When looking for the perfect engagement ring, there are a few big decisions to make, namely what kind of center stone you like the most and what kind of metal you want the band to be. White gold diamond engagement rings are a really popular option, for good reason: White gold is beautiful to look at, it’s very versatile, and it’s pretty easy to take care of.
What Is White Gold?
White gold is an alloy of gold and at least one other white metal, like palladium, nickel, zinc, copper, or silver.
As jewelry expert Kim Kanary explains, white gold gets its signature silvery white hue from a very thin layer of rhodium. In fact, when gold is mixed with another white metal "the resulting color is still a dull gray to brownish-yellow," making a rhodium plating necessary to achieve a white luster.
Keep reading to learn more about white gold engagement rings, including what to look for when shopping for one and how to care for it.
Pros and Cons of White Gold Diamond Engagement Rings
One of the biggest advantages of a white gold ring is that the band is a neutral, silvery shade that won’t affect the center stone at all. “Gemstones will reflect the color of the metal in which they are set, meaning that colorless gemstones (like diamonds) can appear to have a tint of color if the surrounding metal contains color,” Kanary says. This can happen with certain yellow gold settings but not white gold. “Your gemstone will reflect the silvery-white metal, which will not result in any noticeable color differences in your stone." Also, white gold tends to be shinier and less dull, making the metal a valuable yet cost-effective option. In terms of durability, white gold is considered stronger than both yellow gold and platinum, which makes it a good option for everyday wear.
Yellow gold is purer than white gold since white gold is gold mixed with other metals. "Pure natural gold is yellow in color, so the higher in purity you go, the more yellow it will be," Kanary says. But while yellow gold may be purer, it’s also naturally softer, meaning white gold is the more durable option.
Also, white gold is often alloyed with nickel, so those who are allergic to nickel may need to stay away from white gold. That being said, it's possible to find white gold without any nickel in it at all—many companies will request that suppliers provide 18k white gold without traces of nickel, so this can be a safer bet. On the other hand, 14k white gold will often contain a larger percentage of nickel, so ask plenty of questions before choosing one or the other if this is a concern.
What to Look for in a White Gold Diamond Engagement Ring
- What type of diamond cut pairs well with a white gold ring? Virtually every diamond cut will look great with a white gold band.
- Should I select 14-karat or 18-karat white gold? While 18-karat is a purer gold, 14-karat is more durable and scratch-resistant. That being said, because it contains less gold overall, 14-karat white gold may change color more easily.
- How much do white gold rings cost? Prices can vary, but generally white gold is a less expensive alternative to platinum. That being said, there used to be a much larger price difference between the two; today, with gold prices rising, the price gap between white gold and platinum is much smaller. A great deal of the price difference now comes down to labor costs, as working with platinum is more time consuming.
How to Care for Your White Gold Diamond Engagement Ring
“[A white gold ring] will require occasional buffing and polishing as well as periodic replating to ensure it maintains its silvery-white sparkle year-round,” Kanary says. Ant though it is subject to scratches, white gold is still considered suitable for everyday wear. To store your white gold ring, wrap your ring in a soft cloth or piece of velvet.
Think white gold is the ring metal for you? See 20 of our favorite white gold diamond rings below.
Gemist The Oval Solitaire Pavé
A classic shape, this white gold band features a half pavé of diamonds for added sparkle. The oval solitaire diamond in the center keeps it simple yet beautiful.
Price at time of publish: $14,575
Cartier Etincelle De Cartier Ring
For something more delicate and slightly understated, this Cartier ring features an emerald-cut center stone. You won't be able to resist the 22 brilliant diamonds lining the white gold band.
Price at time of publish: $3,250
Catbird Violette the Swan, Supreme
This white gold ring is made with lab-grown diamonds for brilliant sparkle. The three stones are meant to represent life’s past, present, and future, and the arrangement looks almost floral.
Price at time of publish: $4,700
Shahla Karimi Pear Pavé V Ring
This uniquely shaped ring takes inspiration from the art deco era, thanks to the classic pear-shaped diamond. There are brilliant-cut diamonds along the entire band, and the V-cut lends a unique twist.
Price at time of publish: $3,190
L. Priori Andrea Ring
The gray diamond in this vintage masterpiece makes this ring one of a kind. The half-halo makes it even more special, and white gold complements the look.
Price at time of publish: $2,625
Sylvie Fae Ring
Most halos are pretty obvious, but this Sylvie ring features a hidden halo that gives the center stone a nice boost without looking overwhelming. The halo also features small diamonds for double the sparkle.
Price at time of publish: $1,200
Tacori Simply Tacori Engagement Ring
A marquise diamond not only looks lovely with a white gold band, but heirloom-inspired details give it an antique vibe. This ring is also customizable so it offers a lot of versatility.
Price at time of publish: $3,490
Anna Sheffield Eleanore Delicate Pave Ring
An impressive and sparkling halo surrounds the emerald-cut center diamond for a ring that will definitely stand out. The white gold band features pavé diamonds halfway around.
Natalie Marie Jewelry Diamond Cluster Ring
A cluster ring is a fun take on the classic engagement ring that looks both fresh and trendy. The way the center diamond and accent diamonds are shaped on this white gold band looks like flowers.
Price at time of publish: $2,559
Tacori Coastal Crescent Palladium Engagement Ring
A princess-cut center diamond is surrounded by smaller brilliant diamonds in an expansive halo. The white gold band features even more sparkle.
Price at time of publish: $5,290
Mystique 14k White Gold Round Halo Engagement Ring
The halo on this ring lifts the center diamond up, making it appear larger and more pronounced. With a double layer of pavé diamonds halfway around a thicker white gold band, this one is a bit different than others.
Price at time of publish: $3,178
Henri Daussi Pear Halo Pavé Engagement Ring
A pear diamond manages to look both modern and vintage at the same time. This one features a glittering halo and an 18k white gold band studded with more pavé diamonds.
Price at time of publish: $29,500
Anna Sheffield Hazeline Three-Stone Engagement Ring
Mixing metals is a fun and unique way to make your ring stand out. This Anna Sheffield ring does it subtly with a white gold band and rose gold setting.
Verragio Round Diamond Hidden Halo Engagement Ring
This ring boasts tons of sparkle, thanks to a round center diamond, two side diamonds, and a white gold band featuring even more diamonds.
Price at time of publish: $5,450
Verragio Couture Three Stone Vintage Engagement Ring
This two-tone engagement ring gives you the best of both worlds: a vintage-style white gold band with a rose gold inlay band.
Price at time of publish: $5,800
Vrai Bezel Ring Knife-Edge Marquise Diamond Bezel Ring
For a signature look, opt for this round brilliant-cut ring featuring a modern aesthetic. Minimal details, including a knife-edge bezel setting, give the 18k white gold band a streamlined finish.
Price at time of publish: $16,768 for 7.52 Carat, I, Sl1, Excellent
Angara Freshwater Pearl and Tilted Emerald-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
Pure elegance, right this way. Between the petite freshwater pearl and the perfectly placed square emerald-cut diamond, this 14k white gold ring is the epitome of timeless.
Price at time of publish: $2,229
Meet the Expert
Kim Kanary is the vice president of community development and engagement at JTV, one of the largest jewelry retailers in the United States.