16 Jun 2006 Svartalf   » (Journeyer)

If you're looking for a white gold piece of jewelry, one should watch out for the stuff- according to Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America site, there's three grades of the stuff out there, each grade happens to be yellower than the previous. If you can find grade one jewelry (Not going to be cheap or easy- and it likely won't be from some place like Helzberg Diamonds...) you'll be okay as they don't end up Rhodium plating the stuff. Most of what passes for "white" gold these days apparently is of the low end of the grade two or solidly in the grade three slot. And they have the unmitigated GALL to charge larger sums of money for "white gold" when in reality, they're selling paled yellow gold with Rhodium plating. If you've not figured it out, my wife bought a white gold wedding band back five years ago for my Anniversary present, to replace my original band. The crown of the band has a distinctive yellow glint (Grade 3 "white" gold) from wear and tear. Basically, it was a poorer grade of jewelry and she paid quite a premium for it from...Helzberg. No, I'm not going to say they "gyped" her- a lot of their other things are quite nice and worth the price- just NOT the stuff they're selling as white gold. I bought a replacement wedding ring for Her for her birthday (When I had money...) last December, from Helzberg and they gave me the story about the Rhodium plating and that all white gold does this so I've been wondering since that time. Well, that's flatly untrue- it depends on what they use to kill the color. Traditionally, it was Platinum that was used to make white gold- you don't need a Rhodium plating on that stuff unless you want it really bright and shiny and don't want to bother with the polishing effort on the work to get it there. However, they also use stuff like Nickel (which is where people come up with stories about "White Gold Allergies" and the yellowing comes from- it's a cheap replacement for the noble metal whitening agents, but it needs a Rhodium plating of some sort to make it that brilliant white we associate with White Gold. It's the cheap stuff, and many of the jewelers just don't have the guts to admit that while it IS still gold, and it is sort of white, that it's just not the White Gold that your mother had.

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