Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Question about Vatche Settings

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

uncleezno

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
22
I've been looking at Vatche settings both online and in some B&M locations, and what I've heard from two different sources (Bailey, Banks & Biddle & GoG) is that the base metal blend is yellowish gold, not greyish gold. For such expensive settings, isn't this unusual? I'm not crazy about the idea of spending $2,500 on a setting, and then having yellow show when there's wear on the ring.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
'greyish gold'
... gold is yellow. I think you are misinterpreting what you have been told.


ALL white gold starts with yellow gold. Gold used for jewelry is an alloy. That means it's mixed with something. MOST things that it is mixed with to get to white gold leave the metal yellowish still. That's why most gold is rhodium plated. As the plating wears off, the yellowish base comes through. Then you get it replated. Now there are a few gold alloys that do not require replating, that doesn't mean they are higher quality. They are just different alloys.

Palladium and Platinum are white-ish in their natural state, so when alloyed, stay white. If you want a white base metal, go for those instead of gold.
 

BlueSki231

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
855
I''m not sure exactly what you mean..

from what I understand white gold is eventually going to have to be re-finished/re-plated.

This isn''t something that is unique to Vatche settings. If you''re going to go the white gold route, expect to have this happen, no matter WHO makes the setting.

Someone correct me if I''m wrong, please! But as far as I know white gold doesn''t occur naturally.. it is yellow gold with a finish/plating of what I believe is nickel. Eventually after regular wear this rubs off and needs to be redone.

if this concerns you definitely go the platinum or palladium route. These days i''ve noticed that platinum really is not that much more expensive than gold. Good luck!
 

uncleezno

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
22
Thanks for the replies. I know that gold is, well, gold-colored, but I had read somewhere that white gold could be composed in a number of ways, some of which are more yellow than others. And yes, I know that a good white gold setting is plated. The question, then, is whether or not all white gold is yellowish? Will any white gold setting look yellowish where the plating wears off? And if that's the case, why not just go for a more affordable yellow gold setting with the same plating?
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Perhaps you are thinking of palladium white gold? It's my understanding that this alloy (unplated) has a bit more of a grey cast to it than unplated nickel white gold... but even that is plated to cover the yellow cast, and is quite uncommon.

Here's a good article:
An Overview Of Common Alloys Used In Jewelry

And a good picture (left- 18K yellow gold, middle - 18K nickel white gold (rhodium plated), right - 18K palladium white gold UNplated)

 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
The metal is yellow-ish under the plating. Not yellow the way yellow gold is. And some people never need to plate their settings, others need to every six months. It's not a matter of the quality of the setting, but a reaction to your body chemistry. I had a white gold setting, I got it plated once in 4 years. Doesn't cost much to get it done. But, if you have to do it often it would get annoying.

Palladium and platinum do wear very differently, and take on a patina after time, but that can be polished away. I've had my platinum setting for 20 months and had it re-polished once.

Either way, if you want your setting to look as 'new' as it can you are going to have to do some upkeep.

Older white gold settings were sometimes alloyed with palladium or rhodium, those didn't need plating. My MIL has a few rings like that.


Vatche does palladium now. I'd just get that if your concerned about yellowing. But know that you will still want to get it polished occassionally.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Date: 2/10/2009 5:47:23 PM
Author: Gypsy
Vatche does palladium now. I''d just get that if your concerned about yellowing. But know that you will still want to get it polished occassionally.
+1

But I was surprised to hear of a white gold Vatche setting costing $2500... that''s more than what my platinum setting from them cost
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
Almost all modern white gold is yellowish under the rhodium plating. It's a soft cream color. There are a (very) few places that alloy the white gold with palladium to create a whiter gold that theoretically doesn't need rhodium plating, but in those cases, you'll know that that's what you're buying because it's usually a big selling point. One jeweler explained that this alloying (palladium + gold) process is very difficult, which is why it is not more common- the two metals have different melting points, and this can create some problems. (I actually own a 14K white gold/palladium setting which doesn't need rhodium plating, and it's quite lovely, very bright white and wears well.)

Antique white gold (like pre-1960s) is much whiter than modern. It has more nickel. However, lots of people are allergic to nickel, hence why modern white gold is yellowish due to less nickel in the alloy.

So yeah- if you don't like the idea of rhodium plating, don't go with gold, go with platinum or palladium. Whether you need to replate white gold often depends on your body chemistry. Some people wear the plating off incredibly fast, others not. My e-ring is white gold, and it's still fully plated after a year of wear. In my experience, with constant wear, my white gold rings show some yellowing after about two years. I suspect that's pretty average.
 

