This post aims to clear up any confusion you may have concerning White Gold and Platinum.
All gold is “alloyed” (as is iron in order to make steel), which means that the metal is mixed with other metals in order to change its properties. Examples of alloys are steel, solder, brass, pewter, duralumin, bronze and amalgams.
Pure gold in its purest form is unsuitable to be worked as it does not have the strength and rigidness of an alloyed metal. In order for you to be protected and confident in exactly what you are purchasing, several standards of gold are available.
All measures of gold are expressed in “carats”.
The most common and cost-effective form is 9ct – this is a measure of 9 carat out of 24 – which is expressed in a percentage as 37,5 % Gold – the balance is copper and silver. The most desirable form of gold is 18ct. This is a 75% gold alloy, tends to work better, and have a richer yellow colour. It is also 40% heavier per volume.
Now to get down to the nitty gritty.
White gold is an alloy of gold which will have the same percentage of pure gold as is expressed in the carat system – the only difference is that an average of 10% palladium has been added. This precious metal belongings to the same family as platinum and “bleaches” the yellow colour out of the alloyed metal, which gives it a white colour.
In the past platinum itself was used to alloy the gold down and give it its white colour, however, this mixture tends to be rather expensive thus its sister metal, palladium, is used.
So now we have a metal that is white in colour, but is still gold in a measured form of: 9ct, 14ct or 18ct. This is still not platinum. Platinum is most commonly used in a 95% pure form which is about twice the weight of 9ct gold per volume.
A precious metal is a metal that does not react to other elements in our environment and is therefore known as being stable. However, the metals which have been alloyed with the gold tend to be reactive, meaning they are going to break down and react with other elements. Therefore, the finer the metal – the less reaction it would have with other elements in our surroundings and is also less likely to have an allergic reaction on sensitive skin.
This is the true value of platinum and what makes a purer gold so much more desirable than a lesser alloy.
Goldfish Jewellery Design Studio works with all precious metals, stones and diamonds. For further information, please contact us.