wedding rings are usually simpler in design and less pompous. However, both use the same precious metals used in jewelry. Read on to learn more about a specific jewelry type and its metal setting.
White Gold Wedding Rings for Women
White gold is a beautiful precious metal popular in jewelry because of its gleaming appearance, durability, and affordability.
As a wedding ring, white gold is popular among women who want something different from traditional gold. Besides, it is no less adorable and awe-inspiring. It also beautifully complements the white diamond and other colored gemstones it is often adorned with.
You, too, will no doubt be deeply captivated once you have gone deeper into some of the interesting facts such as:
- History of diamond wedding rings
- What is white gold
- Types of White Gold Women’s Wedding Rings
- White gold wedding rings for women buying tips
History of Diamond Wedding Rings
The tradition of exchanging rings dates back to 3,000 years ago. The emergence of diamond rings, however, was first recorded in the will of a widow who passed away in 1417. However, all these do not answer the question, “Why diamonds are the ultimate symbol of romance?”
The ring’s history is heavily intertwined with the history of humanity itself. As a part of their cultures, ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks used rings to represent the bond between persons of the opposite sex to denote oneness. Then, in the Medieval Times (476 A.D), also known as the Middle or Dark Ages, wedding rings with precious stones came into the
At that time, diamonds were not appreciated for their beauty. In fact, they were plain rough stones mounted on their settings. They were then valued for their hardness, not brilliance. As earliest accounts go, the first recorded diamond wedding ring dates back to the late 1300s or early 1400s. From there, it permanently found its way into wedding rings through a poem.
The story goes that in 1475, an Italian poet wrote a poem to pay tribute to two Italian socialites who were about to be wed. The poem reads, “Two will, two hearts, two passions are bonded in one marriage by a diamond.”
What is White Gold
Before delving into the metal, you may wonder, “Is white gold OK for a wedding ring?” The answer is “Yes.” It is one of the most popular wedding ring metals because its white sheen is perfect for accentuating the sparkle and brilliance of the diamond that adorns it. It is durable and affordable.
But what is it?
White gold is a very popular and versatile metal used primarily for jewelry. It was invented in the 19th century as a viable alternative to platinum. Like any other jewelry metal, it is an alloy of pure gold mixed with two or more different metals to enhance its strength, durability, and appearance.
Its main component is, of course, gold – a naturally occurring yellow metal highly valued for its beauty, scarcity, and malleability. In its pure form, gold is soft and easily gets damaged. To make it stronger for practical applications, it is mixed with other metals to make it a more durable and suitable alloy for various applications, such as white gold wedding rings for women.
Silver, palladium, or nickel are the most common metals mixed with gold to make it more useful in jewelry applications. They give gold a white appearance and enhance its strength and durability. The varying ratios of gold vis-a-vis other metals result in various white gold karat classifications. For example, 18-karat white gold contains 75% gold, and 25% other metals, while 14-karat gold contains 58.3% gold and 41.7% other metals.
It is important to note that some white gold alloys may contain nickel, which can cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin. Many jewelers use palladium in their white gold formulations to avoid this concern.
Sometimes, white gold may show a slight yellowish tinge due to its gold content. To eliminate this obvious aesthetic flaw, jewelers apply rhodium plating on the white gold jewelry’s surface. This plating not only enhances the metal’s appearance, but also adds a layer of protection from outside factors.
Components and purity
White gold is an alloy of pure gold and other metals such as palladium, silver, nickel, or zinc. This mixture gives white gold its signature silvery white appearance, popular in modern jewelry.
The karat rating of white gold is an expression of its gold concentration. A higher karat signifies a larger gold content. For example, 18-karat white gold contains 75% gold, while a 14-karat has 58.3%. The remaining percentages are the other metals needed to give white gold strength and durability.
Where white gold purity is concerned, key components are given as much importance. These are:
- Pure 24-karat gold: extremely soft and malleable. Not suitable for daily wear. It has to be mixed with other materials to improve its structural strength, making it more durable.
- Other metals: they could be nickel to increase its hardness or palladium to enhance its white appearance. However, nickel may cause skin allergies, while palladium is more expensive. Hence, the choice of alloys must be carefully considered to fit its desired application.
Jewelers must also consider the resulting metals’ tarnish resistance, strength, and color. While a higher gold content will result in a more vibrant yellow hue, it will need more white metals or rhodium to make it look white.
Making a “perfect” white gold needs a good balance between purity and practicality. A higher-karat gold may be more valuable, but it is softer and less resistant to daily wear and tear. It is also more expensive. On the other hand, a lower-karat option may be more affordable and durable but might contain nickel.
Varieties of White Gold
What is the best karat of gold for wedding rings?
Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to this. Any attempt to find an answer will ultimately boil down to your personal choice (see chart).
But bear in mind that there are several varieties of white gold – depending on the alloying metals used. In terms of karat weight, white gold can range from 9 to 18 karats. Within this range sits 14 karats, the most popular in the white gold family.
Palladium and platinum are the most common metals that give white gold a pure white and sparkling appearance. Both belong to the precious metal category and are more expensive.
Palladium is less dense and expensive than platinum but provides a stunning and stable white finish. Platinum, on the other hand, is more durable and adds weight to the jewelry item.
The bottom line is that different alloys make various white gold metals based on karat, appearance, weight, and cost.
Types of White Gold Women’s Wedding Rings
There was a time when wedding rings were simple bands couples exchanged during their marriage ceremony. Though plain bands have not totally disappeared, it is now facing a lot of competition. There is currently an abundance of different wedding rings to cater to the different preferences of each bride. After all, “making a statement” has become the call of the time.
Wedding ring styles have changed immensely through the years. Gone are the traditional designs of a perfectly matching wedding set. These days, wedding rings are more daring. It is now common to see wedding ring sets with multiple bands using different metal types and styles. There are now endless design options for various styles of wedding rings for women in white gold. Here are a few examples:
This type of wedding ring has a rounded interior and an oval cross-section. With a rounded interior, less metal touches the finger, resulting in a comfortable feel.
Comfort fit is a very popular women’s wedding ring style.
A flat wedding ring is flat on top and bottom. In effect, it has a rectangular square section. This type of ring is often called a “pipe ring.” Regardless of its appearance, jewelry experts still find it modern and contemporary.
The “half-round” wedding ring is considered one of the more classic and traditional wedding ring types. It has a rounded top surface, and the bottom can be flat or comfort-fit.
Diamond wedding rings feature prong or channel set diamonds. Eternity wedding rings, often called anniversary bands, feature diamonds around the entire circumference of the ring. Of course, wedding rings with diamonds are a bit on the pricey side of things, but they are absolutely a sight to behold. They make an extraordinary statement.
The white gold princess cut wedding rings for women belong to this type.
These are wedding rings that feature unique design elements, engravings, or hammered patterns. They often have diamonds or other gemstones to accent details. Where fancy wedding rings are concerned, they can cover a very wide spectrum of designs and styles.
As the name suggests, plain wedding rings are simple yet classic. It is nothing but a plain and simple white gold band to adorn the figures of the newlyweds.
Wraps and guards
The wrap and guard concept is meant to complement and enhance a diamond engagement ring. It usually uses pavé diamonds or other gemstones set to “wrap” around the diamond center stone of the engagement ring and, in the process, creates a spectacular and unique wedding ring.
Colored gemstones can be used to make stunning white gold wedding rings for women. Gemstones like sapphires, amethysts, and rubies can be used to represent birthdates, anniversaries, or birth of a child.
When set on a plain white gold wedding ring for women, they make an excellent complement to an engagement ring. Should this type of wedding ring appeal to you, you can browse through Zales’ white gold wedding rings for women catalog. The store has a huge inventory of this jewelry item.
White Gold Wedding Rings for Women Buying Tips
White gold or alternatives?
White gold looks like platinum and sterling silver, and both are excellent choices for wedding rings. So which way should you go?
Platinum is a very durable metal, but it is pricey. Brides inclined towards platinum but have no budget for it will settle for white gold, which is affordable and shines brighter than platinum.
Sterling silver is much cheaper but has many issues that make it a poor choice. It’s too malleable for expensive gems and easily gets tarnished. White gold doesn’t.
Know your Karats
Karat is a measure of gold’s purity. White gold’s purity is measured in karats. It is a unit measure equal to 1/24 part of pure gold. Hence, pure gold is 24 karats, 18 Karats is 75% percent gold, and 14 karats is 58% gold. Consequently, with all else being equal, it determines the price of a wedding ring – the more gold it has, the more expensive it is.
Sparkly or not?
If you want your wedding ring to have extra bling, the mirror-like finish of white gold will capture the fire and brilliance of the diamonds that adorn it. It is an ideal choice for displaying the colorless stones on it. Pave or channel set white diamonds, will look crisp and amazing on white gold wedding rings.
On the other hand, lower-grade diamonds will still be accentuated in this cool white metal. But should push come to pull, if you have slightly colored diamonds, it is best to go for yellow or rose gold.
White gold wedding rings for women are trendy these days because they are classic and versatile. They are the first choice for couples who want to veer away from yellow gold – the traditional choice for wedding rings. But before jumping right into it, it is prudent to read Ring Shopping: What You Need to Remember for Wedding Rings so you won’t err in making your decision.