White gold rings

White Gold Rings: Timeless Jewelry Pieces

Throughout history, rings have symbolized many things, such as devotion, fidelity, and eternity, or representation of a deity. They come in various designs to fit their reasons for being and different metals to give them beauty, glamour, and a bit of class. Thus, the ring jewelry market comprises various metals but is wholly dominated by yellow gold rings, white gold rings, and rose gold rings.
Yellow and gold rings will be given ample time and space in the future, but for now, the focus is on the white gold ring and why it is considered a timeless piece of jewelry.

Pros and Cons of White Gold

Before diving deep into the subject, you must know what white gold is.

The first white gold, as known today, was formed in the 1920s. But its seed was laid in 1710 by German alchemists, Johan Friedrich Bottger and Ehrenfried Walther Von Tcshirnhaus.

White gold, as a metal, does not exist on its own. You cannot mine it. It is created. It is an alloy of pure yellow gold and other precious metals like palladium, platinum, or silver.

There are two reasons for this…

First, to give white gold its silvery white color. Of course, the metals used are the whitish types like silver, platinum, and palladium.

Second, to increase its strength and durability. Pure gold is not suitable for any form of jewelry as it is very soft and can easily be bent, deformed, and scratched. For this reason, all forms of gold jewelry are alloys.

White gold and Rhodium

White gold, after the alloying process is done, has a yellowish hue. To make it look silvery white, it is coated with rhodium.

Rhodium, a metal belonging to the platinum family, has a white gleaming color, and it is very tough. It gives white gold a lustrous look and toughens the ring’s surface against scratches and dents.

While white gold is one of the most popular ring metals, it has pros and cons.


  • White gold doesn’t rust, tarnish or corrode.
  • Easier to work into fine, intricate designs
  • Its clean and white sheen is perfect for highlighting the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond gemstone.
  • Perfect for people who prefer white, silvery-colored jewelry over the more classic yellow gold.
  • Its neutral color makes it perfect for all skin tones. It looks beautiful and time and suited to all outfits and events.


  • Susceptible to scratching, especially when worn daily
  • Its rhodium coating will wear off over time and has to be re-plated to maintain its color.
  • White gold may not be suitable for people with sensitive skin because of its nickel content.

Depending on your biases, however, white gold is a class of its own for these reasons:

  • Its white-silvery color is very attractive
  • Dense and malleable
  • Modern vis-a-vis the traditional yellow gold
  • Normally about 25% less expensive than platinum.

When you mention the word “ring,” what will most certainly come into your mind, “What ring?” 

It’s a normal reaction considering there are more than a dozen types of rings in the jewelry market. There are engagement rings, wedding bands, stackable bands, mood rings, signet rings, and more. Of the pack, engagement rings and wedding bands take the lead in popularity and sales. And between the two, engagement rings are way ahead. Regardless of volume, however, they come in plain band designs, with or without stones, and may come in yellow, rose, or white gold.

White Gold Engagement Rings

Currently, white gold engagement rings are more popular than any other metal type.

White gold engagement ring

It may be a little more expensive than yellow gold because of its more lengthy manufacturing process, but the slight price difference is more than made up for the following reasons:

  • It provides a timeless look regardless of style
  • White gold is harder than yellow gold. That makes it preferable for engagement rings that need extra security for the diamond center stone not to roll off or be dislodged.
  • Both men and women love it because its neutral color matches every occasion and outfit.
  • It fits any skin tone

White Gold Wedding Rings

Without a doubt, the reasons for using white gold for engagement rings also hold for wedding rings – for both women’s and men’s white gold wedding rings.

Men’s white gold wedding ring

So if you are looking for an engagement or wedding ring, you may wonder which is better…

  • white gold or yellow gold
  • white gold or platinum

White gold or Yellow Gold

Both white gold and yellow gold use the same base metal – gold. They differ in color due to their alloying elements: white gold container, 75% gold, and about 25% nickel and zinc. Yellow gold, on the other hand, is 75% gold, and the rest is silver, copper, and zinc.

Needless to say, each has its pros and cons when used in jewelry.


White gold

  • More affordable compared to platinum.
  • Because of its popularity as an engagement ring metal, it has a very modern feel.
  • Its alloying elements make it more durable and scratch-resistant than yellow gold.
  • It complements the crystal-clear color of diamonds and other colored gemstones.
  • Blends beautifully with all skin tones – especially the fair and rosy.

Yellow gold

  • Historically, the most popular metal for engagement rings, making it suitable for vintage and classic designs.
  • Easy to maintain and the purest of yellow gold is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for people with sensitive skin.
  • For jewelers, easier to work on more intricate settings and detailed designs like the milgrain.
  • Makes lower-color grade diamonds look cozy and warm.
  • Very complementary to all skin tones especially olive or darker.


White gold

  • Needs regular rhodium re-plating to maintain its white color and luster. Though it is a cheap and easy process, it still takes time and effort to have it done.
  • It contains nickel, a metal that often causes allergic reactions in some people.

Yellow gold

  • Its malleability can also be its disadvantage – it makes it prone to dents and scratches.
  • Though pure gold is rust-resistant, yellow gold’s alloys can tarnish and corrode under certain conditions and leave a black mark on your finger. Though it can be removed, it can be a nuisance to some people.

