Do Wedding Band Metals Change Color Over Time?

Author Cristina LaPenna
Date Feb 15, 2021

When you start wedding ring shopping, you will probably be amazed at how many thousands of options there are for your wedding band. Like engagement rings, the choices and designs are endless. One thing you will need to figure out is what type of metal you want your wedding bands to be.

When people are deciding between metals, one of the most popular questions we get is, "I heard that the metals change color over time, is that true?" While the top three most popular choices are yellow gold, white gold, and platinum for wedding bands, only one of the three will change color over time. Do you know which one that is?

Wedding Band Metals

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is a very traditional color for both wedding bands and engagement rings, and the stunning yellow color will not change over time. The color doesn't change because when gold is mined, it is naturally a yellow color. When creating a wedding band, the yellow gold that you see is made by combining the pure yellow gold with other alloy metals such as zinc and copper. This process helps further emphasize the yellow color that we have come to know and love and also hardens an otherwise soft metal.

Pure gold is too soft to be used by itself for a wedding ring, so gold needs to be mixed with the alloy metals in order to retain its shape. Gold is measured in karats, which tell you exactly what percentage of pure gold is used to create the ring, expressed as parts of 24. One of the most popular karats of yellow and white gold is 18K, which would really be 18/24 parts of 75% pure gold.

White Gold


White gold, like yellow gold, is not pure gold. White gold is created by mixing the naturally mined yellow gold with other alloys that are white metals, like silver, palladium, nickel, or zinc. The combination of metals will create a ring that is a white color with a faint yellow tint to it. The ring is then rhodium plated to give it the bright white color that you can find on new jewelry that is set in white gold.

White gold is not a naturally white metal, so it will turn yellow over time because gold is naturally yellow. To keep your white gold wedding rings looking like new, your wedding band will need to be rhodium plated when it starts to turn yellow to make sure it looks white. How long does it take for a white gold wedding ring to start turning yellow? The answer varies based on your lifestyle and how often you wear your jewelry. But if you wear your wedding band every day, your white gold ring could start showing the faded yellow color as soon as 12 months after wearing it. Therefore, there is a long term commitment in order to maintain the white appearance of the metal when you purchase your wedding bands in white gold.



Platinum is a naturally white metal, so it will never fade or change color over time. When a platinum wedding band is made, it is typically 95% pure. The other 5%? Other naturally white alloy metals. Because of this, it is one of the purest metals that you can buy, and it will not change color over time, which is why we always recommend platinum over white gold if you are looking for a beautiful white wedding band.

When platinum ages, it doesn't change colors or turn yellow like white gold, but rather it will just simply lose its shiny finish. When platinum loses its reflective shine it doesn't dull, but rather develops a patina, or a satin sheen or luster that comes from everyday wear. Some people love the lived-in look of the patina, but if you desire the shiny finish, a jeweler just needs to polish your wedding ring to return it to its original condition.

Getting ready to tie the knot but still need your wedding bands? Contact us or make an appointment and one of our specialists will be more than happy to help you find the perfect wedding rings!

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