18ct White Gold

White gold jewellery has been a popular choice for many years. We think it’s because of its tone, a sparkling, crisp silver that looks contemporary whatever the setting. It remains the most popular precious metal for US jewellery, and here in the UK it is fast gaining steam as a viable, affordable alternative to platinum jewellery. White gold jewellery provides the perfect setting for diamonds, reflecting their sparkle effortlessly. As such, it is often favoured by modern brides and grooms who opt for the precious metal for their engagement and wedding rings.

What is 18ct white gold?

Gold is usually yellow in colour, but for those preferring a cooler palette, white gold exists to give you the jewellery piece of your dreams. It is made out of 24ct pure gold which is mixed with other white metals, including palladium to give it a shimmering, pale appearance. When white gold is created, it actually has a grey tone, which is plated with rhodium for a sparkling silver finish.

9ct vs 18ct gold

The composition of gold to other metals is 75% gold, 25% white metals in 18ct white gold. This lowers to 37.5% gold and 62.5% white metals in 9ct gold. We prefer to use 18ct gold in our white gold jewellery at Bradleys, which gives the piece longevity. While 9ct gold will survive a lifetime of wear, heirloom pieces are made out of 18ct gold and higher, allowing them to be treasured by your loved ones for decades to come without abrasions or tarnishing.

Platinum or white gold?

White gold has a similar appearance to platinum, but with less of the initial cost, as platinum is rarer than gold. Platinum is also heavier and harder than it, making it more suited for jewellery production than the yellow metal. Its main barrier for use in jewellery is its cost. It is seen as a luxury material, with a working strength of around 95% with 5% other metals in its mix. This makes it virtually scratch-proof, but it can develop surface bumps if mistreated.

White gold is softer than platinum, but because less gold is used in the production of jewellery compared to platinum, and its abundance, it is much cheaper to purchase than its platinum counterparts.

How to clean white gold

White gold is made of yellow gold mixed with other elements and coated to change its tone to a silvery shade. Over time this rhodium plating can wear off, causing the ring to discolour. We recommend that white gold jewellery is resurfaced every year or so to prevent discolouration. This is not necessary with palladium. A professional polish will be all you need to keep the jewellery in excellent condition. Between resurfacing, it is recommended to carefully clean white gold using lukewarm water and a lint-free cloth. A soft toothbrush can be used to remove dirt and debris from jewellery settings if required. Just use a gentle hand to prevent scratching the metal.