The Myth of White Gold

NOTE: All pieces shown in this article are complete manufactured pieces from Igl&I (New Delhi, India).


When I got married, I wanted WHITE GOLD and nothing else so my husband and I went around looking for the best quality piece of White Gold we could afford; after all, it is an investment. Eventually, we found one but we were also told that “there is nothing like White Gold because ALL White Gold is Yellow Gold dripped i.e. plated in rhodium.” The point the guy was trying to make is that at some point, my ring will change colour and will begin to have hints of yellow on it so I shouldn’t feel like I bought a fake but I will then have to bring it back for it to be re-dripped. I trusted him, I mean, why would I be paying a lot of money to a reputable jeweller to lie to me.


Well recently, after my grilling course in India as a Jewellery Designer, I discovered that he didn’t exactly lie to me but he isn’t well informed. All White Gold is derived from Yellow Gold, and adding different alloys to the metal to produce the white colour (TRUE). Some people believe that White Gold has to be plated or ‘dipped’. This is true of production and it is done to hide off-grey colours and imperfections. But, if you use 75% yellow gold with 25% other metals such as silver and palladium, you will have 19k white gold and will remain white through and through.


At Iris By Hazel, we advise our clients to use this higher quality metal because it never needs to be plated, it always stays white! Rhodium plating your jewellery is like painting your nails… eventually you have to take it all off and do it again. If you begin with quality, you end with quality.



NOTE: ALWAYS ask for a certificate while buying any precious jewellery because it is an investment. Merely weighing it and putting some chemical to test it isn’t enough. I mean, it could be some heavy metal that was plated with high purity gold so when checked, it looks real but it actually isn’t. Like all investments, you should have a proof of quality, as shares have certificates, so should your precious jewellery. So, always ask your jeweller for the certificate showing the karat (purity/clarity) and the carat (the weight) of the precious metal – GOLD; or the precious stones like Diamonds, etc. Internationally, you won’t be able to sell precious jewellery at the current market value without a certificate from a reputable issuer. 


My name is Patricia Ihidero, jewellery designer, jewellery maker, CEO of Iris Jewellery (Iris By Hazel & Iris Jewellery Institute), lover of beads, fashion/costume jewellery and all things precious (metals and stones). I believe that Nigeria should be THE jewellery hub of Africa and one of the jewellery capitals of the world. Take my hand and we can do it together.