White and yellow gold are two of the most popular metals for engagement rings. Even when buying non-momentous jewellery, knowing the important differences between white gold vs yellow will ensure that the piece chosen is without any doubt the right one!
What Are The Key Differences: White Gold vs Yellow Gold
All gold that comes directly from the earth is generally a rich yellow colour. However, to make this yellow gold suitable for jewellery and accessory purposes, it is often smelted with other metals to make it harder and more suitable for consumer purposes.
Attributes: White Gold vs Yellow Gold
Yellow gold is often smelted with 75% pure gold along with 25% of either copper, silver or brass. White gold on the other hand is smelted with another precious metal called palladium to give it a more refined, silver-ish colour. Palladium is a rare and glossy element that makes white gold look more like silver.
White Gold vs Yellow Gold – Is White Gold Actually Yellow Underneath?
Yellow gold is the classic gold jewellery colour. This type of gold looks good on just about anyone and pairs well with any outfit due to its warm and inviting colours.
White gold, on the other hand, gives off a more silverish or platinum tint. This colour pairs well with stones, diamonds and emeralds due to its more muted tones. White gold is classic and looks good on all skin tones.
The number of gold karats present in the metal of choice will also impact the colour of the ring. The more karats present, the more yellow the gold will appear.
Price: White Gold vs Yellow Gold, Which Is More Expensive?
If the two pieces of competing white and yellow gold jewellery are the same karat weight, there will generally be no price discrepancy between the two. In some cases, white gold is a little bit more expensive than yellow gold as the manufacturing process requires a bit more labour and time to create a classy platinum look.
What Lasts Longer, White or Yellow Gold?
Yellow and white golds differ in terms of how long they last. This is important to note especially if you’re someone who is very hands-on. Yellow gold is generally more prone to scratches and dents which may require frequent visits to the jeweller for rebuffs. Yellow gold can however regain its vibrance and brightness relatively quickly and easily.
White gold is slightly more durable than yellow gold due to the smelting process which sees metals such as nickel and palladium added to the jewellery piece. White gold however requires a bit more upkeep and maintenance than yellow gold to retain its shine, and it can even turn yellow if the plating rubs off.
Is White or Yellow Gold More Popular?
Historically, yellow gold has dominated in terms of popularity. That could be put down to a myriad of factors but most importantly it is because of the classic gold colour which can’t be found in any other jewellery.
White gold on the other hand is comparable to platinum and silver and thus has more competition if that’s the look you’re going for.
New generations, specifically Gen X’ers are seeming to move away from this trend as white gold seems to be increasing in popularity. This conforms with new trends of purchasing non-conformist materials in every walk of life, whether it be wood, furniture or even gold. White gold is starting to take on the mantle of the most popular engagement ring.
White And Yellow Gold: What Is The History?
The first use of pure gold for the purposes of jewellery can be traced back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in 4000 B.C. Used as a symbol for wealth and power, gold was worn by both men and women in far more extravagant ways than it is today.
Yellow gold has an important place in the history of jewellery as a revered and precious piece of metal. The legacy of yellow gold walks hand in hand with many different historical moments in human history and has thus attained classic status in terms of gold.
Many countries have even used yellow gold as currency. It was extremely popular for engagement rings throughout the 1990s.
White gold on the other hand cannot simply be found in nature and thus has a much more recent history of use than yellow gold and didn’t gain much popularity until the 1920s.
Its use can be traced back to military machinery needing a substitute for platinum but has since become one of the most bought and worn metals used for jewellery.
White vs Yellow Gold: Which Should You Pick?
As there are no major budget discrepancies between the two, this choice can come down purely to individual preference and style.
Yellow gold is clearly the choice if you are going for a more classic and brighter look, while white gold is more suitable if you are looking for a more contemporary platinum look.
Yellow gold and white gold both compliment all skin tones perfectly. White gold specifically pairs well with rosier and fairer complexions whereas yellow gold pairs better with more olive and dark skin tones.
Do Diamonds Look Better With White Or Yellow Gold?
White gold, due to its muted silverish tints, seems to pair more comfortably with cooler stones such as emeralds or diamonds.
Yellow gold on the other hand is more classically used as the sole solid colour of the ring, perhaps with personalised engravings or a bedazzled circumference.
In the battle between yellow gold vs white gold, both metals are winners. What you choose comes down to what kind of jewellery you like, and what purpose you want it to fulfil.
Chermaine’s journey into the world of gemstones and crystals began as a child, collecting shimmering stones on family vacations. Today, she’s a certified gemologist and spiritual healer, intertwining the physical beauty of jewels with their metaphysical properties.
Chermaine has traveled to mines in Africa, marketplaces in India, and spiritual retreats in Bali, always seeking to deepen her understanding.
Jump To a Section Below
- What Are The Key Differences: White Gold vs Yellow Gold
- Attributes: White Gold vs Yellow Gold
- White Gold vs Yellow Gold – Is White Gold Actually Yellow Underneath?
- Price: White Gold vs Yellow Gold, Which Is More Expensive?
- What Lasts Longer, White or Yellow Gold?
- Is White or Yellow Gold More Popular?
- White And Yellow Gold: What Is The History?
- White vs Yellow Gold: Which Should You Pick?
- Do Diamonds Look Better With White Or Yellow Gold?