White Gold Diamond Engagement Rings

Lovely white gold is currently the most popular choice of metal for engagement ring bands. Indistinguishable from platinum to the naked eye, this bright, strong, durable metal perfectly complements and enhances the sparkling diamonds in engagement rings.


White gold is an alloy of yellow gold and other metals that give it a bright distinctive white color. Pure yellow 24 karat gold is too soft for use in jewelry. White gold in rings is typically 14 karat gold, which is 58.3 percent pure gold with the addition of some other metals to harden it. Metals added to create the alloy comprising white gold include copper, palladium, nickel, and zinc. White gold also usually receives a thin plating of a metal called rhodium, which further whitens it and makes it more durable. Rhodium is an extremely expensive element in the platinum metal group that is prized for its dazzling reflectivity.

History of White Gold Rings

Archduke Maximilian of Austria may have been the first person to add diamonds to an engagement band when he offered a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy upon his proposal in 1477. For a long time the giving of diamond engagement rings was restricted to the upper class and nobility. In the Victorian Era, diamonds became more common on engagement rings due to the discovery of large deposits of the precious stones in South Africa.

The history of white gold as a precious metal in diamond engagement rings is tied up with the story of platinum. The European discovery of platinum dates to the 16th century. In the 18th century, a study presented to the British Royal Society described it as a new metal. However, it was not used in jewelry until the late 19th century in Europe and the early 20th century in the United States. Platinum rings became popular during the Art Deco period of the early 20th century, but then the use of the metal for jewelry was banned during World War II, when the U.S. government declared platinum a strategic material and forbade its use for any purpose other than war. Once platinum became unavailable, jewelers looked to white gold as a practical alternative. Because of its lower price, after the war white gold continued to surge in popularity.

Perhaps the most famous white gold engagement ring in history is the ring featuring an oval blue sapphire surrounded by tiny diamonds presented by Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, used the same ring to propose to Kate Middleton in 2010.

Advantages of White Gold Engagement Rings

One of the main advantages of white gold is its price. Although it looks exactly like platinum, it is significantly less expensive for a number of reasons. A platinum ring is 95 to 98 percent pure platinum, which is much rarer and costlier than gold, whereas a white gold ring has 58.3 percent gold and a mix of less expensive materials. Additionally, working with platinum is more labor intensive than working with gold, which has a high degree of malleability and is relatively easy for jewelers to shape. The malleability of gold also makes it resilient to breakage. Gold continues to maintain its bright excellent appearance over time and does not corrode, tarnish, or rust. Platinum also scratches more easily than white gold, so it needs to be polished and cleaned more often. Although white gold occasionally requires some maintenance, it easily buffs up to a brilliant shine. An additional benefit is that white gold rings are lighter in weight than platinum, creating less of a burden on the finger.

White Gold Ring Settings

White gold engagement rings are available in a wide variety of settings. One of the most popular is the four-pronged or six-pronged solitaire setting. This setting highlights the beauty of a singular diamond, allows plenty of light to pass through it, and emphasizes the bright shine of the white gold. The increased strength that the alloyed materials give white gold causes the prongs to hold the stone securely in place.

A pave setting illuminates a white engagement ring band with a multitude of tiny diamonds. The word pave, pronounced pa-vay, means "to pave" in French, and this setting paves the band with glistening stones. White gold works well in pave setting bands because of the need for strength in the tiny mini-prongs that hold the small diamonds in their holes.

A halo setting frames the larger central stone with a glittering complement of smaller diamonds. These enhance the appearance of the center stone and increase the overall sparkle of the ring. A lovely white gold band serves as the perfect background for a halo-illuminated gem.

The beautiful three stone setting symbolizes the past, present, and future of a couple's shared bliss. It features a larger central stone flanked by two smaller stones. Together the three stones provide enhanced scintillation, and a bright white gold band adds to the brilliance.

Diamond band engagement rings emphasize the brilliance and fire of a central diamond by encircling or half-circling the band in a complement of smaller diamonds. These surrounding stones may be inlaid in the band with dazzling pave accents, rise to the ring's peak in a dual encrusted band, or lie within a protective channel. Whatever their setting, they offer a spectacular display of elegance and sparkle.

White Gold Engagement Ring Options

The master craftsmen and jewelers at Hayden Cudworth offer an eclectic selection of handcrafted white gold engagement rings with diamonds in an assortment of shapes and cuts. The most popular are round brilliant cut diamonds, which have 58 facets that provide maximum sparkle and fire. Next in popularity are square or rectangular shaped princess cuts. Oval cuts have elongated shapes that rival round cuts for brilliance. Emerald cut diamonds offer large table surfaces that provide strong reflections of light. Shaped like pillows, cushion cuts provide a classic appearance and scintillating radiance. Marquise cut diamonds, originally created to resemble a pair of lips, have a unique royal ambiance. Pear shaped diamonds, also known as teardrop diamonds, offer timeless elegance with their broad shoulders and delicate tips that point towards the wearer's heart.

To find the right ring for your fiancé, take advantage of the home try-on program. Select any five potential rings to sample at home, send them back within five days, and order the ring of your choice.


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