ButterBean

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
Messages
351
Date: 2/10/2009 5:46:54 PM
Author: musey
Perhaps you are thinking of palladium white gold? It''s my understanding that this alloy (unplated) has a bit more of a grey cast to it than unplated nickel white gold... but even that is plated to cover the yellow cast, and is quite uncommon.

Here''s a good article:
An Overview Of Common Alloys Used In Jewelry

And a good picture (left- 18K yellow gold, middle - 18K nickel white gold (rhodium plated), right - 18K palladium white gold UNplated)

Hi Musey,
This is a great comparison photo! Do you happen to have one that includes platinum? I''m curious to see the color difference there, too.
Thanks! - BB
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
Date: 2/11/2009 9:04:12 AM
Author: ButterBean
Date: 2/10/2009 5:46:54 PM

Author: musey
Perhaps you are thinking of palladium white gold? It's my understanding that this alloy (unplated) has a bit more of a grey cast to it than unplated nickel white gold... but even that is plated to cover the yellow cast, and is quite uncommon.
Here's a good article:

An Overview Of Common Alloys Used In Jewelry
This is a great comparison photo! Do you happen to have one that includes platinum? I'm curious to see the color difference there, too.
Thanks! - BB
It is there in the same article, further down the page.
(1.) 18K yellow gold (2.) 18K white gold, rhodium plated (3.) 18K palladium white gold, not plated

(A.) Platinum-iridium (B.) Platinum-ruthenium (C.) Platinum-cobalt
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Thanks for posting that, stone-cold!

I think I found out what alloy Vatche uses awhile back, but I''ve forgotten... I want to say ruthenium but I don''t know why...
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Date: 2/11/2009 12:42:00 PM
Author: musey
Thanks for posting that, stone-cold!

I think I found out what alloy Vatche uses awhile back, but I''ve forgotten... I want to say ruthenium but I don''t know why...
Nope, I was wrong... it''s 950 Platinum/Iridium, at least it was as of 2 years ago (found it on old PS threads as recent as late 2006). This is one of the softer/more malleable alloys, if I understand correctly. Shows scratches faster but is more ideal for holding stones in the event of hits (similar to the gold vs. platinum argument).
 

uncleezno

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
22
Kitten, thanks for that expanded explanation. I guess I was looking at one of the rare sites that does carry palladium alloys. Your info on nickel makes a lot of sense, too; I knew that people were allergic to it, but I never guessed that it was the reason my family''s heirloom rings kept their color without plating all these years!
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Uncleezno, just to make sure, there is a distinction between palladium and palladium white gold. They are separate metal alloys each in their own right, and most times when you see "palladium" it is not in reference to "palladium white gold."

Palladium is a much more cost-effective option when you can''t afford or don''t want platinum for any reason, but have an issue with the rhodium plating on white gold.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
This thread has inspired me to do some research on my jewelry and the alloys... my wedding band is 950 Plat/Ru and my engagement ring (Vatche) is apparently 950 Plat/Ir. I''m reading about how the latter is not favored by the top designers (Leon Mege, Mark Morrell and the like), they prefer 950 Plat/Ru. I''m not reading fantastic things about 950 Plat/Ir (excessive scratching/deformation, difficulty in polishing, greying after a period of time) and it''s honestly kind of bumming me out about my engagement ring. Wish I''d known this stuff earlier.

Though for the record, I have not had issues with my ring yet (been wearing it for ~3 years) so it''s probably just overreaction to past threads and articles.
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
Musey, for what it''s worth, most of the antique rings I see are platinum/iridium, and they''re usually in very good shape. Sometimes with platinum rings around 100 years old, you see millegrain or engraving mostly worn off and the bottom of the shank thinned out a bit, and possibly melee that needs retipping if a ring is very worn, but a well made platinum ring should hold up to a lifetime''s wear (and beyond) regardless of the alloy. If it''s engraved you might need the engraving touched up someday (like decades down the road) or the ring reshanked at the absolute worst after a looooong time, but truly, platinum settings wear really well usually. Gold settings usually looks pretty much the same in terms of a lifetime or more worth of wear and tear.

Also, today''s styles tend to be more metal-intensive than the delicate antique ones from 80-100 years ago. So, they should wear even better.
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Upgrade to Five-Stone
    Upgrade to Five-Stone
    Elizabeth Taylor's Diamond Heart
    Elizabeth Taylor's Diamond Heart
    Tips for Black Friday Engagement Ring Shopping
    Tips for Black Friday Engagement Ring Shopping

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top