White gold is gold. Because gold is naturally yellow, there is no such thing as 24 karat white gold. White gold is most often found in 14 and 18 karats. The pure yellow-y gold is made white by adding nickel. You may be wondering what this means for you, your jewelry, and whether it’s the right choice for you.

Here are the pros and cons:

The resulting color of the gold and nickel alloy is a bit off-white, which is why rhodium plating is common practice. Rhodium is in the platinum family and coats jewelry in bright grey-white. To maintain this color, plating should be done every couple of years.

People with known nickel allergies should avoid white gold. If you have ever had itchy earlobes from white gold earrings, you will not want to choose a white gold wedding band. Rhodium plating may keep allergic reactions at bay, but is not a viable solution as plating wears off.

While it looks similar to platinum (thanks to its rhodium plating), it is a bit harder than platinum, meaning it will hold a high polish longer. It is also more affordable than platinum.

Because white gold holds a high polish, when maintained properly, it looks great with diamonds for a reflective sparkly look.