General Jewellery Learning Metals

Does 18k white gold turn yellow?

Does 18k white gold turn yellow? 

White gold – it seems to be an oxymoron. How can something that’s gold, look silver? When customers discover that white gold is blended and plated yellow gold, their next question is usually, does 18K white gold turn yellow over time? Find out the facts about 18k white gold, here. 

What is white gold? 

White gold is not found naturally; it’s a masterful alloy, combining pure gold with white metals such as palladium or silver, and often coated with a layer of rhodium for that extra sparkle. This blend gives white gold its distinctive gleam, with the rhodium plating giving it that silvery shine. 

But will it turn yellow over time? 

So, does 18k white gold turn yellow? The answer is yes and no. The gold itself will not turn yellow, as it is alloyed (mixed) with a silvery blend. But the rhodium coating may wear down. Over time, with wear and tear, the protective cloak begins to wear thin, revealing the natural hue of the gold alloy beneath—a shade that leans more towards yellow than pure white. It will never look like pure yellow gold, but it may have hints to it – a sort of ‘inbetween’ colour. But this patina isn’t a problem with the ring – if you don’t mind the colour, think of it as a map, showing the journey your jewellery has gone through! 

Keeping your white gold, white gold  

However, if the aged look isn’t for you, fear not – it can be reversed. It does require a little maintenance. Here’s our top tips for maintaining and restoring your white gold

  • Rhodium replenishment: The key to maintaining that pristine white sparkle is rhodium plating. A visit to your jeweller every few years can restore your jewellery, making it look brand new. Think of it as a spa day for your ring. 
  • Gentle cleansing: Keeping your white gold clean is crucial to preserving its lustre. A mild solution of soap and water, applied with a soft brush, can remove the oils and residue that may dull its shine. Regular cleaning ensures that your jewellery remains the star of the show – here’s our full guide to cleaning white gold.  
  • Mindful wear: While white gold is durable, it’s not indestructible. Removing your jewellery during activities that can scratch or damage the surface will prolong the rhodium’s life and keep the gold’s glow. 

Care for your white gold

Caring for your white gold jewellery can ensure your pieces sparkles for years to come, and slows the need for maintenance or more plating. Any questions about your Diamond Store white gold jewellery? Get in touch with our friendly team here, who can answer any questions you may have.