Is white gold jewellery good? | The truth

White gold is a beautiful metal with lustrous, silver-white colour, popular in engagement ring designs and pendant designs set against diamonds and gemstones. White gold engagement rings are more popular than yellow gold or platinum ring designs – and there are plenty of reasons why.

white rose gold jewellery

So, is white gold jewellery good? White gold is more durable and tarnishes resistant than sterling silver; also, it is more affordable, malleable and generally more durable than platinum, depending on the carat- 14 carats white, for example, is more durable than platinum.

Continue reading for more information about the most popular metal for wedding bands, white gold and other white metals: white gold vs platinum vs sterling silver and other gold jewellery.

Is it worth buying white gold jewellery?

White gold is one of the most popular metal choices for an engagement ring design, surpassing the traditional yellow gold. Consider the following the advantages and disadvantages of white gold:

White Gold Advantages


White Gold Disadvantages


  • doesn't rust, tarnish or corrode
  • white gold costs less than platinum
  • more malleable than platinum, so it's easier to create intricate designs
  • affordable alternative to platinum and ideal for those who want the look of platinum with the heritage and tradition associated with gold
  • perfectly accentuates the sparkle and brilliance of diamond engagement ring, gemstone and crystal design on pendants


  • is not scratch resistant, especially for everyday wear
  • gold's rhodium coating will wear away over time, and re-plating will keep its 'white' colour
  • a small percentage of white gold alloys may contain nickel and are not suitable for nickel allergy sufferers




White gold quality and purity

The quality of the white gold directly correlates to the longevity of the gold alloy jewellery. Like rose & yellow gold, white gold's purity is measured by carats. Carat’s gold rating informs jewellery buyers of the purity of their jewellery.

According to the U.K. Royal Mint, jewellers measure gold content in troy ounces (one troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams). However, its purity is measured in 'Carat weight'. Jewellers also show precious metal content in gold through "Fineness", representing the purity in parts per thousand. You can find this stamped on the jewellery often without the decimal point.

14k white gold pearl necklace

14k white gold pearl necklace


The common standards of fineness for white gold jewellery on the market are as follows:

  • 9K white gold (37.5%) - 9K gold is the lowest gold purity that jewellery stores can sell in the UK, France, Austria, Portugal, Ireland & Canada.
  • 10K white gold (41.7%) - 10K gold is the lowest gold purity that jewellery stores can sell in the US.
  • 14K white gold (58.3%) - 14K is the gold standard as it is durable and budget-friendly, but European practices make 14 carat gold slightly over the 58.3%. Sometimes, the fineness mark is 585.
  • 18K white gold (75%) - 18K gold standard is of higher quality and purity but is softer than 14K gold. 14K white gold engagement rings are more reliable for wearers prone to scratches.

We don’t suggest 18K white gold isn't good, but wearers may want to use these pure form jewellery items for earrings, necklaces or pendants - rather than an 18k white gold ring.

You can also find 8K white gold, the legal minimum standard in Denmark and Greece. It is also essential to be aware that purity tolerance varies from market to market.


14k white gold heart necklace for women - Zirconia Crystals by DEPHINI



Dephini 14k white gold heart necklace


The composition of various caratages of gold is shown in the chart below, however, slight variations will exist depending on the market the gold is purchased in:


Gold (Au)

Silver (Ag)

Copper (Cu)

Zinc (Zn)

Palladium (Pd)

9k White Gold






10K White Gold






14k White Gold






18k White Gold





25% (or Pt)

22k White Gold







White gold is an alloy with metal compositions for colour/caratage combinations. As metal alloys go, nickel is no longer widely used in white gold compositions because of allergy sufferers. However, some white gold jewellery pieces may contain nickel.

Out of all the metal alloys, palladium is more modern and popular because it is very similar to platinum, less expensive and hypoallergenic.

Why is white gold rhodium plated?

Along with silver alloys that mix with pure gold, white gold jewellery is almost always coated in rhodium, a metal from the family as platinum and palladium.

Rhodium adds further strength and durability to the jewellery piece and adds lustrous surface sheen –protecting jewellery.

Rhodium plating thickness

The rule of thumb for white gold jewellery longevity is the thicker the rhodium plating, the better. However, there is such thing as too thick, and it can pose a problem.

Rhodium plating thicker than 2 microns becomes brittle and prone to cracking. If applied too thin, the plating will wear away more quickly. The ideal thickness for rhodium-plating on white gold is between .75 and 1-micron thickness for optimum longevity.

It is also necessary for the jewellery to get re-plated over time.


