Author Topic: 14kt White Gold vs. 18kt White Gold  (Read 27752 times)

Offline Me-Ann

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14kt White Gold vs. 18kt White Gold
« on: September 03, 2008, 11:48:24 PM »
White Gold....14kt or 18kt???

 I was in a jewelry store the other day and woman was speaking to the jeweler about changing her ER setting and DH's wedding band from 18kt white gold to 14kt.  The reason being was that their 18kt white gold did not "hold" the rhodium plating well, and had to be dipped every 3 months to avoid the "yellowish" look coming through.  The jeweler explained that the 18kt was nicer, more expensive, and it would be better to just pay to have the rings rhodium plated again.  The customer insisted on changing to 14kt due to how often they had to get them dipped @ $60 each time to keep them looking nice.  Is it normal to have 18kt white gold look so yellowish due to the actual gold content, or is it dependent upon the alloys used?  Unless you like the "yellowish" look, should you go with 14kt?
                          Thanks!
*~Me-Ann~*

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: 14kt White Gold vs. 18kt White Gold
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2008, 06:35:33 AM »
It depends on the alloy more than the karatage. You can get a good 18kt white gold alloy that looks white without rhodium plating. It won't be "silver white" as rhodium, but it will be white. However, it's likely to be an expensive alloy, containing palladium (nickel, which is the other strong "bleacher" of gold alloys, can cause problems with skin sensitivity/allergy).

A 14kt alloy is not necessarily a guarantee of whiteness either, but a comparably white colour may be obtained more cheaply.

I am surprised that the duration of the plating is only 3 months. They must either lead a very active life or are having the rings not properly plated.

This article on setting standards for "whiteness" in gold alloys may be of interest.

http://www.utilisegold.com/jewellery_technology/colours/white_guide/

Offline Mrs Mitchell

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Re: 14kt White Gold vs. 18kt White Gold
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2008, 11:55:28 AM »
I think a lot depends on your skin / body chemistry too. I'd be lucky to get 3 months out of a wg ring  between dips, whatever the karat. I just have to glance at white gold and it turns yellow! Earrings aren't so bad but rings and bracelets, I tend to go for platinum now.
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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: 14kt White Gold vs. 18kt White Gold
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2008, 12:08:33 AM »
Hi All!
Actually the karatage does make a difference.
Basically, gold is yellow- 14karat gold is 57% gold, and 43% alloy. 18karat is 75% gold and 25% alloy.
Therefore it's actually easier to mask gold's color in 14karat- simply because there is less gold in it.

There's a huge difference in how the gold is alloyed.
I have found that some yellow gold looks yellower than others.
Some pink gold has more rosiness to it than others- this having to do with the actual makeup of the alloy- also the jewelry work, and polishing .

18karat white gold does require the best of both to get solid results.
But there are some people that have reaction to gold, no matter how well it's done- for example, Mrs Mitchell


We had a bad experience making a large man's ring ( for me) in 18karat white gold.
The properties of the gold were such that the broad surfaces had unrepairable porosity.
Porosity is tiny holes in the gold.
It can happen to any cast metal. Better casters have a low incidence. Better factories will scrap a  gold part if it has a lot of porosity- small patches can be repaired using a laser.

Basically, not all 14 or 18karat gold is equal- but if you want white, I'd generally suggest going with 14kt, unless it's a high quality piece.
We've made quite a few pieces in both 14 and 18 karat white gold and other than the ill fated 6ct light yellow radiant monstrosity made for me, we've had no problems with yellowing of the white gold.
No question I'd be really peeved if someone told me I needed to spend $65 every three months to have a nice looking piece of jewelry.
David
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Offline GIAGirl

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Re: 14kt White Gold vs. 18kt White Gold
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2008, 12:50:30 AM »
I listened to a show on dermatology on satellite radio the other day and the doctor from NYU said that the higher the carat weight the less likely someone with nickle allergies would break out.  He said that most people can wear 18K and above. 
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 12:52:48 AM by GIAGirl »

Offline Me-Ann

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Re: 14kt White Gold vs. 18kt White Gold
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2008, 08:20:53 PM »
Thank you all so much for explaining!  18kt white gold with a yellowish tint could  look good with a warmer diamond, maybe for a vintage-ish look???
*~Me-Ann~*

Offline Mikla

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Re: 14kt White Gold vs. 18kt White Gold
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2008, 08:59:20 PM »
We've made quite a few pieces in both 14 and 18 karat white gold and other than the ill fated 6ct light yellow radiant monstrosity made for me, we've had no problems with yellowing of the white gold.

 :david:

I've obviously missed something here . . .  :didimiss:

What "ill fated 6ct light yellow radiant monstrosity" made for you?

 ???  Mikla
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 09:12:22 PM by Mikla »
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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: 14kt White Gold vs. 18kt White Gold
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2008, 10:58:26 AM »
Thanks for asking Mikla!

We had a lovely light yellow six carat radiant- this is going back at least 4 years.

I asked the factory to design a ring in 18karat white- even at the time, a platinum ring would have been quite a lot of money.
It was definitely a case of a penny saved, a penny wasted.
In other words, I threw good money after bad- uch a large stone needed the platinum ring.,

Anyway, the white gold was a nightmare- not that all white gold would be a problem- but the huge surfaces of the ring were simply a bad choice for which to use 18kt white gold.

I'll also admit that wearing a pinky ring that large was difficult for me. {Plus, a lot of people that saw it figured I was a captain in the Soprano family...heheheh
My wedding band is trim- and comfortable.
We've made HUGE and massive men's rings for guys that are very satisfied-  but I need something with a smaller shank to be comfortable.

I'll see if I can dig up a photo or too of my "Tony Maccaroni" ring.
David
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Offline NolaD

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Re: 14kt White Gold vs. 18kt White Gold
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2010, 09:28:48 AM »
Thatís weird..Iíve never heard thereís much of a difference between 14k white gold and 18k white gold in terms of their plating. Sounds fishy. I donít think thereís anything to be worried about as long as the plating is done properly. Maybe the jeweler just didnít do a very good job with their rings? Anyway, if youíre concerned then just play it safe and get the 14k white gold.