So, while the resulting gold metal is white, there is always that yellow tint to it. That tint is deeper depending on the gold karat, and that’s because the higher the karat the more yellow gold content that’s in the alloy.
For example, 18K white gold will have a deeper yellow tint than 14K white gold, because it contains 75% pure yellow gold while 14K contains about 58% of the gold.
That is why white gold is normally plated with rhodium to add the white lustrous shine and remove the yellow tint. Brilliant Earth does the same thing with their white gold pieces.
Plating, however, doesn’t use a thick layer of metal, so eventually, the rhodium plating will wear off and the yellow tint of the white gold underneath will begin to show. That is why you may be thinking that your Brilliant Earth White gold is turning yellow.
White gold doesn’t tarnish or discolor, it is an unreactive metal, so it is simply the result of the rhodium plating fading. How fast this happens will depend on how well you take care of your white gold.
Exposure to certain elements can cause the rhodium plating to fade faster. Such elements include saltwater, detergents, soaps, chlorine, and cosmetics.
So, if you like showering, swimming, cleaning, and cooking in your white gold jewelry, it could be the reason it is turning yellow fast. Even frequent wear can cause this because your sweat, body oil, and other bodily components tend to fade the rhodium plating as well.
Constant friction between your white gold piece and other surfaces like your clothes, hair, and so on also contributes to this.
So, you shouldn’t panic when you see your Brilliant Earth white gold yellowing. It only means the rhodium plating has faded away. It means you have to replace the white gold to restore its white shine. For that, you can contact Brilliant Earth for assistance or head to your trusted jeweler.
How To Take Care For Your Brilliant Earth White Gold Jewelry
Now that you have a better understanding of what is happening to your Brilliant Earth White gold, you should know that prevention is better than cure.
Like we said the speed at which your rhodium plating will fade will depend on how well you care for your white gold piece. There are certain ways and tips you can use to maintain the white shine on your gold for as long as possible, the following are some of the useful ones:
1. Always practice first off last on
By this, we are referring to how you put on your white jewelry. Remember that the rhodium plating is affected by lotions and other cosmetics.
For that reason, your white gold jewelry should be the last thing you put on when getting ready in the morning.
Later in the evening, it should be the first thing you take off before jumping into the shower, the water also can contribute to the rhodium plating fading.
2. Avoid rigorous or heavy activities
While wearing your white gold jewelry, avoid activities like running, exercising, and chores like cleaning and cooking.
Exposure to your sweat and body chemicals as well as to soap, detergent, water, and oil, could lead to the rhodium plating fading faster.
For your rings, remember to have a ring dish in the kitchen or close to the sink so you remember to take them off and keep them safe while working in the kitchen.
3. Know how to clean your jewelry
Over time there is a build-up of dirt, oils, cosmetics, and other components that may dull out your white gold piece.
That is why it is important to clean your jewelry at home as often as needed and take it for professional cleaning at least once a year.
While cleaning at home, you need to be careful about what you use. Warm water and soap should be enough to do the trick.
The soap should however be mild to prevent from fading the rhodium plating. Also, use a soft cloth and rub gently and not excessively to avoid taking off the plating faster.
4. Remember there are different rules for different metals
White gold is not like silver and platinum. Its bright white appearance is not natural like the rest, It requires the rhodium plating to look its best.
Even with proper care, the rhodium may take longer to fade but it will fade eventually. You need to keep this in mind. While some don’t mind the yellow tint underneath, some do.
If you do, then you need to remember to replate your white gold as often as needed, to maintain its white luster.
So, you see, there isn’t anything to worry about when you see your White gold turning yellow.
It doesn’t mean that Brilliant Earth duped you of your money. It simply means that your white gold need replating.
If this happened faster than you expected then it is a sign that you should take better care of your white gold pieces.
For that, keep the tips we’ve shared with you in mind.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.