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Best White Gold Alloys

Michael_E

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diamondseeker2006|1311527504|2975779 said:
I am curious if any of our jewelers are using Stuller X1?

I use Stuller's 14K X-1 exclusively when white gold is called for. The reasons for specifying it are several as follows:

1. Most of my clients are price sensitive and so the use of 18K or 19K is too much of an expense for them. Stuller's X-1 in 14K is marginally more expensive as a raw material and so I price it the same as any other 14K white gold, (I'm not sure why anyone would charge more since the cost of the material in a ring is around 20% of it's total cost, so why worry about it?)
2. Some of my clients have expressed a concern about having a possible sensitivity to nickel. Stuller's X-1 does contain nickel, but also contains some type of other metallic binder which reduces the solubility of nickel when in contact with skin and so meets the European low nickel requirements. I've never had anyone complain about being sensitive to this alloy.
3. The X-1 alloy works quite nicely. It allows forming of beads and engraving as easily if not more so than any other white gold that I have used.
4. I use a model making/casting service to do all of my casting work from CAD models and they offer and are comfortable with this alloy. If they offer it, then anyone can easily make use of this with few problems.

In addition to this Stuller's solders which are made for their X-1 alloys are really great. They do take some getting used to because they do not melt evenly, but once you get the touch for them, they provide very strong and very white joints, (which can be a real problem as some white gold solders are quite yellow).

This is just my personal experience and others will undoubtedly have different views. Anyone who is having custom work done in white gold should at least ask their bench person about the possibility of using a white gold which does not require rhodium as there are a number of fine alloys presently being offered by a number of manufacturers.
 

Michael_E

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diamondseeker2006|1311535453|2975857 said:
Both the Argen site link and the one I provided from Stuller provide a whiteness graph showing the new alloys just below rhodium in whiteness.

I did want to comment on this a bit. The use of rhodium is not just white, but kind of glitzy and almost fake looking when compared to a surface that is similar in color but unplated. It's almost as if the unplated surface has more "depth" to it, while the rhodium plated surface always looks obviously plated to me. Maybe it's just too white or too polished looking.
 

kenny

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Michael_E|1311538132|2975881 said:
diamondseeker2006|1311535453|2975857 said:
Both the Argen site link and the one I provided from Stuller provide a whiteness graph showing the new alloys just below rhodium in whiteness.

I did want to comment on this a bit. The use of rhodium is not just white, but kind of glitzy and almost fake looking when compared to a surface that is similar in color but unplated. It's almost as if the unplated surface has more "depth" to it, while the rhodium plated surface always looks obviously plated to me. Maybe it's just too white or too polished looking.

I agree.
It is a plastic look to me.

It reminds me of all the things inside a new car that are meant to look like metal but are just coated plastic.
Those items also need replating in time.
When that times comes it is a reminder of the disappointment that these days image over substance seems to be the prevailing mantra.

Perhaps that's what's behind the upset when yellow starts to shows through our rhodium-plated WG rings.
It reminds us we didn't cough up the bucks for the real deal, platinum.
 

diamondseeker2006

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This is great to know, Michael! Thanks for posting! For those who don't mind paying for 18-19k X1, would you expect it to be great as well?
 

diamondseeker2006

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kenny|1311538920|2975888 said:
Michael_E|1311538132|2975881 said:
diamondseeker2006|1311535453|2975857 said:
Both the Argen site link and the one I provided from Stuller provide a whiteness graph showing the new alloys just below rhodium in whiteness.

I did want to comment on this a bit. The use of rhodium is not just white, but kind of glitzy and almost fake looking when compared to a surface that is similar in color but unplated. It's almost as if the unplated surface has more "depth" to it, while the rhodium plated surface always looks obviously plated to me. Maybe it's just too white or too polished looking.

I agree.
It is a plastic look to me.

It reminds me of all the things inside a new car that are meant to look like metal but are just coated plastic.
Those items also need replating in time.
When that times comes it is a reminder of the disappointment that these days image over substance seems to be the prevailing mantra.

Perhaps that's what's behind the upset when yellow starts to shows through our rhodium-plated WG rings.
It reminds us we didn't cough up the bucks for the real deal, platinum.

I agree with both of you. Rhodium looks more like chrome to me, and not really like fine jewelry should look.
 

kenny

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Rhodium looks more like chrome to me, and not really like fine jewelry should look.

Well, it's not for me, but if people like it (clearly many do - the blingier the better) then it is perfect to them.
 

CaprineSun

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Thanks for this thread!

