White gold

Image:©Sergey Ostroukh/ Fotolia

Gold is a metallic element with a yellowish color. Gold and copper are the only elements which differ in color from the typical white and grey metals. When you buy golden jewels, they are usually made of alloys and the content of gold in them is specified through carats. Pure gold is 24 carats. 18 carats is an alloy with 18 parts of gold and 6 parts of other metals. Likewise, 14 carats is an alloy with 14 parts of gold and 10 parts of other metals. The purity of gold can also be expressed as a fraction number. Pure gold is 999.99, 18K gold is 750, while 14K is 585.

Usually gold alloys have equal parts of silver and copper. For example, an 18K jewel would usually have 18 parts of gold, 3 parts of copper and 3 parts of silver. The color of the golden alloy may change when the proportion of additional elements used in it is altered. Pink gold contains more copper. Green gold contains more silver, which gives it a slight greenish undertone. White gold contains white colored metals whose color can dominate the natural yellow color of gold. Nickel, zinc, platinum, palladium are a few of the elements that can be used for the production of white gold. Gold can never have purely white color; this is why it is typically plated with rhodium and thus resembles platinum. This rhodium plating wears off in time and the real color of gold can be seen underneath. This is an indication that your jewel needs another rhodium bath.

When buying white gold jewelry, make sure your gold alloy is made of quality metals, because there are some alloys that counteract the rhodium plating and wear off more quickly.

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