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White gold, Yellow gold and Platinum Education

White gold and yellow gold

Gold is a metal that does not rust, tarnish or corrode. It is known as one of the most malleable metals that exist today. The colour of gold is determined by the type of metal alloys it is mixed with and the percentage of each of these metal alloys.

White gold is an alloy of gold and white metals. White metals such as silver, nickel, palladium and platinum change the colour of gold to a white colour. The properties of the white gold will vary depending upon which metals were mixed and the proportions used. Therefore, white gold alloys can be custom made for specific purposes; for example alloys using nickel are very hard and strong and can be used for rings and pins. White alloys using palladium are softer and more malleable and can be used for settings to hold gemstones. To be exact white gold is not snow coloured white, it is a grey steel-like colour which is treated to make the item look white. The treatment used is an electroplate of another metal called rhodium. Rhodium plating makes the finished white gold item appear white. Unfortunately this rhodium plating wears off and needs to be replaced approximately once a year. If white gold is not rhodium plated it is a little bit yellowish. Thus after the rhodium plating has worn away the white gold will fade back to its original colour. However white gold does seem to shine better than platinum.

Due to the nickel mixed into the white gold many people with sensitive skin do have allergic reactions. Therefore it is recommended that if you are allergic to nickel or have sensitive skin you should invest in platinum as it is free from nickel.

GoldeNet Australia makes their gold in 14K or 18K. If you are torn between choosing 14K gold versus 18k gold, let us assist. 18 karat Gold is 75% gold with 25% of the other metals (non-gold). While 14 karat Gold is 58.33% gold with 41.67% of the other metals (non-gold). The amount of other than gold metals makes 14k gold slightly harder than 18k gold this results in 14k being a bit more scratch resistant than 18k gold. Therefore it is recommended to look at the lifestyle of the wearer of the item to determine whether 14k or 18k gold is better. For example is the wearer participates in a lot of outdoor activities, or their profession involves working with their hands then we recommend 14k gold. If they are going to remove the ring when working with their hands, go with 18k Gold. When in doubt, choose 14k Gold.


Platinum is a white metal and is used as an almost pure metal, approximately 95% pure, whereas white gold is only 75% pure in 18ct and only 58.5% pure in 14ct. Being a naturally white metal, platinum does not need the rhodium treatment, because it starts off white and will always stay white. Therefore it also does not need to be replaced on an annual basis. Platinum is more heavier than gold and there is a noticeable difference in weight between the same piece of jewellery made in platinum and gold. Platinum scratches the same way that gold does but does not lose any of the precious metal content. Platinum is also abrasive resistance which means that platinum rings will remain in fantastic condition many years after the equivalent gold piece has worn away. Platinum is also easier than gold to hand engrave as is softer than gold. Due to platinum being more durable and longer lasting it is obviously more expensive. Thus if platinum can be afforded, it is always highly recommended. However platinum can dull to a greyish colour after time and needs to be professionally polished however does not need to be replated. Platinum has a very luxurious feel and makes for a beautiful ring when mounted with a beautiful diamond.

Scratches on Gold vs Platinum

When we talk about scratches on hand worn platinum or gold jewellery we are not referring to large eye visible scratch. Instead we are referring to “micro-scratches”, which are not visible to the naked eye. All jewellery worn on the hands will eventually be covered in small “micro-scratches” which will give a dull appearance.

Platinum, which is slightly suppler and denser than gold, will take on a frosted appearance. Platinum does not micro-scratch the same as gold, but actually “furrows” instead. The furrowing effect pushes metal to the sides instead of removing the material. When gold is micro-scratched, the Gold metal is actually removed. Sometimes these micro scratches can leave white gold looking a bit yellowish.