1. Home/
  2. Buyers Guide/
  3. ring guides/
  4. White Gold - Wedding Rings Buyer's Guide

White Gold - Wedding Rings Buyer's Guide

WRD icon

White gold wedding rings have been popular since the 1920s. It began as an alternative to platinum when platinum was needed for use in the world wars, and grew to become a staple in the jewellery world.

white gold wedding rings diamond set
18 karat white gold wedding ring with diagonally set diamonds.

What is White Gold?

White gold is a gold alloy, just like rose gold, or yellow gold of any karat below 24.

White gold is an alloy of gold and at least one white metal (usually silver, or palladium). Like yellow gold, the purity of white gold is given in karats, so 9k white gold contains 375 parts gold, while 18k white gold contains 750 etc.

The visual and physical properties of white gold can vary depending on what metals it is alloyed with and what proportions the alloy is made up of. For example, white gold containing nickel is much stronger, while gold–palladium alloys are soft and malleable which makes them preferable for use in white gold gemstone settings.

18 karat white gold wedding ring with wave design and diamond
18 karat white gold wedding ring with wave design and diamond.

Why Choose White Gold?

For those who prefer a silvery lustre to their jewellery, white gold wedding rings are a great option. The alloy is less costly than platinum while still providing a beautiful silvery shine. White gold is also less hard and heavy than platinum so most people find it comfortable to wear. 18 karat white gold and palladium have extremely similar levels of hardness and look similar.

It has the benefits of gold jewellery, such as the malleability and low reactivity. This means it is easy for your jeweller to work on and convenient to resize. It is also easily removable in an emergency situation, which is important to consider with a wedding ring.

If you have a white gold engagement ring you should certainly consider a wedding ring of the same alloy. This is because other white metals such as platinum are much harder and would damage the setting of your white gold ring if worn next to each other.

9 karat white gold engagement ring with hand engraving
9 karat white gold engagement ring with hand engraving.

Caring For White Gold Wedding Rings

White gold requires a little more care than yellow or rose gold. It is probably the most high-maintenance of all the precious metal alloys that we sell.

The colour of white gold depends on the alloy. Some alloys have a yellowish tinge, while others have a more greyish tinge. This is why all white gold jewellery is usually rhodium plated. Rhodium is a silvery-white metal that is non-reactive and hypoallergenic. Rhodium plating prevents you from having any reactions to the gold alloy, and ensures your white gold stays silvery white. This plating needs reapplying periodically. Depending on the reactivity of your skin, and your day to day activity this reapplication can be as far apart as years or as soon as 6 months.

Some people prefer the yellowish tinge of un-plated white gold, in which case you can request your jewellery to not be plated.

Another benefit of rhodium plating is that it strengthens the piece of jewellery somewhat, creating a slightly more durable piece. It also creates an unbeatable lustre.

18 karat white gold wedding ring with diamonds set into the sides
18 karat white gold wedding ring with diamonds set into the side wall of the ring.