14k white gold necklace


14k white gold cute necklace

White gold vs other coloured metals

The table below outlines the key differences between metals: silver, palladium, platinum, white gold, yellow gold and rose gold.

Jewellery pieces
White gold
Bright and silvery-white
  • engagement rings
  • earrings
  • necklaces & pendants
  • bracelets
  • Dense & malleable
  • A modern twist on tradition
  • Will need re-plating to preserve colour


Lustrous silvery-sheen


  • rings
  • earrings
  • necklace & pendants
  • bracelets
  • costume jewellery
  • Lightweight
  • Rhodium-plated
  • Durable and malleable
  • Different silver types available




Platinum 950


Cool white sheen


  • engagement rings
  • earrings,
  • necklaces & pendants
  • bracelets
  • Very durable and hard-wearing
  • Rarest of the precious metals
  • Hypoallergenic




Palladium 950


Lustrous silvery-white


  • engagement rings
  • earrings
  • necklaces & pendants
  • bracelets


  • Lasting colour
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Lightweight




Yellow gold


Warm, rich colour


  • Traditional for wedding rings & engagement ring
  • earrings
  • necklaces & pendants
  • ·bracelets etc.


  • Dense and malleable
  • Doesn't rust, tarnish or corrode




Rose Gold


Warm, rich pinkish hue colour


  • engagement rings
  • earrings
  • necklaces & pendants
  • bracelets


  • Dense and malleable
  • Doesn't rust, tarnish or corrode






How to care for white gold jewellery

The best way to keep your white gold clean and tarnish-free is to:

  • Store in a dry, dark place such as a jewellery box or case.
  • Minimise exposure to chemicals, creams and balms, moisture, and friction
  • Avoid swimming, exercising, cleaning, and showering in your jewellery
  • Avoid over-polishing, even with a soft cloth!

Store your white gold jewellery in jewellery boxes such as Dephini wooden box, available with our white gold pendant range

How to polish and store your white gold

One of the worst things you can do is over-polish your white gold jewellery. We recommend scheduling routine cleanings with your local jeweller for the best results. But we know that is not always possible.

So, how do you polish white gold at home? The best way to polish your white gold is to wipe it down with a soft, microfiber, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive washcloths, paper towels or a soft toothbrush that will easily scratch.


We don't recommend using baking soda as it is abrasive and corrosive. Other chemicals, including cleaning chemicals, are also not recommended. We recommend using similar cleaning processes for different gold types, including rose gold and yellow gold and gemstone jewellery such as a diamond engagement ring or an embellished stone pendant necklace.


Buy quality 14K white gold fine jewellery

14k white gold elegant necklace - Zirconia Crystals 

Renowned for our exceptional craftsmanship, Dephini produces high-quality jewellery. Our online jewellery store details stunning collections with premium white, yellow or rose gold necklaces - the epitome of high-quality and affordability pieces created by our skilled artisans.

Our 14ct white gold necklaces in rhodium plating feature our iconic heart symbol. Its regarded as a simple expression of affection, friendship, and unity. If you love white gold, check out our Dephini® 14ct White Gold Necklaces today, or see our other metals: pure rose gold pendants & earrings, yellow gold pendants & earrings and silver pendants & earrings.

Frequently Asked Questions about White Gold

How long does white gold last?

The average lifespan of rhodium-plated white gold is generally 1-3 years before requiring re-plating. White gold's longevity depends on purity, jewellery quality, alloy metals and daily wear habits.

Is a white gold ring more popular than a yellow gold ring?

White gold in wedding ring designs is more popular than yellow gold. As it is alloyed with other metals to make it stronger, white gold is more durable and scratch-resistant than pure gold.

Is white gold natural?

White gold is formed by mixing yellow gold with white metal alloys like zinc, silver, platinum, palladium or sometimes nickel, plating it in rhodium. However, the core of all that alloy is pure yellow gold.

Can you re-plate white gold?

Yes! You should re-plate your white gold if the jewellery piece gets scratched, loses its sheen, or becomes more yellow. Your local jeweller should be able to apply a fresh coating of rhodium easily.

Does white gold tarnish?

Rhodium-plated white gold doesn't tarnish, but as the plating wears away, the bright white colour will fade, revealing the yellow gold underneath. The process gives the illusion that your white gold has tarnished, but it's just the rhodium plating faded away.

Unplated white gold can tarnish because it is mixed with other metals like nickel, silver, and zinc, which react to chemicals and other environmental factors, causing it to tarnish, fade or change the metal's colour.