gold and its alloying metals is 75% for gold and 25% for new metals. In some situations, silver and copper are combined, while in others, pure copper is used instead for a deeper, reddish tint.
The 75-25 ratio is 18k. Due to the nature of alloys in general, it is not possible to create pure rose gold, because alloying does not permit metallic purity, to begin with.
Rose gold encompasses all kinds of gold that are in the red spectrum, including the so-called pink gold and red gold. Remember, these variations of rose gold differ in their colors because of the amount of copper that was used in them in the first place.
The main advantage of choosing rose gold is that it’s stylish and unisex, and can be used by both men and women. Rose gold is also associated with romance and love because of its reddish color, which has a strong bond with the figure of the heart.
Rose gold is also more affordable than white gold or yellow gold. In terms of durability, rose gold is fairly durable because of its copper alloying. Rose gold is considered the most durable variant of gold among the three: rose gold, white gold, and yellow gold.
Rose gold, unlike white gold, which mainly complements those with rosy or reddish skin, is excellent for all skin types.
Reminder: rose gold is not a hypoallergenic metal and can cause allergies if the wearer has allergies to silver or copper. Rose gold is also produced in smaller quantities annually, so you may have trouble locating a store that holds pieces that you would like to buy in rose gold.
What is Yellow Gold?
Yellow gold is the third variation and alloy of gold. Manufacturers use metals like copper (as in the case of rose gold) and zinc to make yellow gold more durable. Since gold is already yellow, manufacturers have to be more mindful of how they create their alloys to maintain the yellow color of the original metal.
14-karat pieces have 58.3% gold, 18-karat pieces have 75% gold, 22-karat pieces have 91.7% gold, and finally, 24-karat jewelry is 99.9% gold. The higher the karat value, the purer the base metal, but you pay for it with less durable jewelry. There is a reason why jewelers recommend less gold for jewelry that is worn every day like engagement rings and wedding bands. If you wear jewelry with higher purity, it is going to become deformed quickly, especially if you do not remove your rings when working.
The main advantage of using yellow gold is that it is the most hypoallergenic of all the varieties of gold, and it is the most iconic as well.
In various cultures around the world, yellow gold is the preferred type of gold, as it provides the highest purity. It probably also has something to do with the color – people know that pure gold is yellow, and yellow gold is the closest you can get to the appearance of the base metal.
Yellow gold is also preferable for people with darker skin tones, as well as those with olive skin. Gemstones with lower color grades are also ideal for this type of gold, making this variety of gold more versatile and friendlier to gemstones other than diamond.