Why Is My White Gold Ring Turning Yellow?

Why Is My White Gold Ring Turning Yellow?

Don’t panic. It is perfectly normal for white gold to turn yellow. There is an easy fix for this and there are things you can do to prevent it. Luvari can explain what exactly white gold is, why all white gold turns yellow after a while, what you can do to keep it white for longer, and how you can restore the white color.

What Is White Gold?

Gold is a very soft metal. It is too soft to use for jewelry in its pure form. Gold is always mixed with other metals so that your jewelry is durable and beautiful. Yellow gold is commonly mixed with copper and silver. Rose gold is made of copper and silver as well, but with more copper, which gives it a reddish color. 


White gold uses copper and silver, but also nickel, zinc, or palladium to make it more white. Even with these other metals, white gold still has a yellowish look because gold is the primary metal in white gold. Therefore, it is electroplated with rhodium to make it look more white. This means that a thin layer of the white metal rhodium is affixed on top of the white gold to give it a strong white color.

Why Does White Gold Turn Yellow?

The yellow color is the natural color of white gold before the rhodium plating. When white gold looks yellow the thin layer of rhodium has worn down, allowing the gold hue to come through. This happens to all white gold eventually.

How To Keep Your White Gold Looking White Much Longer

Anything you do that wears down the rhodium plating will cause the yellow hue to appear faster. So what you want to do is not stress the plating of rhodium.


To keep your white gold white longer, take off your rings before washing your hands. Remove your white gold jewelry before you shower or go for a swim. The water, soap, and chemicals wears down the rhodium plating.


Try not to fidget with your ring or over polish it. Any rubbing you do to it will rub a little of the rhodium off.


Take your ring off or wear gloves when you clean anything. Protect your ring from chemicals that you use while cleaning.


Sweating can wear down the rhodium, so take off your rings when doing a lot of physical activity. Remove them also if you work with your hands in a way that would cause the ring to be rubbed or exposed to chemicals. Hand lotion will also wear down the plating, so take off your rings when you put on lotion.


Any activity that would expose your jewelry to any sort of chemical or rubbing should be avoided, or do the activity with your jewelry off.

What To Do When Your Ring Looks Yellow

You could have the rhodium plating re-applied to your ring. The experts at Luvari can do this quickly. This process will not affect your diamond, or most other gemstone in your jewelry. Gems such as emeralds or opals may be affected by electroplating, so be sure to discuss this before you have the procedure done.


The expert gemologists and metalsmiths at Luvari can walk you through the process of keeping your white gold shiny and new looking for a lifetime.