Diamonds are undoubtedly beautiful but aren’t always presented on their own. And while many stones may sit individually at exhibitions and museum displays, most gemstones are placed in precious metal settings like gold and silver. White gold happens to be one of the most famous preferences, especially for necklaces and rings. But like any other jewelry, it needs proper maintenance, and part of this is how to clean it.
But doing this requires skill and knowledge, as diamonds are precious stones, and white gold is one of the most valuable forms of precious metal. And not all of us will have the time to take our jewelry to an expert for cleaning. So, it helps to understand the best methods for removing dirt and impurities gathered on the jewelry at home. And here, we’ll highlight the handy methods for cleaning diamonds on white gold settings and jewelry.
What Is A White Gold?
White gold may seem so by name only, but it’s more than that. The metal is a truly real gold alloy, as it has been combined with some other metal to increase its strength and durability. Options may include silver, nickel, platinum, manganese, and palladium. And the value of the result depends on what metal is alloyed with the yellow gold (platinum-white gold will be pricier than silver-white gold). And the gold is mostly coated with rhodium plating afterward to give it sheen and protect its surface from scratches and scruffs.
White gold is one of the most affordable versions of gold because it isn’t pure gold. And though it’s more affordable than platinum, its significant gold content still makes it quite valuable. And its combination with a rhodium plating combines with the high-quality parent material to give it a stunning appearance for jewelry.
Why People Choose White Gold?
White gold is commonly used in diamond jewelry, and the gemstones can be set on it in singles or multiples. And its parent metal, yellow gold, is popular in many places, with its value measured by how pure it’s found. Note that yellow gold’s purity is measured in karat, and the highest value is 24, which indicates 100% purity. But while yellow gold sees huge patronage in many regions, enthusiasts in Europe and the West consider it too soft for jewelry.
As such, alloys are formed by combining yellow gold with a harder metal. And while other precious metals may be used, other cheaper options like zinc and copper may also be used. The result is white gold, a new metal alloy whose strength and value depend on the alloy combined.
The amount of yellow gold in the alloy is indicated; for instance, 18 karat gold means 75% gold and 25% other metal. This description means that out of the necessary 24 karats, only 18 parts of it are pure gold, with the remaining six parts being other metal.
Of course, making white gold comes with numerous perks, and some of these include;
- It doesn’t rust or tarnish.
- It’s easier to work into the finer, sophisticated design, boasting higher malleability than platinum.
- Thanks to its clean white shine, it accentuates a diamond’s brilliance and sparkle.
- You also get varying price options, depending on the metal used to make the alloy.
Cleaning A White Gold Diamond Jewelry
While it’s understandable why white gold is a favorite among jewelry enthusiasts, you should understand that regular cleaning is important. For one, diamonds are set on white gold mounts, meaning there are crevices and spaces between the stone and metal. Dirt, grime, debris, and sebum from the skin can gather within these spaces over time and, if they aren’t removed, can cause skin irritation and allergies. Plus, these materials can degrade the white gold and dull the diamond’s shine by blocking or scratching the surface.
Sometimes, the problem may come from regular use. As we wear our jewelry, we may expose them to harsh conditions in our everyday life. Smoke, soot, and dust from city life may leave tiny deposits on the jewelry. And at home, constant submerging of our white gold diamond rings can collect harsh chemicals which lodge between the stone and its mount spaces.
For these reasons, cleaning white gold diamond jewelry becomes paramount. You want the jewelry to last long and remain in great condition, especially if you plan to resell it. Plus, you want the stone to display the best brilliance and the white gold to retain its sheen. So, it helps to learn the best ways to clean white gold diamond jewelry, and we’ll explore some of the most effective methods below;
If you wear your white gold diamond jewelry often, you’d want to clean it regularly. This especially works if you own the jewelry you wear all the time, like an engagement or wedding ring. It’s also great for white gold necklaces with multiple stones or rings with halo settings. So, to clean such jewelry, follow these simple steps;
1. Inspect the White Gold Diamond
Before subjecting the white gold jewelry to cleaning, the first thing to do is inspect the diamonds. The prongs or clasps holding the stones may have loosened over time as you wear the piece. And if you miss this factor, you may lose some stones to the water during cleaning.
So, once you’ve inspected the jewelry, ensure to tighten any prongs that have come off its setting. And if the settings are damaged beyond your capacity to fix, take it to a professional jeweler for fixing.
2. Prepare the Cleaning Medium
Once you’ve fully inspected the white gold diamond jewelry, combine some water with dish soap and gently mix until it turns bubbly. You can also use detergent for this purpose, and if you’re cleaning multiple pieces, ensure to use enough water that’ll submerge the jewelry. Once ready, add the white gold diamond jewelry to the mixture and leave it to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. If the jewelry is quite dirty, you can leave them for 20 to 25 minutes. Sometimes, this is all you’ll need to take the stains out, but other times, it’ll need a bit of scrubbing.
3. Scrub the White Gold
After soaking, take the jewelry out of the soapy water and gently scrub the stains out. For this purpose, you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush, like the type made for babies. Or you can use a cotton swab to remove the gunk and grime after soaking. However, note that for the latter, you’ll need to replace it with a clean head every time it gets grimy.
