White gold engagement rings are one of the many style trends in the engagement ring market today. Here are the five C’s (colour, care, cost, composition and culture) of white gold engagement rings, so when the time comes to make a decision about your bride-to-be’s all important ring, you will be ready to make the most informed purchase possible.
Colour and Care
In order to get the silvery colour of white gold, the metal must be mixed with its yellow counterpart and alloyed with other light metals such as silver, nickel, manganese and/or palladium. Therefore, there is really no such thing as ‘pure white gold’. It is also coated in rhodium to give it a shinier finish. Every few years, though, white gold pieces should be re-dipped to retain their rhodium plating and renew their hue and gleam. Otherwise, the metal will revert to the brownish yellow colours of its primary ingredients.
While this may seem like an annoyance, in truth the process is relatively simple and inexpensive. Most jewellers offer this service at a relatively low cost, and home methods to clean your white gold engagement rings free of any charge are also available.
The biggest advantage of white gold engagement rings is certainly their cost. 1,500 tons of the metal are mined annually which makes their market value fairly low, at least compared to other materials. Also, the element is fairly light compared to other metals, and since such precious jewellery pieces are priced by weight, it is easy to understand why these beautiful pieces can be bought at half the price of some of their metal counterparts.
Most white gold bands are offered in 14K or 18K versions. The former is 58.3 percent pure, and the latter 75 percent. The higher the karat amount of the gold, the purer the content of the band, but then the ring becomes a less durable jewellery piece. Its purest form is 24K, but in that state it is too soft to use to mount white gold engagement rings. Therefore it must be alloyed with other metals in order to strengthen it.
Gold symbolizes prosperity, wisdom, and spirituality, as in the Bible’s ‘golden rule’ and Aristotle’s ‘golden mean’. ‘The golden age’ and ‘golden years’ signify the best of times, and the 50th wedding anniversary is called the golden anniversary. This precious metal is also considered to be the most traditional for wedding and engagement bands. Since it will not tarnish over time, it helps to symbolise the couple’s eternal vows to each other. Gold also implies the best of the best, as in the top prize medal at the Olympic Games.