I did research on this last year when deciding if I would want platinum or WG for my e-ring-- especially for pave. I found The Doctor's posts and read nearly all of them. LOL. I really wanted 19k WG however, I found it was much easier to find and have in a ring in Canada then the US ( and even then it depended on the vendor, which would limit my style choices). Other 19K WG ones I found had palladium as the alloy.

I was then back to 18KWG vs Platinum-- both of which have ptifalls I have never been too happy with.

I appreciate TheDoctor joining this thread.
 

TheDoctor

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Sorry, forgot to answer one of Kenny's questions, about cost. Cost to consumer might be a small percentile above what is considered "normal". The cost to the manufacturer would be maybe 5% over standard 18 karat white alloys produced by a refiner. If the manufacturer blends their own alloys, the difference might be 10%.
Hardly a barrier, considering using this alloy results in near service-free results for the end-user, the consumer.

As far as the technical upside, it is huge;
Positive factors include resistance to oxidation during joinery operations which require torch-work. We probably save 30% in labour by avoiding the need to refinish surfaces following soldering/welding operations. This means clean lines, fewer visible pits/seams, glossy pit-free recessed areas, and most importantly, a near elimination of the nasty evidence of the over-polishing/smearing that occurs when ugly oxidation needs to be sanded/polished away from joints.

In short, as manufacturers, we save money by using a slightly more expensive alloy. We don't make anything in the lower karats, ever. The worst experiences I have had in the distant past with cheaper alloys involve painstaking attempts at removing the typical brownish oxidation patches near joints, the usual offending alloy being one that contains a considerable amount of copper. The cost in time eradicates the savings in the use of alloys containing lower gold content.
 

kenny

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TheDoctor|1311543490|2975941 said:
Sorry, forgot to answer one of Kenny's questions, about cost. Cost to consumer might be a small percentile above what is considered "normal". The cost to the manufacturer would be maybe 5% over standard 18 karat white alloys produced by a refiner. If the manufacturer blends their own alloys, the difference might be 10%.
Hardly a barrier, considering using this alloy results in near service-free results for the end-user, the consumer.

As far as the technical upside, it is huge;
Positive factors include resistance to oxidation during joinery operations which require torch-work. We probably save 30% in labour by avoiding the need to refinish surfaces following soldering/welding operations. This means clean lines, fewer visible pits/seams, glossy pit-free recessed areas, and most importantly, a near elimination of the nasty evidence of the over-polishing/smearing that occurs when ugly oxidation needs to be sanded/polished away from joints.

In short, as manufacturers, we save money by using a slightly more expensive alloy. We don't make anything in the lower karats, ever. The worst experiences I have had in the distant past with cheaper alloys involve painstaking attempts at removing the typical brownish oxidation patches near joints, the usual offending alloy being one that contains a considerable amount of copper. The cost in time eradicates the savings in the use of alloys containing lower gold content.

If you save money using alloy this which does not need to be plated with rhodium why do so many makers NOT use it?

Would JA, GOG or Whiteflash (or any maker who sells rhodium-plated WG) please speak up?
 

Dreamer_D

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I heard of palladium white gold that does not need plating. Any word on that?


Of course, another solution is for consumers to jus twear unplated white gold. It is a beautiful metal to my eyes. I think the rhodium craze happened in part because people wanted to imitate the look of platinum without shelling out for it. I'd like to end the attempt to mimic platinum and just enjoy white gold for its own beauty.
 

slg47

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yssie has some beautiful rings in unpplated WG. I remember when she was looking for a matching wedding band even though she ordered 18K Ni-alloy unplated WG it looked different from vendor to vendor.

I would be interested to see more pictures of the different WG alloys that do not need plating to look 'white' compared to plat and rhodium plated rings. I know there are some pics on PS somewhere but I am not sure if there are pics of all of the alloys being discussed.
 

LGK

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Dreamer_D|1311543982|2975947 said:
I heard of palladium white gold that does not need plating. Any word on that?


Of course, another solution is for consumers to jus twear unplated white gold. It is a beautiful metal to my eyes. I think the rhodium craze happened in part because people wanted to imitate the look of platinum without shelling out for it. I'd like to end the attempt to mimic platinum and just enjoy white gold for its own beauty.
I've got a few pieces of it- both were from Juan Manuel who works out of Mexico. He does hand forged pieces. It's a 14K WG/Palladium alloy. My two rings look great- they're whiter white metal than platinum, but not as chrome-y as rhodium plate. They're also whiter than the antique high-nickel white gold that's very white.

