If you are shopping for white gold chains, you might feel confused by the multitude of models and designs that are offered. Let’s see what determines how much white gold chains cost, and how you can quickly and easily compare the prices of chains of different karat, weight, and make.
What Determines the Prices of White Gold Chains
The most important characteristics you should focus on when comparing prices of white gold chains are gold purity, weight, and structure (i.e., whether the chain is solid or hollow).
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors:
Gold Purity and White Gold Chains
Gold purity is measured in karats, and it refers to the parts of pure gold an item contains relative to the total amount of material it is made of, including other metals.
Gold karats measure purity in terms of parts of pure gold per 24 parts of gold alloy.
This means that an alloy that contains 1/24th pure gold has a gold purity of 1 karat.
Similarly, a 14-karat white gold chain contains 14 parts pure gold out of 24 parts of material in total; or, in other words, 58.3% of that chain is gold.
In general, you can expect higher-karat white gold chains to be more expensive per gram or ounce.
Weight of White Gold Chains
As you might expect, the weight of a white gold chain is also related to its price. And it makes sense – heavier chains contain more gold and are therefore more expensive.
This is true all else being equal, but there are cases when this relationship is not so straightforward.
The reason more weight does not always equal a higher price is that karat also plays a role. A heavier chain of lower gold purity might be cheaper than a lighter chain that is purer.
For example, imagine you have a 10K white gold chain that weighs 10 g and another that weighs 7 g but is 18K pure. The 10K chain contains 41.7% pure gold (10/24 x 100) and the 18K chain contains 75% gold (18/24 x 100).
In terms of absolute weight, the 10K chain has close to 4.2 g pure gold (41.7% x 10 g), whereas the 18K chain has 5.25 g (75% x 7 g).
Even though the 18K chain weighs less, it contains more pure gold, and it may be more expensive than the heavier 10K chain.
So, when considering the weight of two white gold chains, always factor in their karat numbers as well.
Structure of White Gold Chains: Solid or Hollow
All else being equal, you can expect solid gold chains to cost more than hollow ones.
You might think that the only factor to consider here is that the hollow chains will be made with less material and will therefore not only be cheaper but also lighter relative to their size. However, there is also the issue of durability.
It is true that hollow chains are comfortable to wear because they weigh less while looking relatively big for their weight. But the problem with them is that they can easily get dented or bent when hit or bumped, and such damage is hard to repair.
In contrast, solid white gold chains are more durable and not as easy to damage.
The bottom line is that when comparing white gold chains, you should not only take into account the weight of pure gold they contain but also whether they are solid or hollow and how this affects their durability.
For example, imagine that you have two chains that contain the same amount of pure gold, but one is hollow and cheaper.
Consider that on the one hand, you will pay less money for the hollow chain, but on the other hand, you will also have to pay more attention not to damage it when you wear it.
Methods for Comparing White Gold Chain Prices
When shopping for white gold chains, you could be deciding between chains that are of the same or different karat. Let’s see how you can make a quick comparison of their prices:
Comparing White Gold Chains of the Same Karat
If you are comparing the prices of chains of the same karat, then the comparison should be straightforward.
You can simply divide the price of each chain by its weight, and you can use the resulting prices per gram or ounce to compare them.
Comparing White Gold Chains of Different Karats
If the gold chains you are looking at differ in gold purity, first calculate the percentages of pure gold they contain, and then, knowing their weight, find the grams or ounces of gold in them.
You can then divide the price of each chain by the amount of gold in it to find how much each of them costs per unit of pure gold.
When comparing the prices of gold chains per unit of weight, don’t forget to take into account whether they are solid or hollow.
Of course, you should also factor in your final decision the design of each chain as well as its link type.
Where to Buy White Gold Jewelry?
For white gold jewelry with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, or sapphires, we recommend James Allen (read our review) because it allows you to take a 360-degree look at any stone before buying it. (Also, read our Diamond Buying Guide.)
Don't forget to take a look at the great selection of white gold pieces at Amazon as well as Ross-Simons and Reeds Jewelers.