White gold

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Wite gold ring
MFA# 2006.372


A gold alloy that is whiter and tougher than pure Gold. White gold is malleable, but must be worked evenly or it may crack. It is used as a substitute for Platinum in jewelry, gilding, and decoration. Some compositions for white gold are:

  • Gold (18k) with 25% platinum (Untracht 1968)
  • Gold (18k) with 25% Palladium (soft white)
  • Gold (18K) with 3.7% Copper, 16.3% Nickel, and 5% Zinc (hard white)
  • Gold (18K) with 10-12% palladium, 8-10% nickel, and 2-9% zinc (Untracht 1968, Lewis 1993, Brady 1971, Hawley 1981)
  • Gold (14K) with 22.5% copper, 12% nickel, and 7% zinc
  • Gold (10K) with 59% nickel (Lewis 1993)
  • Gold (9K) with 28% copper, 17.5% nickel, 17% zinc (Brady 1971)
  • Gold with 20-50% nickel (Brady 1971)

Some formulations of white gold, particularly those made with nickel, are coated with Rhodium to increase their luster. See Trifarium.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Weißgold (Deut.); ouro branco (Port.)

Resources and Citations

  • World Gold Council: Link
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • A History of Technology, Charles Singer, E.J. Holmyard, A.R. Hall (eds.), Clarendon Press, Oxford, Volume 1: From Early times to Fall of Ancient Empires, 1954
  • Oppi Untracht, Metal Techniques for Craftsmen, Doubleday & Company, Garden City, 1968
  • Thomas Gregory, The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Reinhold Publishing, New York, 3rd ed., 1942
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 870
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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