Gold is one of the most sought-after metals in the world, and for good reason. It has been used for centuries to create stunning pieces of jewellery that are both beautiful and valuable. However, not all gold is created equal. The colour of gold can make a significant difference in its appearance, and two of the most popular colors are white and yellow.
If you’re in the market for a new piece of gold jewellery, or you’re simply curious about white gold vs yellow gold, this post will provide you with everything you need to know. We’ll explore the composition, durability, and style of both white and yellow gold, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the perfect piece of jewellery for yourself or someone special.
Let’s dive in and take a closer look at white gold vs yellow gold jewellery.
What is Yellow Gold?
Yellow gold is a naturally occurring precious metal with a yellowish colour. Other metals and alloys are mixed with them when used in jewellery, which grants it durability and hardness. The warm, yellow tones in this type of gold can be due to the higher percentage of copper present in it.
What is White Gold?
White gold does not occur naturally and is a warm-coloured gold alloy. White gold attains its silverish-white colour as it has more alloys of the silver base, such as silver, palladium, and zinc, mixed with yellow gold. After mixing it with these metals, the metal rhodium is coated next. Rhodium is a precious metal that grants white gold durability and a lustrous white shine.
White Gold vs Yellow Gold: The Differences
The most obvious difference between white and yellow gold is their appearance. White gold is, well, white that is cool and silvery. On the other hand, yellow gold has a warm, yellow colour.
These two colours largely depend on the types of metals that the goldsmith mixes into the gold. For instance, darker shades of yellow in yellow gold are due to the higher percentage of copper present in it. On the other hand, white gold containing nickel has greyish undertones, while those that include palladium have yellow.
Gold itself is a very soft metal. Therefore, mixing with other metals grant it durability. This mixing makes both white and yellow gold durable enough to withstand everyday wear and tear.
However, white gold can be slightly more durable than yellow gold owing to the stronger metals that are added to it, such as palladium or platinum. Moreover, white gold is often coated with a thin layer of rhodium which provides it a little extra protection against wear and tear. Overall, both types of gold are relatively durable.
Since yellow gold does not contain any coating like white gold, it requires occasional rebuffing. This gold is easy to clean and requires minimal maintenance. For instance, you can clean dirt and debris on yellow gold with mild soap and water.
On the contrary, the rhodium on white gold requires repeated recoating. Additionally, any resizing or services would require an additional rhodium coating. These factors make the maintenance costlier than yellow gold.
Gold is an expensive metal, and its cost depends on the purity level of the gold, its market price, and the metals mixed with it. The purer the gold, the higher its value will be. While white and yellow gold is the same in value, white gold can be a little expensive owing to the extra rhodium coating.
The classic yellow gold looks alluring with its lustrous, warm yellow shine. Gold necklaces, rings, and even bracelets make lustrous pieces of jewellery with this type of gold. It doesn’t require any special coating or polish to regain its splendour. Even when dirt and debris make yellow gold lose its lustre, you can recover it with a simple soap-water solution at home.
On the other hand, white gold has a lustrous white finish that looks radiant to the eyes. However, this shine needs timely recoating with rhodium to maintain its lustre.
Factors to Help You Decide Between White Gold Vs Yellow Gold
Here are some factors that can help you make an informed purchase decision:
Are you someone who loves tradition, or do you prefer the modern look? Traditional jewellery broadly looks better in yellow gold, while the silver-white finish on white gold offers you a minimalistic yet contemporary outlook. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get contemporary jewellery in yellow gold. Gold karats like 18k and 21k gold are popular for making contemporary and minimalist jewellery pieces. Regardless, it all boils down to what you prefer more.
If you’re sensitive to metals, then avoiding gold that might have those metals mixed is better. Yellow gold is generally safer as it is said to be hypoallergenic. On the other hand, it is safer to go with alloyed palladium gold when going for white gold. Moreover, going for higher purities of gold can also decrease the likelihood of allergic reactions.
Your skin tone may also help to decide the colour of gold that will suit you. For instance, yellow gold suits warmer skin tones. On the contrary, white gold looks alluring on cool tones and even pale ones.
Are you thinking of gemstones? Go for striking contrasts of white gold with deep shades in emeralds, peridot, tanzanite, and more. Even better, choose yellow gold on lighter shades of blue, pink, and green when choosing gemstones such as onyx, sapphires, and citrine.
Frequency of Usage
Finally, the last thing you need to decide on is how much you will be wearing your gold jewellery. If you intend to wear it every day, it is better to wear white gold as it is better at handling wear and tear. On the contrary, you can go for yellow gold if you want to wear it occasionally. However, gold yellow counterparts with lower gold content such as 18k and 21k gold also make a durable choice for everyday wear.
Finally, the choice between white gold vs yellow gold depends on your personal preferences, use, budget, and a few other factors decided in this article. Regardless of their minute differences, both make for fabulous gold jewellery. Whatever you choose, we are sure it will be a fantastic choice.