I need some metallurgical help, here. I recently had a question come
my way, out of the blue, regarding white gold needing to be
periodically replated in order to remain white. My reaction was to
say, no, that should not be necessary, as white gold is white, or at
least as white as white gold gets, all the way through. I was
thinking maybe rhodium plate, for a brilliant white finish, but even
that would, I hope, be a thing that is made clear from the start by a
reputable jeweller. Anyway, the response I got next has me a bit
Thank you for replying to my question so quickly. My wife and I
recently purchased white gold wedding rings from Birks Jewelers in
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. My wife's engagement ring turned gold
in colour after 6 months. Having talked with an associate at Birks
we were told that this was common and the rings would have to be
replated every 6 months. They just replated the engagement ring for
us. They said that this was happening because the Canadian
Government had restricted the amount of lead that could be used in
the making of white gold jewelery.
We were told it would cost an extra $50 per ring on top of the
original price of the rings to have them replated twice a year.
Needless to say this is not what we had in mind when we purchased
the rings. The manager has been on holidays so we haven't had a
chance to speak with him/her. We've just been trying to get some
background from different people who have expertise in
this field. From what you've told us it sounds like we're right to
think something is not right here. We would appreciate your opinion
and/or any comments or you have on this situation.
I’ve got a number of questions, at this point, chief among them being
"Lead? In white gold?" Lead’s toxic, and who in their right mind
would include it in jewelry?
Anyway, I got these folks’ permission to post their question on
Orchid, along with their email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, so that
someone with more knowledge than I have can help them out directly.
I’d like to learn more about this, myself, since I don’t know for sure
if they’ve got grounds for concern or even for legal action, but of
course they’re the ones in primary need of reassurance and