A precious piece of jewelry that changes color after a few months is now unacceptable
— Mohan Chandie Shaw

Real white gold does exist

19kt white gold * is a new alloy from the Argen company *. White gold is the new innovation within the profession, because it is completely white in color. So white that rodinating is not necessary, so no more complaints about white gold that discolor. 19kt white gold is also much harder than all types of 14kt and 18kt white gold. The price of 19kt white gold is lower than that of 18kt palladium white gold and that means that this alloy only has advantages. That is why I offer it to my customers. After all, I want the best for my client. Every goldsmith and jeweler can offer it. Only they do not always know or tell. So ask your goldsmith or jeweler about it.

Five years ago it was even different in the Netherlands. Back then, making real white gold jewelry, such as wedding rings or engagement rings, was unfortunately not possible. This was because the element gold (AU) is naturally yellow in color. Strict legislation made it impossible to make it really white. The result was that almost all white gold jewelry from the past 25 years had to be rhodium plated to improve the color of the white gold. Rodinating has a major disadvantage; Unlike gold-plating (gold layer) or silver-plating (silver layer), the rhodium layer can only be applied thin to very thin. In this case, cheap can be expensive. In other words, a rhodium-plated ring can become yellowish (nickel white gold) or grayish (Palladium white gold) after a few months. A goldsmith or jeweler should, in my opinion, tell this when selling a white gold piece of jewelry to prevent disappointments and complaints.

Conclusion: With all white gold jewelry in the window you don't see the true color of the white gold jewelry but a thin layer of rhodium that makes the jewelry white. That layer wears away relatively quickly from precious jewelery. The arrival of 19kt white gold nowadays makes it unacceptable and unnecessary for a piece of jewelry to change color after a few months.

Only two white gold levels were available in the Netherlands, 14 carat (585) and 18 carat (750). These can be divided into two groups, nickel white gold alloys and palladium white gold alloys. But what are the differences, the pros and cons?

To start with the price. 14kt Nickel white gold is the cheapest of the four. So if the price is leading, this is the best choice. 14kt Palladium white gold is slightly more expensive. Both alloys are not white in color and must be rhodium plated. A step higher in price is 18kt nickel white gold. The most expensive alloy is 18kt palladium white gold. Palladium alloys are more expensive because palladium is a heavy precious metal and it makes the jewelry in combination with gold heavy.

* In the Netherlands there are two gold levels that are officially recognized as gold. That is 18 carats (at least 750 fine gold) and 14 carats (at least 585 fine gold). All gold levels that are lower than 14 carats are not recognized as gold in the Netherlands. Despite the slightly higher fine gold content in 19kt white gold (792 fine gold), it will be judged as 18 carat gold because it amply meets these criteria.

Rodineren 2.jpg

Rhodium bad

Het rhodineren van een 18kt witgouden ring


Palladium white gold as an alternative to nickel

Palladium wedding rings are (also) sold as nickel-free due to a nickel allergy. This hype allergy occurs in very few people, but can cause skin irritation. In most cases of that small group of people who may be irritated when wearing white gold, this is usually due to the accumulation of moisture and dirt on the inside of the ring. It is therefore not the nickel. The claim nickel free is used by German wedding ring manufacturers to sell their expensive palladium white gold, a marketing strategy that works very well in Germany. A real nickel allergy is rare. Moreover, there are also people who can get an allergic reaction from the copper in rose gold, but you don't hear about that. Stainless steel also has nickel, whether it is stainless steel (think of saucepans) or a luxury watch.

Platinum as an alternative to white gold

If the above is not for you and you still want a white gold piece of jewelry, you can opt for platinum 950 (Pl). Platinum is naturally a white gray precious metal and does not need to be rhodium plated. Platinum is not gold and therefore not comparable to white gold. Platinum is sturdy and tough, but also very soft, heavy and difficult to machine. Platinum jewelry is also grayer (gray) in color and damage (scratches, dents and bending) much faster. Platinum is more expensive than the other species and maintenance is also more expensive.

Alleen 19kt ultra witgoud van Argen is echt wit van kleur. Laat je dus niet misleiden door de term 19kt.
— Mohan Chandie Shaw

The misunderstandings about nickel in white gold

Nickel-release legislation applies in all countries of the European Union. The release must be less than 0.50 µg / cm² / week. * A common misunderstanding is that there should be no nickel in jewelry. This is indeed permitted, but white gold must then comply with the very strict nickel release legislation. All white gold alloys on the Dutch market meet this requirement, so also white gold. 19kt white gold has a release of less than 0.28 µg / cm² / week week.

Due to this strict legislation, all gold producers had to lower the nickel in their white gold, resulting in a yellowish white gold color. As an alternative, the expensive palladium was chosen with all its advantages and disadvantages. Rings 25 years and older often have a whiter color because they do not have to meet the requirements yet. Now there is a better alternative; With all its special properties, white gold is the only gold that is really white.

* For piercings and ear studs, an even stricter delivery standard is in force because they pass through the skin. The release must be less than 0.20 µg / cm² / week.

* Argen is the number one dental manufacturer in the world. Argen jewelry is part of this company.https://argen.com/store/categories/jewelry


An overview of the pros and cons of white gold alloys in a row


palladium white gold alloys 14kt and 18kt

  • More expensive than nickel white gold.

  • A higher specific weight is therefore relatively heavy.

  • Gray in color.

  • Soft

  • Can become gray due to scratching when wearing.

  • Scratches and dents faster.

  • When enlarging a ring, color differences may arise.

  • Solder is often not available in the same color, resulting in yellow solder seams.

  • Rhodium layer needed to color it really white.

  • Costly to maintain because after polishing it is always necessary to rhodium finish to make the color white again.

19kt white gold alloy

  • Less expensive than white gold palladium.

  • Low specific weight, comparable to 14kt palladium white gold.

  • Very heart and strong.

  • White in color (no rhodium required).

  • Damages less quickly than 14kt, 18kt palladium white gold and platinum.

  • Plate, wire, casting material and solder available for the goldsmith.

  • There is only one 19kt white gold alloy, so always the same color and quality.

  • Low maintenance costs because there is no need for rhodination.

  • No color difference when enlarging / adjusting.

  • Don't scratch quickly.

  • Affordable in maintenance.

Nickel white gold alloys 14kt and 18kt

  • Less expensive than white gold palladium.

  • A lower specific gravity than palladium white gold.

  • Yellowish color.

  • Harder than palladium white gold.

  • When enlarging a ring, color differences may arise.

  • Solder is often not available in the same color, resulting in yellow solder seams.

  • Rhodium layer needed to color it really white.

  • More expensive in maintenance.

Images of white gold jewelry without rhodium

image   1  Left Argen 19kt white gold, right 18kt white gold.

image 1 Left Argen 19kt white gold, right 18kt white gold.

image 2  Left ring 18kt white gold, middle ring Argen 19kt white gold, right ring 18kt palladium white gold.

image 2 Left ring 18kt white gold, middle ring Argen 19kt white gold, right ring 18kt palladium white gold.