Why Does White Gold Turn Yellow?


10K Gold: 41.7%

14K Gold:  58.3%

18K Gold: 75.0%

24K Gold: 99.9%

All gold jewelry starts with pure gold (24K). Depending on what karat the jeweler is making will determine how many parts of gold to metal the jeweler will add. For example: when our goldsmith makes 18K white gold, he will take 75% of pure gold and add 25% of white metals such as platinum, pallidum, nickel, and silver, to name a few. Yellowing over time is natural. 


The most common reason white gold turns yellow is the natural acids and chemicals released from our skin. For example, when Laila wears white gold, her natural acids turn the white gold yellow quicker than her brother, Michael. Michael has been wearing a medical tag we made in 18K white gold for ten years now, and we never had to rhodium it once, while Laila rhodium her jewelry every 2-3 years. 

The other common reasons are how often you expose your jewelry to soaps, saltwater, chlorine, detergents, lotions, and household chemicals. The treatment for restoring white gold to its skinning glory is rhodium plating. Rhodium is the most expensive liquid metal solution than any metal. The rhodium solution comes in white, yellow, and rose gold. The jeweler will need to deep clean, polish, and coat a thin layer of rhodium plating to the desired color you want. Don’t panic; stop by a trusted jeweler, and your jewelry will be shiny in no time!