White Metal Jewelry

White metal’s cool allure has captured imaginations for centuries. You may prefer one kind of white metal, or you may be surprised to discover a new favorite among the wide range of white metals used in jewelry today.

Each has its distinct advantages and some have unique looks and applications for jewelry. Understanding the qualities of each different white jewelry metal can help ensure that the piece you select today will offer a lifetime of joy and satisfaction.

Buying quality white metals

When purchasing white metal jewelry, always look for quality construction. Pay special attention to fasteners or clasps, making sure catches are secure and work easily. Pin backs and earring posts should be strong and firmly attached with no visible marks. Lay chains flat to make sure the links don’t kink or bend. If you’re purchasing rhodium-plated items, inspect the piece to ensure that the plating completely covers it.

IJO white gold men's ring
Above: IJO 14K white gold men’s ring with bezel-set princess-cut diamonds

Care and Cleaning

You should always take care when cleaning your fine jewelry. You can do it yourself using a mild non-detergent soap (like hand soap), warm water and soft cloth or brush, or have your jewelry cleaned by a professional jeweler. Always rinse and dry your jewelry thoroughly before putting it away.

Avoid having pieces touch or scratch each other by storing them in separate compartments or wrapped in individual soft cloths. It’s important to store non-tarnish-resistant sterling silver jewelry in tarnish prevention cloths or bags in a cool, dry place.

You can clean sterling silver to remove light tarnish, using specialized products created for this purpose, such as polish or cleaning cloths. Keep white gold away from chlorine (cleaning products, swimming pools, jacuzzis) – exposure can weaken gold’s structure and cause breakage. When in doubt, ask your professional jeweler.

Stay tuned for more posts on white metals, from sterling silver to platinum to titanium.