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White Gold Pearl Earrings - White Gold Pearl Earrings - Versatile Elegance

what is white gold? cultured pearls glass and crystal pearls making white gold pearl earrings

White gold pearl earrings come in many styles and can be worn for nearly any situation. Stud type pearl earrings in a white gold setting lend a touch of grace to business attire, are unobtrusively beautiful in church or temple. They are especially appropriate for weddings and anniversaries as well as lovely Mother’s Day gifts. Many people wear pearl jewelry in the spring, although pearls are fine year ’round. Actresses wear dazzling white gold chandelier earrings with pearls to the Academy Award ceremonies and other glamorous occasions, attracting attention and creating a memorable look.

What is white gold?

All gold is yellow. White gold is an alloy of gold with another metal such as nickel, with a small amount of copper and zinc. Palladium and platinum are also used, especially for white gold earrings and necklaces. White gold made with nickel is durable and often used for rings. It is really a soft grey so it is often plated with silvery rhodium. Rhodium plating is also used over ordinary gold and sold as “white gold”. If it wears off it will look shoddy even if there is real gold underneath. When white gold is made with platinum or palladium, no plating is needed.

White gold pearl earrings can be fairly expensive depending on the style. A simple pair of 8mm cultured pearls mounted on white gold pearl post settings can run as high as $90. You can expect to pay almost $400 for white gold earrings with high grade South Sea Island pearls.

Cultured Pearls

Mollusks create pearls by secreting a substance called nacre. They do this to seal off injuries or irritants inside their shells. Pearls used in earrings today are cultured, made by oysters with a little “help” from human beings.

On a cultured pearl farm, a specialist inserts tiny implants of glass, sand, or pieces of shell into the shells of oysters to start the creation of a pearl. A tiny round bead will encourage the oyster to make a round pearl. The oysters are well fed and kept in baskets in a clean peaceful pool. Saltwater oysters are cultured in a different manner from freshwater oysters and their pearls are a different type — often more expensive. Healthy oysters produce better pearls; the longer they live, the larger the pearls. Some types of oysters can actually survive the opening of their shells to remove pearls. They can have new material inserted to start more pearls and return to their restful existence for another few years.

If you are serious about white gold pearl earrings, take time to learn about the different types of pearls and the oysters that produce them, so you know what to look for. Salt water oysters produce the most expensive pearls but fresh water pearls are also beautiful. A variety of colors and shapes are normal but a perfectly round pearl is highly prized and valuable.

With proper care you can preserve pearls for a long time. Pearl earrings and other jewelry should be put on after you spray your hair or put on perfume. They should be cleaned carefully with warm water and very mild soap before storing in a soft cloth or pouch to keep them from scratching. Periodically take your pearl jewelry into the bathroom and let the pearls absorb the steam from your bath or shower. Don’t wear pearls in the bath, and take them off when swimming. Chlorinated water can damage pearls. Smoking is also bad for pearls.

Glass and Crystal Pearls

If you want white gold pearl earrings but don’t have your heart set on genuine pearls, or if you believe it’s unethical to exploit living creatures for your personal adornment, then glass and crystal pearls are for you. They are easier to care for and come in a myriad of colors not found in real pearls unless they are dyed, which is considered declassé.

Swarovski, the famous crystal glass company, was the first company to make crystal pearls and theirs are still considered the finest. In a reproduction of natural processes, a small round crystal bead is covered with layer upon layer of a nacre-like substance. The formula for this is one of Swarovski’s carefully guarded trade secrets. White gold crystal pearl earrings can be expensive but are generally less costly than genuine pearls.

Glass pearls, the most affordable, are made by many companies. Today’s technology allows the creation of glass beads that look almost exactly like pearls. It takes careful scrutiny to tell the difference.

To tell if pearls are real or artificial, take them out in the sunlight with a magnifying glass. Even the highest grade pearls are not perfect but will have a slightly rough surface.

Making White Gold Pearl Earrings

If you can’t find earrings in a design you like, think about making your own white gold pearl earrings. You can buy white gold components and beautiful cultured pearls from jewelry craft suppliers. Expect to pay high prices. An inch of true white gold wire costs upward of $5.00, while simple white gold earring parts can sell for as much as $100. But a beautiful pair of white gold pearl earrings designed and made by your own hands will attract attention and give you a sense of self-fulfillment.

Some jewelry supply companies have detailed articles about their products’ origin in their catalogs and web sites. If the company doesn’t provide information on their web site, contact them and ask what their white gold is made of and where their pearls come from.

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