White gold watches offer the prestige of gold symbolizing wealth, prosperity and grandeur and a shiny silver tone associated with the ornate, glamorous, graceful, sophisticated, and elegant.
White gold first became popular in the 1920s during the Art Deco period. It was first developed and is still used as a more affordable alternative to platinum because it looks a lot like platinum. It came back into fashion in the 1990s and has remained popular for all kinds of jewelry ever since.
As demand for platinum items is increasing, the demand for white gold items is also going up. White gold’s popularity also comes from its bright white looks. It has a cool, sophisticated gleam that's shiny and luxurious. Like silver, it looks nice with all skin tones, but particularly compliments fair and rosy skin tones.
Since pure gold is too soft and malleable for practical use, it is normally combined with other metals to make it stronger and harder. White gold is created by mixing gold with a white metal such as silver, palladium, magnesium. It also contains some nickel. A rhodium coating is applied to make it shiny white and give it a beautiful polished finish.
The gold content and the purity of a gold alloy is indicated in karats.
18K: 18 karat gold is 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metal. 18/24 equals 75% pure gold. 750 parts per thousand parts. Marked as: 18K, 18kt, 18ct, 750. 18kt is referred to as solid gold- the purest gold level that is hard enough for practical use. The high gold content makes it the most expensive. 18 karat gold is the standard for gold watch cases and high end jewelry.
14K: 14 karat gold is 14 parts gold and 10x parts other metals or metal alloys. 14/24 equals 58.5 pure gold. 585 parts per thousand parts. Marked as: 14K, 14kt, 14ct, 585. 14kt gold is also popular in watches and jewelry especially because it is more affordable and more durable than 18kt gold. It wears well and does not scratch easily.
9K: 9 karat gold is 9 parts gold, 15 parts other metals. 9/24 equals 37.5% pure gold. 375 parts per thousand parts. Marked as: 9K, 9kt, 9ct, 375. The most affordable and the hardest.
Solid white gold watches are expensive but stand the test of time. They are the best if you want a watch you can hand down as a heirloom. Solid gold watches not only have permanent good looks, they also get better with time. You get some heirlooms to have in your family for generations.
The rhodium plating wears off after a few years and the shiny white gold color of ladies white gold watches fades with time depending on the amount of contact with other jewelry and needs a rhodium reapplication every 12 to 18 months.
White gold contains some nickel. Nickel causes allergies on people with sensitive skin. If you've sensitive skin allergic to metal, white gold watches may irritate your skin. Learn more about nickel allergies and hypoallergenic materials.