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White Gold often has a considerable amount of nickel. It makes for fantastic jewelry, but white gold is not hypoallergenic. White gold, as well as rose and yellow gold, may have other alloys that you may be allergic to, which is why you should be careful when buying these.
However, the great thing about white gold is it is generally plated by Rhodium or Platinum. Both are hypoallergenic, so you don’t have to worry so much, even if you have a Nickel allergy.
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What is White Gold Made Of?
White gold is a combination of yellow gold with many other metal alloys, which allow for a white appearance. Apart from the color, the metals also give the white gold an extra hardness level. Pure gold is too challenging to work with. It’s generally softer, and doesn’t allow goldsmiths to manipulate it easily.
Often, people don’t prefer the color of yellow gold, which is why jewelers like to keep an assortment of colors available for gold jewelry. White gold is for people who prefer a more silvery or white look in their jewelry. White gold is also great for engagement rings and rings of all sorts since it’s subtle yet shiny.
If the article you’re buying has fewer karats of gold, it will have a more significant proportion of other metals.10K means that it has ten portions of gold and 14 portions of metals that aren’t gold. The more alloys there are in the white gold, the likelier is the chance for a more significant percentage of nickel.
The purity of white gold in 10 karats of white gold is likely to be 41.7% which means that it’s not that pure and has other metals like silver, copper, zinc, and nickel, which may or may not be hypoallergenic. If you’re talking about 10K jewelry, then the chances of you being allergic to it are likelier due to the fact that it has a greater percentage of alloys.
14K White Gold
As with 10K white gold, 14K white gold is also not hypoallergenic. There are fewer chances of it causing allergies because the proportion of metal alloys is less than 10K.
18K White Gold
18K White Gold also uses a mixture of metals like palladium, nickel, and zinc to balance out the gold. It makes the overall alloy less resistant to scratches and bending, given the fact that the gold can be exceptionally soft.
The quantity of gold in this variation is higher, making nickel the best material to add to the mix as nickel is less susceptible to deformation. 18K is not hypoallergenic either. However, since it has a greater portion of gold, it may be less likely to cause a significant allergy.
Is Yellow or Rose Gold More HypoAllergenic than White Gold?
It’s necessary to note that, for the most part, yellow and rose gold do not have any nickel intermixed with them. Thus, they are more likely to be hypoallergenic. However, there’s no certainty that jewelry would be instantly hypoallergenic just because it has yellow or rose gold. In all cases, you will have to ask the jeweler if the gold is nickel-free.
However, if you have sensitive skin, you’re likely to be more comfortable with yellow gold than white gold.
What Are Some HypoAllergenic Metals?
If you’re looking to design jewelry that you won’t have an allergic reaction to, you may need to explore some other metals that you can adorn yourself with.
Silver can be hypoallergenic. However, sterling silver has 92.5% silver which means that the rest of the 7.5% can be any alloys or metals. Many people use copper here, which is also a hypoallergenic metal, but many designers will sometimes use nickel as it’s much cheaper and more accessible to mine than copper. Thus you have to be careful when it comes to silver too. Also, silver isn’t quite as expensive or valuable, which means it won’t cost you as much.
Platinum is costly because it’s so difficult to mine. It’s also important to note that any jewelry made out of platinum has 98% of platinum in its composition. Since platinum purity in this jewelry is so high, there are fewer chances of any other metals being added to the mix. Thus, you’re unlikely to develop an allergy when wearing platinum jewelry.
Rhodium is similar to platinum and thus is also hypoallergenic. It is often used to treat and finish white gold. Coating white gold with Rhodium gives it a lot of luster and shine and makes it last a lot longer. A rhodium plating also means that the white gold is less likely to cause any reaction with your skin. Thus, if you’re bent set on using white gold for your jewelry, then you may want to go as far as plating it with Rhodium to avoid any allergic reactions.
Argentium is a variety of silver. It is hypoallergenic because it doesn’t use nickel and instead uses germanium which is less likely to cause allergies. It’s also 100% recycled, which decreases the need to harvest pure silver ore. It has a very bright, silver color and we find that it can avoid any tarnishing.
It’s also environmentally friendly and reduces pollution and emissions.
If you have a metal allergy, then Niobium is also an excellent alternative for you. You don’t have to worry about accidental reactions since this material is hypoallergenic. It is also complex enough that it doesn’t need to be mixed along with any other metal. Thus, you can easily use it in any kind of jewelry.
Conclusion-Is White Gold Worth It?
It depends on why you want to use white gold. If it’s because you want to own something of value for a long time, then you may invest in white gold. However, if you’re choosing precious metals to wear, you may want to opt for yellow gold or platinum as it’s better for sensitive skin. If you want something in white, that’s also precious and doesn’t cost too much, you can buy white gold plated in Rhodium.
Rhodium will prevent your allergies from acting up. However, you will have to re-plate it now and then as Rhodium plating can wear off.