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The rhodium plating which is used to improve the appearance of white gold can also be used to deceive.

Some manufacturers will make a piece in all yellow gold, and then rhodium plate some areas to give it a two-tone look, giving the piece the appearance of being made from yellow and white gold.

This finish will not hold up to daily wear in an item such as a ring, and will not survive some types of repair work.

For as long as gold and silver have been used in the production of jewelry, someone has been trying to duplicate the look with something less expensive.

Some antique pieces, constructed from yellow gold, have silver work added, often in areas where stones are set.

While most contemporary and vintage jewelry is marked, and gives us a great basis for dating a piece, there are many unmarked beauties out there that require a little detective work to uncover the date of production. Most antique fine jewelry is made from yellow karat gold or silver.Some white gold alloys tend to have a yellowish cast, especially the nickel alloy white gold, and pieces are often rhodium plated to produce a shiner, whiter piece.Some white gold is relatively brittle due to the presence of nickel, which causes a loss of malleability and ductility.Many credit the Belaise Brothers with the invention of white gold, or at least the first successful marketing of white gold.The terms Belaise metal and white gold were synonymous in the 1920’s.

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