Boston jewelers often have to educate their customers about the different colors of gold. Did you know, for example, that a 14-karat white gold ring contains the same amount of gold as a 14-karat yellow gold ring: 58.5% percent pure gold? The difference in color is the result of the different metal alloys with which the gold is mixed with. Yellow gold is made by mixing pure gold with the alloy metals copper and zinc. White gold is made with an alloy of gold and white metals such as silver and palladium. At one time, nickel was used in white gold, but many people had allergic reactions to the metal so it is no longer used. Even Rose gold starts out as yellow gold and is mixed with alloys such as copper to give it a red tint.
White gold is often used for engagement rings or rings that contain diamonds. The white metal tends to highlight the diamonds, while yellow gold may give the stones a yellow tint. Some rings may actually use yellow gold for the band or shank of the ring and use white gold for the setting. While it’s really a matter of personal taste, white gold also tends to cost less than other white metals like platinum and titanium. White gold rings are easy to re-size if necessary, but titanium and platinum rings can be difficult, if not impossible, to re-size. One issue with white gold is a possible fade in color. The reason for this is that white gold rings are usually coated in rhodium to make them appear brighter and more silver. The rhodium does wear off eventually, so you may need to get your ring re-rhodium plated, possibly as frequently as once a year.
Yellow gold is the traditional color for gold jewelry. Boston jewelers are likely to have a larger selection of chains, bracelets, earrings and rings in yellow gold than in white. Yellow gold also does not need to be re-plated the way white gold occasionally does, and the chance of allergic reactions to the alloys used in yellow gold is much lower. When it comes to setting diamonds in yellow gold, some feel the difference in color helps the stone to stand out more in contrast to the yellow gold. In terms of repairs and resizing, yellow gold is very easy for a professional to work with, insuring seamless repairs.
In the end, yellow gold, white gold and even rose gold have the same value, providing the assay or karat is the same. This means that 14-karat yellow gold has the same gold content as 14-karat white gold or 14-karat rose gold and therefore should be valued the same by Boston jewelers or pawn brokers. It’s all a matter of what you like and what makes you happy.
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