Palladium White Gold

Posted by Richard Accurso on

18K Palladium White Gold Post Earrings

18K Pal­la­dium White Gold Post Earrings

What is white gold and
what is pal­la­dium white gold?

In its pure form, gold is yellow.  So how is it changed to white?  Gold is mixed with another metal, a white metal.  This is called "alloying."

To make a white gold alloy, makers use either nickel, a base metal or they can use palladium which is related to platinum, a noble metal.  Since palladium costs $900 an ounce while nickel costs nine dollars a pound,  most white gold jewelry uses nickel as the alloy metal.

Nickel alloys have consequences: Nickel produces an allergic reaction in some people; the alloy is brittle  and may develop cracks and weakness in the metal.  Prongs around stone settings made with nickel alloy sometimes break off, especially if the ring is exposed to chlorinated swimming pools (the chlorine leaches nickel out of the metal).  So, if you own white gold jewelry with prong-set stones, it’s a good idea to visually check the prongs occasionally.  

I use palladium or palladium alloys exclusively for white gold items, reflecting an underlying philosophy that it's always best to use quality materials and processes rather than cut corners that may later lead to problems for my customers.