Traditional White Gold is typically what you see in any big box jewelry store. Did you know that there is another white gold option that is cleaner and requires less maintenance? Palladium White Gold is new to the market and is becoming ever-so-popular.
But what is the difference?
Gold is naturally yellow and, to make it white, we need to add a white metal to it...
Traditional White Gold is made with nickel to make the gold white. Nickel is an inexpensive metal that, quite often, people are allergic to. It will tarnish and irritate your skin. To avoid the tarnish and allergic reaction, traditional white gold is plated with Rhodium. If you've ever heard of having your ring "dipped" this is what they are referring to. The white finish you see on white gold in most jewelry in stores is not the gold itself.
While Rhodium Plating can offer a white finish, it does wear off, exposing the tarnished nickel and potentially irritating your skin. You will need to have your white gold jewelry re-plated when you start seeing the pink nickel tarnish coming through; which results in extra costs and maintenance for your beloved jewelry.
Palladium White Gold is made with Palladium instead of nickel to make the gold white. Palladium is a hypoallergenic metal that is closely related to platinum and, like platinum, it will never tarnish. Because there won't be any tarnish to hide and this alloy doesn't contain any nickel to cause allergies, Palladium White Gold does not need to be rhodium plated. This means it will not look like rhodium plated white gold. It will be a beautiful gray color and some may notice a very slight hint of yellow undertone - because it is, in fact, gold! 18k Palladium White Gold is whiter than 14k. Using Palladium in white gold instead of nickel will leave you with jewelry that needs less maintenance and stays the same color as the day you receive it. It is an excellent metal for those who are sensitive to nickel.