Palladium White Gold vs Traditional White Gold – What is the difference?

If you love the look of bright white precious metal you are probably familiar with traditional white gold and platinum. Most chain and small jewelry stores will have a wide selection of traditional white gold jewelry and a smaller selection of platinum options. But did you know there is a relatively newer option of white gold on the market that doesn’t demand the level of maintenance that traditional white gold does? 

Palladium white gold jewelry is emerging as a better, brighter option to the traditional white gold choice. Because of palladium’s naturally white color and durability, this high-end new metal is becoming increasingly popular and a sought-after precious metal in its own right. Palladium white gold is an excellent choice as it requires far less maintenance than traditional White Gold to keep your jewelry looking beautiful as the day you first laid your eyes on it.

What are the differences between Palladium White Gold and Traditional White Gold?

The difference between palladium white gold and traditional white gold might not be apparent when viewing them side by side. You will begin to notice differences in color over time as you wear your jewelry. Traditional white gold tends to turn yellow as you wear it, whereas palladium white gold keeps its white color. 

Traditional White Gold

Gold has a naturally warm, yellow color. Traditional white gold jewelry you purchase has other metals alloyed or mixed with it to improve durability and achieve its sheen white finish. For instance, if you purchase a 14kt gold item, 58.5% is pure gold and a mixture of other metals.

Traditional white gold is alloyed with nickel to give it a whiter appearance. Nickel is a hard and inexpensive metal which made it a popular choice amongst manufacturers. Unfortunately, nickel allergies are quite common and can cause irritation or rashes on your skin.

Traditional white gold has a dull, gray appearance with a yellow undertone. To achieve a bright white look, traditional white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium. Plating a thin layer of rhodium helps combat tarnishing and creates a buffer for allergic reactions. This is why you may be able to wear your ring for some time before you notice any allergic skin issues.

Freshly plated traditional white gold jewelry has a sparkling, white color, but it doesn’t last. When the rhodium begins to wear off, you will notice a much duller appearance and the yellowing of the metal. Once this occurs, you will need to head to the jeweler to have your jewelry re-plated or dipped. Traditional white gold will cost you more money over time because you have to keep re-plating your jewelry to keep it looking great.

Palladium White Gold

Palladium white gold is alloyed with palladium to achieve its white color. Because it belongs to the platinum family of metals, palladium shares the unique characteristics of being invulnerable to scratches and tarnish.  As palladium white gold doesn’t require rhodium plating, it requires less maintenance so fewer expenses. Palladium white gold is harder than traditional white gold so you will have better protection from damaging your special jewelry pieces.  Because palladium white gold jewelry does not contain nickel, it doesn’t need to be rhodium plated (which wears off over time).  Palladium white gold‘s appearance will never diminish. In simple words, palladium white gold can be professionally polished to bring out that natural white shine without worrying about your jewelry yellowing over time.  

If you suffer from allergies, palladium white gold is an affordable and safe option. Being part of the platinum family, palladium is a hypoallergenic metal. You are far less likely to suffer a reaction to this metal.  

Why Palladium White Gold May Be the Best Choice for You

If you experience an allergic reaction to nickel, palladium white gold should be the ultimate alternative option for you. Also, you won’t have the disappointing experience of having your jewelry turn yellow and dull as you would with traditional white gold as palladium white gold does not change color over time and doesn’t require any form of plating.

Because palladium white gold is harder than traditional white gold you are far less likely to damage your jewelry. Accidents do happen but palladium is a malleable metal to work with so it makes repairs a breeze and less expensive than traditional white gold or platinum. Because of this alloy’s density and strength, palladium white gold is the ideal metal choice for prong or cat claws setting of diamonds and gemstones in solitaire designs and engagement rings. Palladium white gold is less prone to stress cracking, so your diamond will be more secure. 

Palladium white gold is a wonderful option as you build your jewelry collection. Its beauty, strength, and durability make it the perfect choice for heirloom jewelry that will be enjoyed for generations.