This is an interesting debate…
What costs more? White Gold or Yellow Gold?
Is one particular Color of Metal More Expensive than the other?
The Answer: Yes and No!
Let’s take a closer look at the most popular Gold there is: 14k
14k Gold is 14k Gold, whether it be Yellow Gold or White Gold. It’s all the same Karat weight.
In 14k Gold, there are 14 parts Gold and the other 10 parts are various Alloys (Pure Gold is 24k).
These Alloys (like Copper, Silver and Nickel) are what helps determine the Color of the Gold. Yellow or White, or even Rose or Green Gold… It’s all in the mix.
White Gold does have its Differences!
It’s true! White Gold does get Alloys mixed in that Yellow Gold does not.
White Gold gets Zinc! Zinc is a durable White Metal that gives White Gold that White look.
Note this: White Gold is nothing more than Yellow Gold with Zinc added. White Gold is not a natural Metal. It’s a man-made product that was created as a substitute for Platinum.
So both 14k White Gold and 14k Yellow Gold are identical except for the Alloys.
Is one Gold more Expensive than the other?
The Alloys mixed in should NOT cause White Gold to be more expensive than Yellow. The Karat weight is the same: 14K. The Gold Content is what you’re paying for… Not the Alloys!
But… There is actually one simple reason why some Jewelry Stores charge more for a White Gold Ring…
All White Gold is Rhodium Plated. Rhodium Plating is a Thin Metal that is Electroplated onto the Jewelry that makes it more Durable and it makes it look Brighter and Whiter.
Without this Rhodium Plating, White Gold would look yellowish or dingy (not pretty).
You’ll notice this when the Rhodium Plating starts to wear off, erode, or rub away. You can’t prevent this from happening.
When it happens, you’ll need to get your Rings replated (every couple of years or so) just to bring back that Polish and Whiteness.
This is where the extra cost comes in!
Rhodium is Expensive!
Rhodium Plating can cost an extra $50 – $100 or more depending on the piece of Jewelry and the size of it. The bigger the piece, the more Rhodium will be needed.
This extra cost is sometimes tacked onto the price of the ring. Someone’s got to pay for it!
So in some cases, YES, White Gold could cost more!
I don’t think it’s the rule, but I have seen some stores demand a higher price for an item just because it’s White.
There isn’t much you can do about this either. White Gold needs to be Rhodiumed… Rhodium costs bucks!
Plus, it also takes extra time and labor as well.
So when you buy White Gold, expect to pay a little bit more…
Plating is not Cheap!