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Your white gold jewelry’s value depends on the amount of pure gold and alloys it contains. For example, if we say that the jewelry is 24K, it means it is made up of 75% pure gold and 25% alloys. Keep in mind that the higher the percentage of gold in the jewelry, the more expensive it will be.
Gold price trends keep changing, being subject to currency fluctuations and global demand. This is why one minute, a 24K gold ring weighing 7 grams might cost $600, and the next $800. This is just a rough estimate to help you understand that a ring’s cost is based on the price of gold/gram. Don’t forget to include the design cost, which can increase to $1,000.
To see the most popular white gold jewelry just click here.
Pure Gold vs. White Gold
Pure gold, as in yellow gold, is a very soft metal. It is too soft to be used for jewelry because you can’t reliably or easily mold it. Hence, gold contains several different alloys that give it strength. The type and amount of alloys present depend on what type of gold you want and in what karat.
For example, if you want white gold, the final product will include pure gold, nickel, silver, and palladium. Nickel offers strength, and silver and palladium lighten the yellow color. If you want rose gold, the final product will include pure gold and copper. Copper gives gold a light red color.
As for its weight and purity, you will see the hallmark stamped on the inside of a ring and the necklace’s clasp. The hallmark is denoted by K or k, followed by numbers that tell you how much pure gold the jewelry contains.
The hallmarks on pure gold and white gold are the same. Here’s what they mean:
- 24K White Gold = 100% Pure
- 22K White Gold = 91.7% Pure
- 18K White Gold = 75% Pure
- 14K White Gold = 58.33% Pure
- 10K White Gold = 37.5%
- 9K White Gold = 41.7%
As you can see, the higher the karat, the more gold percentage in it, which means the pricier the jewelry will be.
Testing White Gold
To obtain pure gold, the precious metal is burned at a high melting point. This separates the alloys from gold, giving you yellow gold.
Coming to white gold, if you are planning to test it for authenticity, we suggest that you put down that lighter because the flame will burn white gold. As mentioned above, if gold contains any type of alloys, those metals will burn.
Now, if you happen to own pure gold, you can test it for authenticity.
Testing Pure Gold
The Fire Test
- Use the Right Lighter
If you have picked up your ordinary household lighter, know that it won’t give you any results. You need a lighter that gives a constant, tall flame so that the heat is distributed evenly.
- Hang Your Jewelry
We don’t need to tell you how dangerous it can be to burn a piece of jewelry while holding it in your hand. While pure gold does not burn, it turns extremely hot, which can singe your hand. So, better hang it from a hook and make sure that it is not anywhere anything flammable, such as plants or curtains.
To avoid any accidents, we suggest you take this little experiment to the garage.
- Heat the Jewelry
Once the stage is set, turn on the flame and apply it to the jewelry for a minute. Watch it closely to see any color changes. If there are, you have got yourself fake gold.
You are probably wondering what happens to the metal, right? Besides getting hot, pure gold will turn brighter under intense heat.
Why This Works
One of the telltale signs of pure gold is that the brighter it burns, the higher in karat it is. When metals like copper and iron are burned, they turn black. So, don’t need to do the fire test on white gold.
What about gold-plated jewelry?
Good question! Since the gold covering is quite thin, it eventually melts away under heat, revealing the real metal underneath, which will turn black.
The Magnet Test
The magnet test is a safe way to find out whether what you have is made of gold or not. Don’t just pick up any ordinary magnet you have in your house. The ones on your fridge are a big NO. What you need is a strong earth magnet, which you can get from your local hardware store.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Hold the magnet over your jewelry and scan it from end to end
Why This Works
If the magnet does not stick, it’s pure gold. If it does, it contains either more alloys, such as copper or iron, or it is imitation gold.
The Smell Test
The smell test is the most reliable method to determine whether you are holding pure gold or not. You can only use this method to identify pure gold. Here’s why:
Have you ever held ordinary coins in your hands? Most coins are made of copper and nickel, which is why when you hold them in your fist for long, you smell a rust-like odor. If you are holding a gold ring and get the same smell after rubbing it, it’s a fake or probably lower in karat.
Removing Black Marks from Gold
- Take a small bowl and cover it with aluminum foil
- Add salt and baking soda
- Take one cup of water or enough to submerge your jewelry and microwave it for 2 minutes.
- Pour the hot water into the bow containing baking soda and salt
- Soak your jewelry in this solution for 10 minutes.
- Use a soft cloth to remove any dirt and rub access of the debris aside
- Rinse your jewelry in warm water and pat it dry immediately
Yes, white gold does burn and often turns black, depending on the alloys it contains. However, pure gold on the other hand is invincible. You can try to burn it, which only increases its yellow shine.
So, next time you are buying white gold, instead of going to such extremes, we suggest you look at the hallmarks to ensure that what you are buying is real.