Why Is My White Gold Ring Turning Yellow?

Even though white gold jewelry has been popular for generations, some people can still be surprised to notice that their once silvery white ring has become dull and yellowish. Don’t worry—this isn’t a sign that your fine jewelry is of a poor quality. White gold naturally dulls over time and there is a guaranteed fix to get it looking like new again.

How Is White Gold Made?

Jewelers create white gold by treating a gold-alloy base metal with a process called electroplating. This involves using a current of electricity to drive a chemical reaction—in this case, binding a material called rhodium to the surface of the gold. Rhodium is a precious white metal related to platinum and is the key that makes white gold more affordable, more resistant to scratches, and more silvery-white than traditional gold.

Can I Stop My White Gold Jewelry From Turning Yellow?

Because rhodium is a thin layer of metal that clings to the surface, various factors can wear that layer away eventually revealing the creamy-yellow color of the gold beneath. This is completely normal. However, there are steps you can take to slow down the wear and tear of the surface rhodium on your white gold jewelry.

  • Avoid contact with heavy lotions, oils, & fragrances, as this is one of the biggest contributors to damage to white gold.
  • Consider removing your white gold jewelry before cleaning or swimming to prevent regular exposure to certain soaps, salt water, and chlorine.
  • Don’t try to polish your white jewelry at home, or else the rhodium plating is likely rub off faster.

What Can I Do To Restore My White Gold?

The electroplating process that first created the silvery shine of your white gold ring can be repeated as often as necessary to keep its finish looking like new. Regular upkeep from a professional jeweler is recommended, so be sure to have your white gold jewelry re-plated every few months to a few years depending on how often the jewelry is worn. Special equipment is required for this process, so it’s best to contact someone with advanced expertise in goldsmithing.

Luckily, the experts at Plateau Jewelers have the skills and equipment to transform your dull and worn out white gold jewelry back to its original luster. Contact us today for more information.