White gold is a popular alternative for wedding bands and other jewelry. It is also an attractive option for women in contrast to conventional and traditional adornments. White gold jewelry is made from pure and unadulterated gold alloyed with other metal such as silver, palladium, nickel and zinc. So, there is no need to worry about the purity of white gold. To give it a stunning splendid sparkle, it is plated with rhodium. The gleam and shine of the rhodium plating can last depending on how an individual’s body responds to the metal.
White gold is natural and widely used in beautiful jewelry. But is it a good investment? We will explore that here and also how white gold is made and how it compares with yellow gold.
Is White Gold a Good Investment?
White gold is not used as a traditional investment vehicle but can still be used for investment purposes.
Investors will typically investment in gold by buying a security or with the purchase of physical bullion. Physical bullion comes in the form of bars, which is by intent designed for investment and easy storage. White gold, on the other hand, is not as easily available in bar form. Further, there are no securities that allow for investment solely in white gold.
Nevertheless, any white gold purchased, as say jewelry, will still hold its value. This value is tied to the fluctuations in yellow gold. One consideration in jewelry is that it may be harder to sell as certain styles and tastes may not be suited to everyone. Also, there are typically mark ups when purchasing jewelry that usually get lost when selling.
What Is White Gold and How Is It Made?
Most people have the misconception that white gold is white in its pure form. This is not correct because white gold is made from gold and gold in its purest form (24 karats) has a natural tinge of yellow.
To achieve the white color, pure gold is alloyed or mixed with other metals such as nickel, platinum, palladium, zinc, silver, copper and manganese. Copper is added to improve malleability while nickel and palladium serve as primacy bleaching agents. Zinc and silver also are used as secondary bleaching agents that improve the color of the alloy.
After the alloying and bleaching process, the metal blend undergoes rhodium plating to give it a shiny, lustrous finish. Rhodium provides an additional protective layer to make white gold more durable. It also adds value to the finished product because rhodium is expensive. Rhodium coating is very important especially if copper is used in the alloy.
The characteristics of white gold differ based on the alloying metals used and their proportion in the white gold mix. These different blends of white gold are suitable for different applications. Gold-nickel alloys are usually used in rings and pins because they are hard and strong. Gold-palladium alloys are suitable gemstone settings because they are soft and pliable. They can also be used in earrings, ring and necklaces. White gold follows the same structure as yellow gold when it comes to karat stamps and is most popular in 10K, 14K and 18K.
White Gold Versus Yellow Gold
White gold and yellow gold jewelry are both very popular, but which is better? Most people usually question the purity of white gold whether white gold karats are comparable to yellow gold karats.
Both white gold and yellow gold are made from pure gold mixed with other metals. But regardless of what and how much metals are added to the gold alloy, the purity is measured in the same way. Given this, their pricing is also almost the same.
White gold is more durable than yellow gold because it is alloyed with harder metals and protected from wear and tear by rhodium plating. However, rhodium requires re-plating over time and this costs around $60-120 for a fine engagement ring. White gold is also suitable with different colors of diamonds and gemstones. But it may cause skin irritation to those hypoallergenic to nickel. It also requires ring resizing and servicing over time.
Yellow gold, on the other hand, has a classic color appearance and requires less maintenance. However, it is only suitable with lower colored diamonds and hard to match with fancy color diamonds and gemstones. It is also prone to scratches and requires rebuffing.
The choice between the two boils down to individual character and color preferences. But it is worth noting that yellow gold complements warm and dark-toned skin while white goes well with all skin tones since it is more neutral.
Benefits of Investing in White Gold
Purchasing a white gold or any piece of precious jewelry is a wise investment. Here are some of the reasons why.
White gold or any jewelry is a long-term investment. Gold, silver and other precious metals increase in value over time and any item containing them will surely appreciate. You can check and see that the prices of precious metal keep rising even during times of financial or political uncertainty.
Jewelry is also a portable asset and a versatile investment option. People who travel a lot who do not want to carry cash can invest in precious jewelry. These items retain their value anywhere in the world and can easily be sold anytime if in need of cash. And investors have a wide range of options, from vintage to contemporary pieces, from gold, silver or other types of precious metals, and from bracelets, earrings and necklaces.
These investments are safe because jewelry prices stubbornly stay stable. In addition, gold and diamonds are independent of government control which means their prices follow a similar pattern around the world. Other investments such as bonds and stocks are under tight government control.
In choosing jewelry for investments, investors should consider important characteristics such as designer, uniqueness and percentage of gold. Jewelry with a higher percentage of gold will always have a higher value. Also, the value of while gold jewelry remains high because gold can be melted and refashioned to make new jewelry.
Investors must avoid jewelry with contemporary designer labels. These items are sometimes part of a marketing tool and can quickly lose their cachet and value. It is better to invest in pieces by upcoming jewelry designers who have relatively low production and marketing costs.