I actually remembered a bit more about that alloy. Apparently, from what a few jewelers said, it's very difficult to do right. The melting points are different on the two metals, so it's hard to get it "just right"- everything melted and properly blended. You can end up with a sort of spotty appearance where the PD hasn't fully melted (it's got a higher melting temperature than AU). I'm pretty sure it was Wink who explained this once on a different jewelry forum... anyway, my rings are fine, no spottiness, but I guess it's not as easy to create or work with as regular WG, so, it wasn't terribly popular with jewelers. Personally I love the metal in those two rings- it's just perfect, not too chrome looking and I did wear them for years and, obviously, no change of color. Not much scratching either. It's too bad that alloy didn't get popular because I really did love it! (It was no more expensive than any other white gold at the time, ~ 5 years ago).

The jeweler I got them from, Juan Manuel, owned www.van-graff.com,, and oddly enough despite the fairly well made, hand forged settings, he prefers to work with CZ. He did work with diamonds if you requested it but it wasn't his focus. His jewelry was really well made but the fine finishing work wasn't quite equal of the rest of it- the engraver he used flat out sucked, and the prong tips and melee were not terribly refined. The settings were well made beyond that.
 

jstarfireb

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I have no problem with the look of rhodium, but I hate having to replate it. I'm also someone who's usually on a budget and wouldn't want to pay for 18-19kt gold. Stuller X1 sounds like the perfect choice for me. This thread has been very informative, and now I know to inquire about Stuller X1 whenever I need white gold!
 

JaymeC

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Hey The Doctor, I saw that you mentioned you were looking at a ring that was from a local competitor in Edmonton. I am also from Edmonton and looking for a quality jeweller and having difficulty. Is it against forum rules to say where you do business?
 

kenny

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JaymeC|1311569395|2976148 said:
Hey The Doctor, I saw that you mentioned you were looking at a ring that was from a local competitor in Edmonton. I am also from Edmonton and looking for a quality jeweller and having difficulty. Is it against forum rules to say where you do business?

Under his post is a link to his website
Click on it.
Then click on Contact Us for his address.
 

jstarfireb

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Dreamer_D|1311543982|2975947 said:
I heard of palladium white gold that does not need plating. Any word on that?


Of course, another solution is for consumers to jus twear unplated white gold. It is a beautiful metal to my eyes. I think the rhodium craze happened in part because people wanted to imitate the look of platinum without shelling out for it. I'd like to end the attempt to mimic platinum and just enjoy white gold for its own beauty.

Just my personal opinion, but I do not like the look of unplated regular white gold. It looks kind of dingy to me, not quite white and not quite yellow, and not at all what I want my jewelry to look like. So unplated regular white gold is not an option for my pieces.

Of course, I usually have my stuff made in silver rather than WG to save cash, so take my opinion with a grain of salt...
 

suchende

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I prefer the way gold "wears" to platinum for palladium. I really hope when I ask Brian Gavin about this, that he can accommodate us. I have an unplated white gold antique ring that I certainly love, but it definitely does look "whellow."

Unrelated: I recently tried to change my username, and apparently it didn't take despite having discussed it with the mods, so sorry for anyone who is confused by this post coming from me.
 

Gypsy

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Great thread. With recent price increases I have to say I've been hesitant to do any projects (this assumes I have the money to do them.. but you know what I mean) because for any rings, I feel the need to get platinum. But if these alloys are as great as they sound (an eliminate the need for constant polishing as well!) I have to say it's very tempting.
 

Karl_K

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diamondseeker2006|1311539191|2975889 said:
This is great to know, Michael! Thanks for posting! For those who don't mind paying for 18-19k X1, would you expect it to be great as well?
The 18k x-1 is not as white as the 14k but still very white.
The 14k x-1 has held up amazingly well in wifey's ring.
I turned a local jeweler onto it and he has been extremely happy with it as have his customers.
It is a bit of a pain to cast, you need modern temperature controlled equipment to cast it.
He has a commercial caster do it with state of the art equipment and it comes out perfect every time.
When he tried to torch melt and cast it in a small casting machine the failure rate was very high.
Because the casting house buys it in smaller quantities there is a small up charge for using it that is passed on to the consumer.
It adds maybe $30 to the price of the ring and is well worth it.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Excellent, Karl! This is the kind of info we need to know! Since Wifey has had her e-ring several years, this is a good review of how the Stuller X1 holds up! Thanks!

I have wanted a white gold milgrain band to wear when I don't wear my diamond rings, and I just might order a comfort fit X1 milgrain band from Stuller to try out.
 

Karl_K

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diamondseeker2006|1311597054|2976265 said:
Excellent, Karl! This is the kind of info we need to know! Since Wifey has had her e-ring several years, this is a good review of how the Stuller X1 holds up! Thanks!

