Choosing White Gold for Your Next Jewelry Piece

Ruby, diamond and emerald rings set in white gold from Fink's Jewelers

There are many decisions to make when choosing a piece of jewelry. Style, quality of materials, cost, gemstones, and precious metals all contribute to the unique look of each piece.

White gold is a popular setting for jewelry of all fashions. Understanding the pros and cons of white gold jewelry will help you choose the perfect design that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.


How Is White Gold Made?

White gold is not a naturally occurring metal, but it is a beautiful alloy used in a multitude of fine jewelry pieces. This material is made by combining gold with a naturally white metal, such as nickel, silver, or palladium.

As an alloy, white gold’s karat classifications vary based on what is used to make it. For example, 18-karat white gold is made of 75% gold and 25% other metals, while 14-karat white gold contains 58.3% gold and 41.7% other metals.

Because of the gold content, jewelers often use rhodium plating on white gold jewelry to combat the natural yellowish tinge and present a bright finish. This plating also protects the jewelry from excessive wear and tear, keeping your white gold hoop earrings or bangle bracelets looking lustrous and bright. Staying consistent with regular cleanings and professional maintenance will help keep the plating pristine.


Benefits of White Gold

White gold jewelry has grown in popularity since it was developed in the early 20th century. During World War II, when platinum was prioritized for the war efforts, white gold jewelry surged as a cost-effective and beautiful alternative. That reputation has persisted for decades, and jewelers and consumers still reach for white gold jewelry as a gorgeous option.

There are many reasons to choose white gold jewelry, including:

  • Classic look
  • Pairs well with many gemstones
  • Moderately priced

When choosing an important piece like an engagement ring, evaluating both style and budget is imperative. This will help determine the best metal for your piece. While trends ebb and flow, white gold is a classic and cost-effective choice that has stood the test of time.


Best Gemstones to Pair with White Gold

Like the timeless look of platinum, white gold jewelry can provide a stunning setting for any number of precious gemstones. Because of its cool undertones, white gold looks exquisite with cool-toned gemstones, including:

  • Diamonds
  • Sapphires
  • Emeralds
  • Plum Garnets
  • Amethysts


When choosing a diamond to showcase in your white gold jewelry, it is best to ensure the gem is colorless or near-colorless. Any yellow undertones of a lower-grade diamond could be more apparent against the cool-toned metal.

White gold will provide a clean setting that makes the sparkle of any gemstone stand out. Consider a piece like the White Gold Blue Topaz and Diamond Halo Pendant from our Sabel Collection, with its icy blue stone shining bright against the white gold.


White Gold Compared to Other Metals

With so many precious metals to choose from, it can take time to decide what would be best for the next addition to your jewelry box. White gold jewelry may be the perfect choice for your jewelry gift. Take a moment to compare white gold to other options so you can make an informed decision.

While guides and comparisons help narrow the search efforts, only you can decide on the best setting for your own personal taste and budget. Do your research and decide which is right for you.


White Gold Vs. Platinum

White gold was developed as an alternative to platinum. While there are many reasons to consider platinum, white gold is an acceptable alternative.

Platinum is incredibly durable and requires very little maintenance. White gold jewelry, on the other hand, has to be occasionally replated to keep up the rhodium’s shine. Platinum is also completely hypoallergenic, while white gold could potentially aggravate a nickel allergy, depending on how the alloy is made.

Platinum is expensive compared to other precious metals, making it a less affordable option for some. That’s when white gold is a perfect alternative for a similar look without the larger price tag. White gold jewelry, while not as expensive or durable as platinum, carries the same elegance as its pricier counterpart.


White Gold Vs. Sterling silver

Silver is another metal with a similar look to white gold. While silver itself is a natural precious metal, it is often alloyed with other metals like nickel or copper for strength. When combined with another metal, silver pieces don’t scratch easily.

Sterling silver is less expensive than white gold because gold, the primary metal in white gold, is rarer than silver. Because of this, white gold holds its value better than silver over time.

Both silver and white gold need routine maintenance. White gold’s rhodium plating needs the occasional refresh, and sterling silver must be polished regularly to avoid tarnishing. With either option, a little work goes a long way in keeping your jewelry fresh and sparkling.


White Gold Vs. Yellow Gold

The most obvious difference between white gold and yellow gold is the color, and you should consider your personal style and other jewelry when deciding between the two. Still, a few other differences are good to know when comparing these two golds.

White gold is more durable than yellow gold because of the rhodium plating and the higher content of alloys. Consider your lifestyle to see if a stronger metal would be important in your decision-making. Also, if pairing your gold with a gemstone, warmer-toned gems look best with yellow gold, while, as mentioned above, cooler gems pair well with white gold.

Can’t decide? Because of the vastly different colors, many pieces combine gold and white gold for a beautiful, two-tone contrast. Jewelry like the Marco Bicego Jaipur Mixed Metals Flat Link Collar Necklace with Diamonds is a great way to mix several elements — gold, white gold, and diamonds — to make a stunning piece.


White Gold Vs. Rose Gold

Like white gold, rose gold is made with gold and alloys, giving it a distinct hue and durability. Copper gives rose gold its unique, pinkish coloring. The two gold alloys have similar costs, although white gold can be slightly more expensive because of the metals used to make it. Ultimately, the decision between white gold and rose gold is one of personal preference.

Fortunately, some pieces, like the Roberto Coin Venetian Princess Diamond Bangle, come in all three primary gold variations, so you can pick your favorite or mix and match for a unique bracelet stack.

With all the precious metals you can choose from, white gold is a beautiful option. White gold provides a stunning yet classic look with a modest price point. Whether you decide on white gold jewelry or another precious metal, you will find the perfect piece for you.