If you find some grime more stubborn to detergent, use toothpaste to scrub the jewelry. Or you can also use half a tablespoon of baking soda paste instead. The latter is also a great way to brighten the pieces and clean deep into the tiny crevices.
4. Rinse and Dry the White Gold
After the scrubbing, transfer the pieces into clean water and rinse them. Then, drain the jewelry in a soft cloth until dry. You can also dry the pieces with a hairdryer, so long as you don’t use the highest heat setting. Observe the jewelry under natural bright light to check if the dirt has been completely removed.
You’ll often get the white gold diamond jewelry clean in one try. But you can also consider running the process again if you’re not satisfied with its cleaning.
5. Cleaning Tarnishes
White gold diamond jewelry is prone to tarnish, as the piece can be exposed to numerous chemicals as you use it. You’ll notice certain dullness in the metal’s sheen and some scratches that probably originated from wear. And popular sources of white gold tarnish include exposure to water, pollution, chemicals, and oils of every kind.
Fortunately, white gold jewelry over 18 karats is resistant to tarnish but will scratch or dull as used for a long time. But you can follow certain techniques to restore the metal’s shine, giving your jewelry a much-needed rejuvenation.
- White gold polishes and tarnish removers are special materials produced to reverse the effects of tarnish on white gold. To use them, apply the chemical to a polishing cloth or microfiber, and buff the gold until you get a required sheen. But avoid using Windex, as its harsh chemical content can eat away the gold’s plating.
- For white gold diamond jewelry over 18 karats, polish the surface with a soft cloth, or use toothpaste to scrub the surface. Then, rinse the paste with clean water and drain it in a dry cloth.
- Sometimes, you can avoid tarnishes by properly storing the white gold diamond pieces. Keeping your jewelry in a cool, dry, and dark spot helps you retain its brightness for a longer period. White gold jewelry is susceptible to damage under long exposure to direct sunlight, so consider avoiding that as much as possible.
More Tips for Maintaining White Gold Diamond Jewelry
While the methods suggested above are straightforward procedures for cleaning white gold diamond jewelry, they aren’t the only options for maintenance. And if you want to keep your pieces in great condition for a longer time, you’ll need to learn how. So, below, we’ll offer you some of the many ways to maintain the appearance equality of white gold diamond pieces.
- Ensure to clean your white gold diamond jewelry at least once a month. If the piece is everyday wear, like engagement or wedding rings, you may want to clean them weekly.
- Consider rhodium replate for your white gold if you notice it turning yellow. A reputable jeweler will help you add the coating for an agreed price. And the cost can range from $40 to $135, depending on the extent you’re fixing.
- Keep white gold jewelry separate from other kinds in your storage box, so they don’t scratch or dent when they bump. You can also wrap all white gold pieces in microfiber before storing them or keep them in a soft-lined box for extra protection
- Protect white gold jewelry from high heat, as it can damage the coating.
- Chlorine wears off the rhodium coating on white gold, so consider taking off the jewelry beforehand if you’re handling it. This includes when dipping into chlorine water, like during house cleaning or swimming pools. If you must keep the jewelry on, like with rings, wear gloves. Also, do this when handling bleach or engaging in rigorous activities like gardening.
- Ammonia also dulls the white gold’s plating over time and may affect your diamond’s sparkle. So, if you’re handling chemicals containing such, consider protecting your jewelry or completely taking them off beforehand.
- Take your jewelry off before showering, laundry, or bed. When exposed to soap and water, wearing it may cause soapy debris to lodge in the setting’s crevices. And leaving them on before bed can cause scratches from bumps as you sleep.
- Take off white gold rings before applying lotions and thick creams. These can lodge in the spaces between the stone and mount and accumulate dirt and grime.
- When cooking, remove your rings or bracelets, so heated oil doesn’t settle in the nooks.
- Never use boiling water to clean white gold diamond jewelry, as it can warp and discolor the piece.
- Under no circumstance should you use Coca-Cola to clean white gold diamond jewelry. It’ll not clean the jewelry but leave gunky residue in the settings of its crevices. And its acidic content will affect the jewelry’s brilliance over time.
- Suppose you’re not completely certain about how to clean or repair white gold diamond jewelry. It may be best to take it to a professional jeweler for proper analysis and examination. You can find a reputable store around you or visit the jewelry house from where you bought your piece.
- Most white gold diamond jewelry bought from reputable brands comes with warranty certificates for maintenance. So, take advantage of this feature by visiting the store for monthly checkups, repairs and polishing, cleaning, and helpful maintenance tips.
White gold diamond pieces are spectacular, and the gold alloy’s color is derivative of mixing yellow gold with another metal. Its white colorcomplements a diamond’s warmth, enhancing its shine and brilliance. Plus, it’s both valuable and affordable, making it an all-around option for most people.
But it can lose its appeal if not properly maintained, so regular cleaning is recommended. And even at that, not every material is approved for cleaning white gold. Here, we’ve highlighted the most preferred method for removing dirt and debris from white gold diamond pieces. And we’ve also stated things t avoid, so your jewelry retains its beauty and allure for a longer time.