Key Differences between Yellow and White Gold

Golden ring with different shapes

Yellow Gold vs White Gold

Gold is a unique metal used for centuries as currency, jewelry, and other decorative items. Among many of its varieties, yellow gold and white gold are two of the most popular. Besides their similarities, there are some characteristics between these two types of gold that you should know before making a purchase. Here we explore those differences so that you can make an informed decision about which type of gold is right for you.

The History of Yellow Gold

Different cultures around the world have always appreciated yellow gold for centuries. Some archaeologists believe it was the first metal to be used by humans. Ancient pieces of gold jewelry have been found in burial sites dating back to 4000 BC, and by the time of the ancient Egyptians, they were considered sacred metals.

Gold bands

Gold was often used in religious ceremonies and was believed to have magical properties. It continued to be prized during the Bronze Age and Iron Age and reached new popularity standards during the Renaissance. Today, gold is still one of the most popular metals for both jewelry and investment purposes. Thanks to its enduring beauty and value, it will probably remain a cherished commodity even for generations to come.

The History of White Gold

White gold is a type of alloy typically made by combining gold with other white metals, such as silver or palladium. The exact composition of white gold varies depending on the jeweler, but it is usually around 75% gold. 

This type of gold was first created in the early 20th century and quickly became popular with engagement rings and other fine jewelry.

While white gold is more expensive than silver, it is still significantly less costly than platinum. As a result, it has become one of the most popular choices for fine jewelry.

The Color Difference

Golden jewelry with red crystals

Though gold is often imagined as yellow metal, it can range in color from pale yellow to rich amber. The hue of gold is determined primarily by the level of impurities present in the metal. For example, pure gold is typically too soft for jewelry applications, so it is often alloyed with other metals to increase its hardness. 

The type of metals used in the alloying process can affect its color. For instance, adding silver or palladium to gold will produce a white gold alloy, while adding copper will make a rose gold alloy. 

The Metals Used in Compounds

The traditional yellow color is created by adding copper and silver to pure gold. White gold is less common but has a bright, silvery appearance by adding nickel and palladium. 

Both yellow and white gold are durable and long-lasting, but white gold may require more care to keep its bright color. When deciding which one to choose for jewelry, it is important to consider the metal’s hardness, color, and susceptibility to tarnish.

The Price Difference 

While both gold types are valuable, the price difference between the two can vary depending on some factors, among which is the purity of the gold. White gold is typically less pure than yellow gold, as it is often alloyed with other metals, so it is usually more expensive. 

Another important factor is the current market conditions. If the demand for yellow gold is high, the price will be higher. Last, the cost of gold also depends on the manufacturing and craftsmanship of the jewelry. For example, a simple white gold ring will be less expensive than an intricately designed yellow gold necklace. 

Yellow Gold vs White Gold: Which One is More Popular 

Today is difficult to say which type of gold is more popular, as it varies depending on geographical location and personal preferences. White gold is generally more popular in Europe and Asia, while yellow gold is more common in the United States and South America. 

However, many people also prefer rose gold or green gold. Basically, it comes down to personal taste. Some people prefer the classic look of yellow gold, while others find white gold more modern and sleek.

How to Maintain Each Type of Gold 

Wedding ring with grey crystals

While it is relatively easy to care for gold, there are some important things to keep in mind to maintain its beauty. Both types of it can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap. Use a soft toothbrush to avoid scratching the surface. It is also important to prevent exposing gold to harsh chemicals, as this can damage the finish. Maintaining gold doesn’t require much special care, but it is important to handle it gently to keep it looking its best.


Gold will always remain a popular choice for jewelry, and there are many options available when selecting the perfect metal. In this post, we’ve looked at the characteristics of yellow gold vs. white gold. Both metals have their own unique benefits, so it’s important to understand which option is right for you before making a purchase. Have you decided which type of gold you want for your next piece of jewelry? If not, check out our other posts to help make your decision. Thanks for reading!