White gold wedding bands are becoming increasingly popular with contemporary couples. Not only do they look very attractive due to their silvery-white color and brilliant sheen but also, they are more durable than platinum rings that they resemble. They are also an economical buy as they cost just about half of similar platinum rings.
What Is White Gold
White gold is made by adding white metals like palladium, silver, nickel, and zinc to yellow gold. The resultant alloy is harder than yellow gold; the proportion of the metals dictates how strong and white the alloy will be. Nickel is rarely used nowadays as it causes skin irritation. White gold containing more silver is stronger and more widely used for simple bands, while the alloy with palladium being more malleable is more commonly used for bands that have stones set on them.
Key Role of Rhodium in White Gold Rings
It may come across as a surprise to many that the actual color of white gold is actually steel-grey and that the attractive whiteness that it is prized for is actually a result of electroplating with rhodium that reflects light very well and also protects the underlying white gold from tarnishing. Unfortunately, after a few years of regular use, the rhodium plating wears thin and this results in a perceptible yellowish discoloration on the back of the ring because that is where it rubs against the skin most.
When this happens, you should take the ring to a good jeweler and have the rhodium electroplating done again; the ring will look absolutely fresh and new. Refreshing the rhodium plating enhances the life of the ring as it becomes less susceptible to damage and corrosion. Further, since the luster of the ring increases, the diamond on top of it shines more brightly and appears to be brilliant and clearer. See a dazzling collection of white gold wedding bands at https://www.mensweddingbands.com.
The Frequency of Rhodium Electroplating
There are no hard and fast rules regarding how frequently the rhodium plating needs to be done. It depends on how regularly you use the ring, to what extent it is exposed to harsh weather and chemicals, how much you sweat, and of course, the quality of the rhodium plating in place. If you are one of those who wears the wedding band only on special occasions, you can expect your white gold ring to remain pristine for years. However, if you use it constantly, it may be a good idea to have it inspected by a competent jeweler once in 6-8 months and the plating is done if the layer has worn thin. By doing so, you can prevent damage to the actual white gold substrate.
Buying a white gold wedding band is an extremely appealing proposition. You get to buy a strikingly beautiful piece of jewelry that can compete very well with far more expensive metals yet make a statement regarding your discerning choice. You just need to pay attention to maintaining its looks by regular cleaning and re-plating of the rhodium layer.