White gold is currently having a major fashion moment. But when has it really not been in style? From the immense popularity it enjoyed during the Art Deco period of the 1920s to it continuing to be an obsession with designers, white gold has in equal measures fascinated and baffled us. We ask experts to decode this oh-so-luxe metal.

18 karat white gold and diamond bracelet 430x550

White gold is an alloy of gold and at least one white metal. “While white gold contains varying amounts of yellow gold, it also contains one or more white metals to lighten its colour and add strength and durability. The most common white metals that form the white gold alloy are nickel, palladium, platinum and manganese. Sometimes copper, zinc or silver is added. The purity of white gold is expressed in karats, the same as with yellow gold,” explains Shehzad Zaveri, Creative Director, MINAWALA.

18 karat white gold and diamond bracelet; MINAWALA

white southsea pearls gold jewellery and gem stone 430x550

If you were wondering what makes white gold look so glamorous, Bambi Mathur, Founder, INARA – Fine Jewellery and Gem Stones, puts it down to the fact that the richness of a piece of jewellery tends to stand out more when made with white gold. “Also, women are now open to wearing many colours in stones, most of which tend to look better in white gold,” she says. The white colour is an especially excellent setting for very white diamonds. “Sometimes, white gold is plated with an even whiter metal, such as rhodium (a very rare member of the platinum family), to enhance its appearance, thus making it exclusive,” adds Shehzad.

White south sea pearls set in a classic style with rose cut diamonds in 18 karat white gold; INARA – Fine Jewellery and Gem Stones

pendant studded with diamonds and sea pearl 430x550

As far as taking care of your white gold jewellery goes, make sure you get all your pieces polished periodically. You can also try giving it a good rub with a diamond cleaning cloth or use a solution of warm water and detergent-free soap with a soft-bristled brush. Since white gold is a natural element, harsh chemicals such as chlorine or other cleaning products affect it. “Remove your jewellery when using chemicals to reduce daily abrasions and prolong the lustre. When not worn, store the jewellery in soft cloth bags or the original box to protect them from the elements of daily exposure,” says Shehzad.

Pendant studded with diamonds and a south sea pearl set in 18 karat white gold; Mahesh Notandass

rose and white gold calla lily bracelet 430x550

While white gold can be worn with anything, the basic rule as with most jewellery, remains the same— Keep it simple. “Wear one stunning piece of jewellery and let it speak for itself. While dressing up, resembling a Christmas tree is never a good look,” cautions Bambi.

Rose and white gold calla lily bracelet; Entice