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First use of white gold in jewelry

I have a question on when white gold was first used in jewelry. I’ve
checked the Antique Jewelry University Timeline by Christie Romero,
and am finding dates during the Victorian and Edwardian periods of
patents or discovery, but would it have been used in Victorian times?

I read that in 1496, Leonardo Da Vinci invented a rolling machine.


Dinah- To the best of my knowledge white gold wasn’t used very much
until the 20th century. It may have been around but I haven’t seen
it used before the turn of the century.

Much of the older work I have seen and worked on was yellow gold with
silver plates for stones to be set in a white material.

If I had my way we’d still not be using white gold. Tim and I call it
"poor man’s platinum".

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

All colours of gold were formulated in Victorian days. The craftsmen
of the day made green, red, white alloys in all shades for lovely
floral brooches and pendants. I have some of their original formula’s
in my archive.


Thank you Jo! The question came up for a dealer in one of the groups
I belong to, and wanted to cover all bases.


Yes Jo I never rated white gold because unless you rhodium plate the
stuff its never truly white. I am certain the Victorians knew of
white gold alloys and used it in those lovely delicate brooches made
of different colored golds but silver is pure white and carves and
cuts brightly. George Gee (Precious metal metallurgist) refers to
alloys for floral work in 1882. White 50% Ag 50% au. Grey 75% Gold
25% Cadmium. So I believe the Victorians new about but white gold
but it never has the bright reflective qualities of silver. When you
clean up a piece of diamond set Victorian silver jewellery it is
truly stunning don’t you think.

Regards Hamish

The FIRST use of white gold was in ancient egyptian times as they
were trying to refine silver but hadnt worked out how to separate the
silver from gold. Electrum was also common in early european
jewellery, generally being a gold-silver copper alloy of an
imprecise mix but having the colour required. By roman times the
separation of silver and copper was pretty well sorted out by
oxidation/reduction of lead and cupellation.

Nick Royall