Can You Turn Yellow Gold Into White Gold? - Han and Co. Jewelry

by David Cai on June 01, 2019

Since there are a couple of different kinds of gold, a common question that pops up is: can you turn yellow gold into white gold. In this article, we will go over the details and the process.


How Can You Turn Yellow Gold Into White Gold?

Since there are a couple of different kinds of gold, a common question that pops up is: can you turn yellow gold into white gold. Maybe you have some gold couple initial bracelets that you would like to change to white gold. In this article, we will go over the details and the required process.


What is White Gold?

Not only is white gold a completely different color than the other shades of gold, but its composition is also very different. White gold is actually a mixture of yellow gold and white metal like nickel or palladium. The white gold that is then used in jewelry is typically coated with rhodium. The rhodium layer serves to make the gold even more white and give it a corrosion resistant layer on top.


Rhodium Plating on Yellow Gold

So now we know rhodium is used to cover white gold, but it can also be used to coat yellow gold and make it look white. This usually involves taking your jewelry to a jeweler that will do the coating for a fee.

But beware, not all yellow gold is created equal and sometimes the rhodium just flat-out won't stick to the gold. The coating gets even more complicated if you have intricate jewelry with lots of tiny nooks and crevices because the rhodium might not cover 100% of the surface.


Rhodium Plating Durability

Similar to any other coating you put on metal, it will eventually wear off if you use the jewelry. Now, this won't happen overnight, but the more you wear the jewelry the faster the rhodium will thin-away. If you prefer to have your jewelry professionally polished then take note that each polishing session will take away more of the outer layer.

With all that being said, if you have some yellow gold jewelry with a rhodium finish and you notice some of the yellow gold showing then just go get it plated again at your local jeweler.


Removing Rhodium Plating

As mentioned above, having your jewelry professionally polished will remove layers of the rhodium cover. That means if you ever want to have your once yellow gold back to its original color. The only thing to worry about is that the polishing can take a toll on the actual gold itself as well. That's why it's always recommended to consult with a professional as opposed to doing it yourself at home with regular tools.


Closing Thoughts

Choosing between yellow and white gold is obviously going to come down to personal preference. A common reason for getting a rhodium plating is to see how your gemstones would look without having to get it remounted. Another option is to have just specific parts of your jewelry coated like the setting of the stone.

At the end of the day it's up to you and it's not even a permanent decision like getting a tattoo. Just head over to your local jeweler and at least ask if they think it's possible to coat your yellow gold jewelry with rhodium.

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