White gold engagement rings look very similar to platinum rings. The beautiful, shiny metal really sets off the look of diamonds and makes the diamonds pop. White gold is elegant and classy and is a wonderful choice for women who love gold but prefer the silver-white color over the more traditional yellow. White gold is also perfect for women who may already own a lot of silver pieces of jewelry because the colors are so similar.
What exactly is white gold? How does it receive its white coloring? Basically, white gold is a mixture of gold and either nickel or palladium (a silver-colored metallic element). Palladium is normally used today because people may have a reaction to nickel (and who wants to have a bad reaction to their engagement ring!?). White gold actually does not so closely resemble platinum unless it is plated with a substance called rhodium. The rhodium is part of the platinum family and gives the white gold its beautiful sheen. White gold without rhodium is often less shiny and a little more grayish.
White gold engagement rings can be either 24 karat, 18 karat, 14 karat, or 10 karat. Most people purchase 18K or 14K because of they are durable and affordable. For more about purchasing gold engagements rings, goto the related article.
White gold engagement rings had their heyday during the first part of the 20th century, from about 1900 until 1930. Recently they have increased in popularity again, most likely because platinum is so sought after right now. Not everyone can afford to buy a platinum engagement ring, but a white gold ring that has the same look as platinum will do just fine, thank you.
So, are there any drawbacks to buying a white gold engagement ring instead of a platinum ring? Well, the first thing to remember is that white gold is a lot softer than pure platinum. Platinum will not scratch or wear down while white gold may begin to show its age as the years pass. The rhodium plating may begin to wear away on white gold rings, giving the ring more of a yellow look.
This is easy to fix, however. Jewelers can reapply rhodium to a white gold engagement ring. Basically, they re-plate it. This can usually be done for a nominal fee (sometimes as low as $25) and takes only a few days to complete. When the ring is returned, it looks brand new. The white-silver luster will be returned and not a scratch will be on it. Most jewelers recommend you re-rhodium your white gold engagement ring every 12-18 months, but you may find that you can do it every few years. This is the perfect way to keep your white gold ring looking its best.
Buying a white gold engagement ring is a wonderful way to ensure that your beautiful diamond will be showcased in all its glory. So, don't despair if platinum is out of your league. You will be absolutely thrilled with your white gold engagement ring.