Post # 1
Many of the Bee’s might already know that there is cyanide-based plating solution in rhodium. I didn’t. I went looking to find the explanation on 19K white gold and why it doesn’t turn yellow. (I know, I know – I have said it many times – but I do like it)
I found this write-up at another site.
You will read volumes on jewellery forums about white gold turning yellow over time.
Really, most of the white gold alloys are off-white in various shades, and most of the jewellery items sold online and in chain stores are made from alloys that need repetitive rhodium-plating in order to appear to be white.
There are a number of newer white gold alloys which are a much better choice, but many of the manufacturers are “old dogs” who don”t wish to learn “new tricks”. They know the properties of the conventional alloys, don”t mind the lower cost of them, and continue to tell customers to expect them to turn yellow over time and that rhodium plating ad-nauseum should be an expected part of owning a white gold piece of jewellery.
The jeweller who offers you 19 karat white gold is truthful….of course, this is totally dependent on where they are buying it and its exact properties, but the specific 19 karat alloy I use is, as the jeweller says, free from the need for rhodium plating. I have been using it almost exclusively for almost 20 years, leaving that awful cyanide-based plating solution and its health-risks behind. (Good riddance…) My clients have never had any negative issues with this metal, and it actually saves labour because it casts beautifully, welds cleanly without nasty oxidation, and is firm enough to hold gemstones securely for decades.
I hope this helps you decide.
Post # 3
Thanks for that info. I did not know this. About four years ago, though, I did hear that the re-dipping of rhodium can ‘bleed’ into the area of a woman’s ring finger for the first month after the dip. I had asked the person who said that how did they come to know that and the individual said he saw many women come back to the jewelery store soon after the dipping with sensitivities. The sensitivities go away after a few weeks, and he always felt it was something toxic that ‘quick-binds’ the rhodium to the gold.
I have a white gold ring, made to order from a mold (i guess custom that is?) since my ring size was so small. You know what is interesting, my ering irritated the area right around the band for a few weeks after I got engaged. I already decided that I am not re-dipping my ring. Plus in a year I think I’m having my same vatch royal crown setting molded in platinum (my first love in metals).
Post # 4
Interesting…I really thought I was developing an allergy to white gold itself, or its nickel content – but the worst reaction I ever had was after getting a ring plated. My older white gold rings that have never been replated do not really irritate me. Conversely, I bought a WG setting recently and had a jeweler replate it because it was in bad shape, and that ring doesn’t bother me. I wonder why some of my WG rings irritate me to the point of pain and others have no reaction. I know none of them are palladium white gold, some are 10k and some 14k.
Post # 5
@starla: Same here, I always thought it was the nickel, and it is funny you reference the older wgold rings; I have an older ring where the gold was mixed mostly with palladium (palladium being a more stable metal which resists chem reactions they say) and that ring never bothered me too now that you say that. I have never dipped that older heirloom ring also. Also, there are some 14k gold necklace clasps that bother the hell out of my neck. I’m thinking they mass produce these clasps and some have a higher nickel or some other reactive metal. I swear my only two 14k necklace clasps have me wanting to rip them off my neck they itch so bad.
What you learn on these boards sharing info, just amazing.
Post # 6
@sweetpotata: Yep, I used to have a WG chain that would leave a red ring around my neck. I have one now that doesn’t bother me. DH bought me some gorgeous earrings in white gold and I only wear them on rare occasions because they bother my ears so badly. I pretty much have to stick to yellow gold or high quality sterling silver (unplated) if I don’t want any irritation when I wear earrings.
Post # 7
@sweetpotata: I was happy to share the information! The ring I purchased my SO (18K wg) has also yellowed but (unlike me), it isn’t a concern. 🙂
My SO also has a 30 year old 18K wg ring that has never been treated and is still white, which sort of proves the theory about the mix of alloys used in the gold.
@starla: I actually found the article while a couple of my non-19K wg rings were being rhodium plated. Ah well – at least now I have the information and can make an informed choice when the yellow starts peeking through again.
Post # 8
I have lots of white gold jewelry that has been purchased in Italy for me over the years. You couldn’t find white gold in chain stores in australia 15years ago. You usually had to go to stores that specialised in italian jewelry.
The white gold purchased in italy was always 18ct, brand new and it always had a duller tone to it. (more like you would in platinum) It looks nothing like the white gold you get now that is super shined and mirror finished.
The base alloys mixed in with it are obviously so different. White gold used to be more expensive than the YG equivelent. Now they are the same price….thanks for posting that info it makes loads of sense. I don’t get reactions to redipping but I don’t think i’ll be getting it done so often now!!