White gold

Posted on May 10, 2013 by Sue Lane

There are some interesting myths I hear about white gold, so I thought I would do a blog post to help explain all about it.

White gold is made up of a mix of gold and other white metals, sometimes platinum, palladium or rhodium and sometime tiny amounts of copper and zinc. It is worth saying that gold is yellow, that is the colour it comes out of the ground. White gold is a material we create. So 9k white gold is 37.5% gold and the rest is white metals. 18k white gold is 75% gold and the rest other white metals.

So if you have an 18k white gold ring and cut through it with a saw, the metal is white throughout. It is not yellow centered and white shell.

So, this mix creates different "whiteness". Just like mixing paint, a bit more white metal makes a whiter finsh. Hence 9k white gold is white with a hint of cream. 18k white gold is quite grey in colour, due to the colour mix. Neither metal has the "whiteness" of silver. This is the reason all high street 18k white gold and some 9k white gold is rhodium plated - to give the bright white colour. This is not always explained to customers.

So what's the problem? Well if this is explained at the time, you'd know to expect the plating to wear off in a few years. Visually, it looks a little dull and brown/ yellow in colour. They should explain that you can take it back and get it re-plated. Often they don't.

I often hear white gold is yellow gold with rhodium plating. This is a myth. When the plating wears away the colour you see, that I mentioned a moment ago, can give the illusion of yellow gold coming through.  This is not true.

Rhodium plating is done to create the white colour, for aesthetic reasons.  Some people still believe it is to avoid allergies. For many years in the UK nickel was mixed with gold to make "white gold". Though it was known to create allergies so plating was used as a barrier between metal and skin. Nickel is now banned in all UK metals, though many counties still allow it to be used. This is one of the reasons jewellery purchased overseas can create allergies. If you buy UK white gold, it will not create an allergic reaction, plated or not!

I hope that explains it a little more. The image below show the colour difference between rhodium plated 18k white gold (bottom) and the natural colour of the metal (top).

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Sizing, delivery, returns

Buying jewellery couldn't be simpler

  1. Simply choose the piece you would like to order.
  2. Purchase online or give Sue a call. Most major credit and debit cards can be accepted over the telephone, whilst bank transfers and cheques are also an option for you - contact Sue for details.
  3. Sue makes all the work by hand. If the jewellery you have ordered is in stock, she can despatch quickly, usually within 2 days. If not, Sue will make it for you; this can take between 3 days to 3 weeks, depending on complexity and time of year.
  4. To be sure of your delivery time have a chat with Sue first. If your order is very urgent or you have a deadline, talk to Sue - she will do her very best to make it in time for you.
  5. All orders are beautifully packaged in a lovely black and grey box with Sue Lane written on the outside and then tied with ribbon. It's then wrapped in lots of tissue to make it’s safe journey to you.
  6. POSTAGE IS FREE! Sue doesn’t charge you a thing for postage. All orders are sent Royal Mail Special Delivery, meaning it is insured and guaranteed next day delivery by your Postman. Your signature will be needed but if you’re not in a card will be left for you.


If for any reason you don’t love your piece of Sue Lane jewellery it can be returned within 14 days of purchase providing it is unworn and in it’s original packaging and a full refund will be given. 

All items must be returned via a fully insured delivery service. I (Sue Lane) am not responsible for the delivery costs of returned items or for lost or damaged items whilst in transit.

  1. You MUST contact Sue before returning any item.
  2. You will receive a full refund within 14 days of receipt of the item.
  3. Please note that commissioned items are non-returnable.
  4. You can also exchange your piece of jewellery within 14 days of purchase. You MUST contact Sue before returning any item for an exchange.
  5. Should the item you are exchanging to have a higher value than the returned item, you will be sent an invoice for the additional amount which can be paid by card, bank transfer or cheque. If the item is cheaper, Sue will refund the difference.
  6. Once payment is sorted and the new piece made, Sue will post it to you.

Ring sizing

Sue makes rings to the size your select when ordering. If the ring does not fit, then she will re-size the ring free of charge (once only) providing:

  1. You pay £9 to cover Royal Mail Special Delivery costs for returning the ring to you (can be paid by cheque or back transfer).
  2. You ensure it's returned within 14 days of delivery.

Please do contact me before returning any ring for a re-size, it is so useful to have a discussion to help gauge how much adjustment is needed.

Please note: rings must be returned via a fully insured delivery service. I (Sue Lane) am not responsible for the delivery costs of returning a ring for re-sizing or for lost or damaged rings whilst in transit.)

Sue will happily resize, refinish or repolish the ring at any time after the 14 days have expired, but at a cost based on the time needed to fulfil the work which Sue can quote before you return the ring.

Not sure of your ring size?

If you are not sure of your ring size, please contact Sue. We can arrange your order and then post out a free ring sizer to you. You then simply call or email with the measurement.

Postage and packaging

As I have mentioned postage is FREE within the UK. Outside the UK (the countries below only) there will be an additional small charge of £10 to cover extra delivery costs. 

Europe: United Kingdom, Andorra, Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Canary Islands, Corsica, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madeira, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Outside Europe: Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and USA.