Does White Gold Discolour and Tarnish?

SI1 clarity engagement ring

This design shows the blistering white finish of Rhodium on 18ct White Gold

Buying a white gold engagement ring

Exploring the pro’s and con’s of each precious metal can be a wise step ahead of purchasing an engagement ring. White gold remains the most popular precious metal choice when it comes to purchasing an engagement ring. We have regular and premium Fairtrade choices available for most designs.

18ct-White-Gold-With-Without-Rhodium-2

This photograph shows the Rhodium finish and un-plated 18ct white gold surface of an engagement ring

Discolouration and tarnishing for white gold

White gold can tarnish and discolour over a period of time which can vary greatly from one person to another. When a piece of white gold jewellery is created, the final blistering white appearance is achieved by applying a very hard Rhodium plating to the item. Most white gold alloys are very slightly off-white. The Rhodium plate gives a finished engagement ring the desired bright white finish, complementing the whiteness of the diamond.

Tarnishing becomes visible in specific areas of an engagement ring. The most common part of the ring is below the shank—under the finger where the ring makes most contact with objects. Activities such as driving will bring your engagement ring into direct contact with the forces of friction—slowly wearing the Rhodium over time. The result is an area of metal that appears less white, almost off-white or straw coloured below the ring.

 

How to restore the whiteness of an engagement ring

The easiest way to restore the full whiteness of the ring is to have the ring professionally cleaned and re-finished. This process involves ultrasonic cleaning, re-polishing, further cleaning and then finally applying a new Rhodium plating to the engagement ring. The final result should be consistent with the brand new appearance of the engagement ring when it was first purchased.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website. Anyone interested can connect with Mark on Linkedin via the profile link.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website. Anyone interested can connect with Mark on Linkedin via the profile link.