How to Buy a White Gold Ring

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How to Buy a White Gold Ring

A white gold ring is a popular choice for anyone who wants dazzling jewellery that is strong, durable, easy to care for, and tarnish-free. People have worn white gold rings to make a strong fashion statement since the 1920s when they first exploded onto the jewellery scene in Art Deco styles, and this trend is even more popular in modern times. Many consumers prefer white gold over yellow gold, platinum, and silver for anniversary, engagement, or wedding rings because white is a symbol of eternity and purity. Also, the elegant simplicity of white gold makes it an ideal complement for diamonds and other precious metals in ring settings. Traditionally, brick and mortar jewellery shops were the first stop for anyone looking for a ring. However, online jewellery stores and auction sites such as eBay have eclipsed this trend because of their availability 24/7, lower prices for the same items, extensive varieties and styles, and ease of shopping.

Those hunting for white gold rings do well to familiarise themselves with white gold, the different types of white metal used, and how they affect the properties of the white gold. Contained here is information that anyone wishing to buy a white gold ring should know before shopping along with a few tips for a satisfying purchase on eBay.

Description of White Gold

White gold is an alloy of gold made using at least one white metal such as nickel, palladium, platinum, silver, and manganese. The white metal is what gives white gold its distinctive colour, and there is a wide array of alloy combinations available. Depending on the type of white metal and purity of gold used, white gold has properties that make it ideal for different uses. Rhodium is commonly used to as plating over the white gold alloy to make it whiter and to smooth over any imperfections in the alloy. It lasts a short time, however, and needs replacing once or twice a year.

Factors to Consider when Buying a White Gold Ring

When shopping for white gold rings, buyers should consider a number of factors including their budget, ring size, type of white metal used in the alloy, and the purity of the white gold. The diversity of styles, stones, and settings on offer mean that everyone can indulge their tastes to express their individuality.


A budget allows shoppers to buy what they need with the resources available and helps filter out distracting options that are beyond the buyer's means. This enables them to quickly focus on what they can afford, saving time and energy. Having a small budget does not mean a shopper is limited in what they can buy and smart bargain hunters know this. For example, while white gold rings from high-end designer brands invariably have a higher price tag when sold as new, a savvy buyer can scoop the same rings at a cheaper price when sold in used condition.

Ring Size

 Ring size charts vary according to the jewellery manufacturers, so sizes vary as well from shop to shop. Measurements do not change, however, thus one should use measurement to determine the equivalent ring size on the seller's chart, to the nearest millimetre. A useful feature of UK ring sizes, which use the letters of the alphabet, is that they come in half sizes too: for example, Size A 1/2 is 12.24 millimetres in diameter.

How to Determine Ring Size

The best times to measure ring size in the late afternoon or evenings, because at that point in the day, the finger is at its largest. When measuring a finger for ring size, one should measure the same finger that wears the ring, because different fingers have different measurements, even on the same hand. Professionals insist on using callipers for precise measurement of the finger's inner diameter. A less accurate method is to wrap a piece of string or dental floss at the base of the finger, allowing room for knuckles, then marking off the point where the string meets and measuring this on a millimetre ruler to get the finger's circumference. Whatever method one opts for, the resulting measurement provides the closest corresponding size on the ring seller's chart.

The tables below show standard UK ring sizes in full, with finger measurements in both inner circumferences (C) and diameter (D).

UK Size




























(D) mm















UK Size




























(D) mm















The purity of gold alloys is measured in carats, with 24k the highest at 100 per cent purity for yellow gold and 21k for white gold when mixed as an alloy with palladium. The lower the purity of the gold or carat, the harder and the more durable the metal is. White gold rings that are 18k mean that they have 75 per cent gold, or 18 parts gold and six parts white metal. 14k rings have 53.8 per cent pure gold content, meaning 14 parts gold with 10 parts of white metal, and are the most common used for making white gold rings. Since white gold is an alloy of gold and a white metal, it can never be 24k purity or marked as such since 24k is for pure yellow gold.

Type of White Metal Used

The type of white metal used and its proportion in the white gold alloy determine properties like hardness, strength, pliability, and weight for the white gold and, thus, the price as well. Rhodium is a durable silver-white metal that can be polished to a brilliant shine and is used in almost all white gold rings as plating. Palladium is soft, lustrous, and rare, while nickel is hard and strong and silver turns the metal white. Copper increases malleability but gives a reddish tinge to the white gold that needs zinc to bleach it out.

Sensitivity to White Gold

A number of people are allergic to white gold and, since rings are worn close to the body, suffer from skin rashes whenever they wear white gold rings for long periods of time. The culprit is the nickel in the white gold compound; because of this, European jewellery manufacturers do not use nickel in their white gold alloys. Those sensitive to nickel should look at the composition of the alloys in the white gold, avoiding the nickel alloys and opting for other combinations that are just as pleasing.


Whatever karat the white gold, genuine items always have a hallmark or stamp that guarantees authenticity. Purity is marked in carats, like 14k. However, some jewellery is gold-plated or gold-filled metal with the letters 'GF' or 'GP'. This is not gold but a metal-like nickel with a very thin layer of gold. Another mark found on white gold jewellery is a 'P' mark which stands for 'plumb', a term meaning that the purity level of gold is exactly what is stamped on it.

How to Buy a White Gold Ring on eBay

There is a vast array of white gold rings showcased on eBay, ranging from trendy modern pieces to the
unique and rare. A quick keyword search for 'white gold rings' bring thousands of results ranging from settings of precious and semi-precious stones such as diamond, tanzanite, and topaz to elegant ring styles like the popular eternity, solitaire, and solitaire with accents, comfortably catering to all budgets. Whatever
you fancy, make sure to look for hallmarks like the carat count, usually found on the rings' inner sides in the item photos provided by the seller. Check your finger measurement against the seller's size chart and select the closest matching size. Inner diameter figures are more accurate, so if the seller has not provided these in their chart, be sure to ask for that. Also ask the seller if the white metal contains nickel in case you're allergic to the metal. Once you are happy with your choice, pay using eBay's safe, secure, and fast payment options.

Care of a White Gold Ring

Almost all white gold rings are rhodium-plated for whiter brilliance and polish. However, rhodium is susceptible to friction and wears away over time, leaving the pale yellow gold exposed. Fortunately, this discolouration can be fixed by re-plating the rhodium from time to time and regular polishing with a soft cloth; cleaning products available from jewellers keep the ring shining for a long time to come. People should not wear their white gold rings in all environments as they risk damaging the metal when exposed to other chemicals. For example, when swimming, the chlorine eats up the white gold alloy causing pits and the same goes for common household chemicals.


The dazzle of a white gold ring ensures that it remains a popular option for many ring hunters, not just those with weddings in mind, and eBay is an excellent place to shop for white gold rings. White gold trumps as a bestseller for diamond-set rings because silver is too soft and tarnishes easily while palladium is too expensive. Depending on the white metal used in the alloy, white gold has different properties like hardness, durability, and strength and it is the proportion of pure gold in the alloy that determines the purity rating; for example, 14k white gold is 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts white metal. Size is a crucial factor when buying rings because nobody wants one that keeps slipping down their finger or that they cannot get past the first knuckle. Buyers should use precise measurements of their finger's diameter to select ring sizes to avoid disappointments. People who care for their white gold rings can enjoy their elegant beauty for many years.

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