White Gold Engagement Rings - The Modern Choice

Nov 14 11:43 2014 Lisa Jeeves Print This Article

With their clean, crisp and luxurious delicacy, white gold engagement rings are seeing a surge in popularity.

As a choice for bridal jewellery and engagement rings,Guest Posting white gold is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. White gold engagement rings appeal because the rhodium plating required to finish them not only creates a hard covering that resists scratches and dents, but it also allows the beauty of the gemstone to sparkle brighter.

White gold is an amalgam of gold and an alloy - originally nickel and palladium. Nowadays, in Europe, the alloy is more likely to be palladium as 12-15% of women develop or are allergic to nickel. However, with the rise in cost and rarity of palladium, magnesium and other white metals are on the rise as alternatives; they have the advantage of being abundant, and do not cause allergies.

History

White gold was developed as a more affordable choice to platinum. It was patented in 1915 by a German chemist, Karl Richter, but with the advent of World War I, production did not go ahead there and his patent was forgotten. A few years later in New York, the Belais brothers were awarded their patent for the metal using zinc and nickel as alloys. As platinum was restricted during the war, it meant that there was now a beautiful and affordable alternative to platinum. Their marketing campaign was so successful that their white gold engagement rings saw a huge rise in popularity in the 1920s.

An Alternative to Platinum

There are advantages and disadvantages between choosing platinum or white gold. Engagement rings made from platinum are hypoallergenic but, although it is a hard metal, it is prone to scratches. As the ring ages, the platinum acquires a patina, which is duller white in appearance. This has the effect of making the diamond appear to sparkle brighter, which is one of the main advantages of platinum.

White gold, on the other hand, is harder as it is an alloy. It is also lighter to wear (platinum is a very dense metal) and is a more affordable choice for rings. But there are some points that need to be taken into consideration before choosing white gold engagement rings. The plating is rhodium, itself one of the world’s most expensive metals, and a ring will need re-plating every couple of years, as it will start to wear thin and expose the gold alloy underneath. With the new whiter amalgams, it is not always necessary to have it rhodium plated. It is advisable to go to a reputable designer or retailer to discuss different types of alloys available, as they can vary enormously depending on the amalgam.

Best of Both Worlds

The final choice is personal: some people like the more natural look of platinum and others the sheen of white gold. However, it is possible to have the best of both worlds by using a platinum setting to hold the gem in place and still enjoy the lustre of white gold engagement rings. Of course, as the technology of metals improves, it is possible to have a more natural look without the rhodium plating, thus saving on the time and expense of getting it re-plated every few years, making it an even more popular choice.

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About Article Author

Lisa Jeeves
Lisa Jeeves

Frederick Holm is staff writer for the F&L Designer Guides, compiled and written to help consumers choose a unique engagement ring design. From the best white gold engagement rings to precious metals, coloured stones and vintage styles, we have ideas and opinions covering all the options. Offering advice, tips and suggestions on how to choose that perfect ring, F&L will accompany you on every stage of your search to find the right designer.

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