I have wanted a white gold milgrain band to wear when I don't wear my diamond rings, and I just might order a comfort fit X1 milgrain band from Stuller to try out.
Welcome
btw stuller has a program where they will send samples out to jewelers free of charge of items made with x1 to use as sales samples so you might be able to arrange to see what it looks like before buying.
 

JaymeC

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kenny|1311570107|2976152 said:
JaymeC|1311569395|2976148 said:
Hey The Doctor, I saw that you mentioned you were looking at a ring that was from a local competitor in Edmonton. I am also from Edmonton and looking for a quality jeweller and having difficulty. Is it against forum rules to say where you do business?

Under his post is a link to his website
Click on it.
Then click on Contact Us for his address.

No link there for me!
 

slg47

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JaymeC|1311615224|2976392 said:
kenny|1311570107|2976152 said:
JaymeC|1311569395|2976148 said:
Hey The Doctor, I saw that you mentioned you were looking at a ring that was from a local competitor in Edmonton. I am also from Edmonton and looking for a quality jeweller and having difficulty. Is it against forum rules to say where you do business?

Under his post is a link to his website
Click on it.
Then click on Contact Us for his address.

No link there for me!

you might have signatures disabled?
 

JaymeC

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slg47|1311615582|2976394 said:
JaymeC|1311615224|2976392 said:
kenny|1311570107|2976152 said:
JaymeC|1311569395|2976148 said:
Hey The Doctor, I saw that you mentioned you were looking at a ring that was from a local competitor in Edmonton. I am also from Edmonton and looking for a quality jeweller and having difficulty. Is it against forum rules to say where you do business?

Under his post is a link to his website
Click on it.
Then click on Contact Us for his address.

No link there for me!

you might have signatures disabled?


Wow, its a good thing I'm pretty because sometimes its all I've got! Thanks friend!
 

YoungPapa

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kenny|1311543757|2975945 said:
If you save money using alloy this which does not need to be plated with rhodium why do so many makers NOT use it?

Would JA, GOG or Whiteflash (or any maker who sells rhodium-plated WG) please speak up?

Kenny,

I've already spoken with my production team and we are going to do some testing with a couple of the alloys recently discussed in this thread. I woud like nothing more than to sell white gold that doesn't need rhodium plating, although the product must also be sufficiently easy to use and cost-effective. I will provide more updates as they're available.
 

kenny

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Thanks Mr. Schultz.

Even if it costs a bit more you can emphasize it costs less in the long run since they customer will never pay for shipping for replating.
Plus you may sell the "green" aspects, such as no unhealthy chemical exposure to employees, no shipping.
 

CaprineSun

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BUMPING this thread.

Has anyone been able to successfully request 19K white gold from a vendor?

Also, MissStepCut's old thread about her unsuccessful request of the Stuller x1 gold from a vendor turned me off to the WG and over to plat. I believe she was told by them the only way to obtain it was if she ordered a stock setting from Stuller--- which led her to order the unplated 14k WG setting.

Has anyone been able to obtain the Stuller X1 alloy without having to order a stock setting?
 

mepp

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Another bump: has anyone found any chains in unplated WG? I've learned that Stuller X1 is good for casting, but it seems to hard to work with for necklaces. This is tricky because I'm looking to buy a pendant in unplated WG.

Twinkle:

*Twinkle*twinkle*|1324756471|3088067 said:
BUMPING this thread.

Has anyone been able to successfully request 19K white gold from a vendor?

Also, MissStepCut's old thread about her unsuccessful request of the Stuller x1 gold from a vendor turned me off to the WG and over to plat. I believe she was told by them the only way to obtain it was if she ordered a stock setting from Stuller--- which led her to order the unplated 14k WG setting.

Has anyone been able to obtain the Stuller X1 alloy without having to order a stock setting?

My jeweler does custom casting with X1, and I think more and more people are adopting it.
 

jaebond

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*Twinkle*twinkle*|1324756471|3088067 said:
BUMPING this thread.

Has anyone been able to successfully request 19K white gold from a vendor?

I asked a vendor about using an alternative white gold, but I didn't really get a response. They answered some of my other questions that I had asked at the same time, but basically ignored the question about using a different white gold.
 

evergreen

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Thanks for the bump! Also wanted to chime in -- James Allen mentioned their new "True White" alloy that doesn't need replating (though they will continue to plate). Not sure how well this question to a specific vendor works with PS's rules, but I would really love to know more about that alloy, and see pictures of it - unplated - next to Pt. (Or ideally next to other unplated WG alloys.) For science! Is it just rebranding of an alloy we already know of, something proprietary like the Stuller X1, or something new and exotic?

If that's not allowed, maybe James Allen would be so kind as to post a comparison picture on his site, for consumer education.
 
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