While reports suggest that more traditional gold rings are due a comeback this year, thanks to Jennifer Aniston’s statement yellow gold number, white gold has remained the champion of the British wedding and engagement ring scene. Its star quality lies in its ability to match numerous different stones and retain the neutral, modern look of platinum, whilst carrying a far smaller price tag.
White gold is an alloy of yellow gold and alternative metals; anything from hard-wearing palladium to nickel or silver. Like yellow gold, white gold rings come in a range of carat ratings, depending on the type of metal with which it is mixed and the percentage of other materials used.
However, white gold rings are usually plated with rhodium to give the sparkling finish that is so closely associated with this look. They should, ideally, be re-plated every couple of years. Even sturdy platinum can suffer from problems such as ‘pitting’, which means that the finish can become uneven over time and will need polishing by a professional jeweller in order to restore its former glamour. But while white gold is more durable than yellow, owing to its combination of long-lasting materials, it’s still not quite as scratch-resistant as platinum.
So why do white gold rings remain such a popular option for women’s engagement jewellery? Vintage inspiration is one reason. The clean-looking rings of the early 20th century and Art Deco period have made a comeback in recent years, due in no small measure to popular TV shows such as Downton Abbey. There’s also much to be said for white gold’s versatility: no matter whether it’s a marquise diamond or a brilliant sapphire, the silvery finish will complement it. Yellow gold wedding rings may suit some hands, but white gold has the edge when it comes to matching different skin tones.
Many people dismiss the white gold trend as just that, predicting that the balance will have shifted in another few years. After all, those who opt for white gold designs are often making a simple colour or fashion-led choice, as simple as preferring gold pendants to pearl drop necklaces.
Personal preference will always have the final say and to really shop around, it’s important to view the full range here on our site in order to ensure that you identify the right ring in the context of your own particular tastes.