Palladium White Gold vs Traditional White Gold - What is the difference?
If your personal preference of precious metals veers towards silvery-gray tones, your high-end options usually consist of Traditional White Gold or Platinum. Traditional White Gold jewelry is typically what you’ll come across in any big box jewelry store. However, did you know that there is another high-end white metal that is equally as eye-catching and requires far less maintenance than Traditional White Gold?
Relatively new to the market, Palladium White Gold jewelry is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to Traditional White Gold. In fact, Palladium is becoming a sought-after precious metal in its own right due to its excellent array of unique characteristics and benefits.
So what are the differences between Palladium White Gold and Traditional White Gold?
Characteristics of Traditional White Gold
Gold is naturally yellow in color. In order to achieve a dazzling white tone, a white metal needs to be added. Traditionally, nickel was the white metal of choice to combine with pure gold to make the white gold alloy we all know of today. Nickel is an inexpensive metal that many people experience allergic reactions to. It is the nickel content in Traditional White Gold jewelry that can irritate the skin and is responsible for your treasured white gold jewelry tarnishing over time.
White gold in its pure, un-plated state has quite a dullish gray appearance with a yellow undertone. In fact, the white finish that you see on white gold jewelry in stores is not actually the gold itself. Traditional White Gold is plated with a few microns of rhodium to achieve its signature white sheen.
The rhodium plating on Traditional White Gold jewelry not only improves the appearance of the piece but also combats tarnish and allergic reactions. If you’ve ever heard of having your ring “dipped”, this is what is being referenced. While rhodium plating offers a beautiful white finish, it does wear off over time, exposing the tarnished nickel and potentially causing skin irritation. When you start to see the pink nickel tarnish coming through, you will need to have your white gold jewelry re-plated. This means extra costs and maintenance of your most coveted jewelry pieces- an inconvenience that very few people want to endure.
Characteristics of Palladium White Gold
Palladium White Gold is created by combining pure gold with Palladium. Here, the nickel content typically found in Traditional White Gold jewelry is replaced by Palladium to achieve a beautiful white sheen. Palladium is part of the platinum group of metals and is an excellent white metal choice for an assortment of jewelry pieces, especially as a sophisticated and durable setting for stunning engagement rings and gorgeous mother’s rings.
Palladium White Gold does not need to be rhodium-plated. Given that Palladium is closely related to platinum, it shares the wonderful characteristic of being impervious to scratches and tarnish. This means that Palladium White Gold jewelry will never diminish in appearance because there simply won’t be any tarnish to hide, as this alloy does not contain any nickel and does not have a rhodium-plated outer layer that will eventually wear off over time.
Palladium White Gold has an enchanting light-gray color and some may notice the slightest hint of yellow- because it is, in fact, gold! It will not look like rhodium plated white gold. 18K Palladium White Gold boasts a brighter, whiter hue than 14K Palladium White Gold.
Palladium White Gold jewelry is a wonderful option for those sensitive to nickel. Using Palladium in white gold instead of nickel will leave you with jewelry that needs far less maintenance and ensures that your treasured piece stays the same beautiful color as the day you first you first laid your eyes on it.
Why Palladium White Gold May Be the Perfect Choice for You
- It’s an excellent alternative for people who experience an allergic reaction to the nickel content used in Traditional White Gold jewelry.
- Less maintenance - does not change color and does not require any form of plating.
- Palladium White Gold is an excellent metal for prong or claw settings, making it a wonderful choice for engagement rings and solitaire designs. It is less prone to stress cracking which means that your diamond will be more secure in Palladium White Gold.
Jewelry design is my absolute passion and brings me great joy. I make all my designs to order, whether it be creating intricate designs or bold statement pieces - you can rest assured that the finer details will receive my dedicated attention. All of the jewelry presented in my collections can be made in Palladium White Gold.
I choose to work with Palladium White Gold because I strongly believe in providing heirloom jewelry that can be treasured and passed down to each new generation. However, I can provide rhodium plating should you want your ring to match your existing Traditional White Gold jewelry. Please contact meto discuss your needs!