Many people ask, what is the difference between yellow gold and white gold? Which is better?
Here’s an explanation of their differences – as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
Yellow gold – or simply, gold – is a precious metal that occurs naturally. It’s a very soft metal and in its purest form it bends easily out of shape. That’s why gold used in jewellery needs to be mixed with harder alloy metals. These help to make the gold more durable, and keep its shape.
White gold doesn’t exist naturally. It’s actually made from yellow gold that has been combined with white precious metal alloys like palladium and silver. These alloys give white gold a slightly paler colour, as well as more rigidity. Additionally, white gold is given a final coating with a rare, silvery-white metal called rhodium. This gives white gold its white, luminous sheen.
You may have heard the term “carat”, commonly abbreviated with the letter “K”. It’s a measurement, which is used to describe the purity of gold. The same carat measurement applies to both yellow gold and white gold.
Carats are measured on a scale of 24, where “24 carat” (or 24K) represents pure gold. 9K gold is therefore 37.5% pure gold, and 18K gold is 75% pure gold. The remainder is a mixture of precious alloy metals used to harden the gold.
We offer our white and yellow gold jewellery in 18K and 9K, to suit your budget. All our gold jewellery items above 1 gram are hallmarked in the UK at one of the government assay offices. This means their gold carat weight is officially certified.
We do not use nickel as an alloy in any of our jewellery.
One difference between white gold and yellow gold is simply the way it looks.
Some people simply prefer the look of yellow gold because it has a unique, warm glow.
Others feel that yellow gold suits their skin tone better. Yellow gold is often considered more traditional than white gold. Unlike white gold and platinum, which appear the same, the look of yellow gold is hard to imitate.
Diamonds set in yellow gold tend to stand out more than diamonds set in white gold, because of the colour contrast. Yellow gold is also very easy for jewellers to work with. For example, if you knock and damage your ring, a repair seam, in most cases, is very easy to disguise.
White gold is preferred by many people because of its silverywhite colour. It’s less expensive than platinum, yet provides a far more valuable alternative to silver.
There is no price value difference between the actual gold in white and yellow gold jewellery, as long as it is hallmarked at the same carat weight. So for example, 18K white gold and 18K yellow gold will contain the same percentage of gold. However, white gold jewellery can be slightly more expensive than yellow gold jewellery, because of the manufacturing process it undergoes while being mixed and coated.
At the end of the day, choosing white or yellow gold is mainly a question of personal preference. If you’re not sure which one to go for, choose an item of jewellery that is available in both gold types and compare them side by side – or contact us at any time for advice.
We’re also proud to say that our entire ethical lab grown diamond range of jewellery is set in sustainably sourced precious metals. Find out more here.