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18K White Gold Ring Turning Black


#1

Hi Folks!

My engagement ring is turning black and gray and I can’t figure out
why! I haven’t been doing any heavy duty cleaning or anything out of
the usual. If anyone could offer a suggestion or share their
experience I’d really appreciate it!

I went to a reputable Australian jeweler back in June with my fiance
to select my engagement ring. It’s a simple 18K white gold cathedral
shank holding an ascher cut diamond. The ring was too small so they
up-sized it 2 whole sizes. It looked perfect (high polish with no
visible solder seams or discoloration) when we walked out of the
store and fit beautifully.

Within two weeks the solder seams started to turn black and a
spotchy gray-black patch emerged from them. Then the entire added
piece of gold started turning gray-black. I haven’t tried sanding or
buffing it, but I’m pretty sure that would remove the discoloration
because the scratches it has sustained from normal daily wear remove
the discoloration. Tonight I used a quick jewelry dip and that made
the gray-black splotchiness worse.

It seems like the obvious thing to do would be to polish the ring and
rhodium plate it (actually, the even more obvious thing would be to
take it back to the jeweler who sized it, but we’re back in the U.S.
now). I would really like to know WHY it’s turning colors and how to
avoid having this happen in the future.

Thanks for your help!
Best wishes,
Mollie


#2

If its just the added piece that’s black I would suspect that
sterling was accidentally used instead of white gold.

I drop of nitric acid would confirm. Gold would have no reaction,
silver would turn a cream/tan color. If the test confirms silver the
only thing to do is remove the silver and properly size with white
gold.

Yes you ‘could’ rhodium but silver needs underplates as Rh won’t
stick to silver and usually just turns nasty when attempted without
the underplates. And even if you successfully rhodium its not going
to last long and who wants silver in their 18K ring?

Fix it right.