White gold is the alloy of pure gold and white metals like silver, nickel or palladium. Mostly grayish in color, it is
plated with rhodium to get a whiter, shinier glistening look. During the 1920s it was often used as an alternative to platinum.
Usually of 9, 14 or 18 carats, it is also available in other grades.
White metals like palladium, platinum, nickel, silver, zinc, etc. form a white colored alloy when alloyed with gold. While
palladium, platinum & nickel have a strong white look, silver and zinc are rather mild. Amongst the categories of white
gold, nickel and palladium stand out as the most popular in use today.
Since nickel causes allergies in approximately 20% of users, especially women, jewellers mark their preference for silver
Palladium while more expensive than nickel is denser and requires a higher gold content. Some grades also contain nickel.
Other new alloys introduced lately use manganese as a whitening agent. Chromium and iron are complicated to process and
are thus shunned. Most alternates to nickel and palladium need to be plated with rhodium, as the whiteness is of an inferior
shade. All white gold varieties are coated with rhodium which adds that platinum like sheen to the article. Many different
colors can be obtained by mixing various metals with gold. White gold is one such example.