White Gold or Platinum

Platinum is a dense, malleable, pale grayish-white elemental extensively used in jewelry. Aside from that, it is also used in catalytic converters for cars, buses, and many others.

Platinum engagement ring

It is sometimes an alternative to white gold, except for its price. It is very expensive.

If you don’t mind paying a little extra yet are still undecided about which way to go—platinum or white gold—read on.

At first glance, platinum and white gold look the same, But they are not. It takes an expert to notice the difference. Both have certain characteristics that make them completely different.

These are…


The different alloying elements (see chart) and their purities give them different attributes.

Composition comparison: White gold and Platinum

White gold is a beautiful white metal and is often recommended by jewelers. But it has some drawbacks,

Most white gold jewelry is rated at 14K or 18K. This will be 75% pure gold, mixed with other metals to make it stronger than pure gold. It is still a bit yellowish at this mixture level, so rhodium plating is necessary to come up with its silvery-white color.

This plating is white gold’s main drawback. Over time, it needs to be re-plated to maintain its luster.

Platinum is a strong and heavy metal. To be considered platinum, a piece of jewelry must be 95% pure. Though it is practically scratch-resistant, it will build a natural patina over time and lose its shiny finish; it will begin to look like yellow gold. But a good jeweler can polish it back to its original look.

Some people, however, prefer this look as it will accentuate the color of the diamond.

Long-term care and maintenance

As far as long-term care and maintenance are concerned, both stand toe-to-toe – with a slight difference.

The rhodium plating of white gold fades within three months to as long as a year – depending on how it is used. When it does, it must be re-plated to regain its luster.

Patina on titanium begins to form as early as six months, again depending on how the jewelry item is used. When this happens, a trip to your jeweler for re-polishing is necessary.

Durability and lifespan

Platinum is durable and one of the strongest jewelry metals; it can hold diamonds and other gemstones in place for a lifetime. When it is scratched, it does get scratched and will form a patina which would give the ring a vintage look. But a good jeweler can remove the scratches – and patina – to bring the jewelry back to its original look.

White gold, on the other hand, is softer. It needs an extra strong setting to hold the diamond or other gemstone in place. If it gets scratched, a piece of the ring is gone forever – unless the scratch doesn’t go deep enough to the bare metal.

The bottom line? Platinum is the clear winner in this aspect of any jewelry item. It is tough and robust. It can handle scratches better than white gold. In a sense, a platinum wedding band or any platinum jewelry can last a lifetime.

Skin sensitivity

Not many buyers consider their skin sensitivity to metals when buying jewelry items. When they do, it is already too late – they would already be experiencing itchiness or having rashes.

White gold contains traces of nickel which some people are sensitive to. White gold is not a good choice if you are one of them.

On the other hand, platinum is the only true hypoallergenic (will not cause an allergic reaction). It does not contain alloys that may cause allergic reactions in some people.

In January of this year, the cost of platinum was $ 1050 per ounce, while that of white gold was $ 1928. But this was due to the volatility of the market – an aftermath of the pandemic.
Historically, white gold has always cost less than platinum because it is 30 times rarer. In precise figures, 2,700 tons of gold are mined each year, while only 80 tons of platinum.
Another factor affecting the price is the composition. Platinum is denser, hence heavier in karat weight than white gold of the same ring size.

So which is better?

It is really up to you – the buyer. The above presentation does not recommend any particular metal type. It only highlights the pros and cons of each so you can be guided accordingly. In the end, it is still you who will decide the path to take. Besides, there are a lot of factors to consider when buying an engagement ring besides metal type.

How to Clean White Gold Diamond Rings?

Jewelry items always get dirty over time. Dust, sweat, skin lotion, caked soap, and many others will take their toll. While cleaning them can be very straightforward, those with diamonds and other gemstones require a different approach.

Added to this is the fact that white gold can be tricky to clean. Its composition of yellow gold and other white metals makes it more complicated to clean than plain yellow gold.

But it can be done – with care. You can make it look beautiful again and, at the same time, disinfect them. Here’s how…

  • Make a solution of a few drops of liquid soap (without chlorine or harsh chemicals) and water. Stir for a few minutes to make a foamy solution.
  • Soak the ring or any other jewelry type for 30 mins.
  • Then gently brush it using a soft-bristle brush to remove dirt from the crevices, then wipe it with a soft microfiber towel to remove smudges from its surface.
  • Rinse, wipe with a soft towel, then air dry.
  • Then put it into a disinfectant solution like PhoneSoap Pro for a few minutes to remove 99.9% of the germs on it.
  • Repeat Step 3.

These simple steps not only disinfect your white gold ring but will also make it shiny and clean.

Is white gold for you?

This question may take time to ponder as there are so many jewelry items out there – of various colors and designs – which are just as beautiful and enticing. But think about this – nothing beats the clean silvery-white look of white gold jewelry. Next to expensive platinum, nothing is as durable. And if you don’t mind the regular re-coating with rhodium, it is just as popular as yellow gold, and its contemporary, versatile look (with exceptional value) has withstood the test of time.