2005 - What Is A White Gold? Progress on the Issues!

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2005 - What Is A White Gold? Progress on the Issues!

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The popularity of white gold jewelry, particularly among younger consumers, and the impact of the E.U. directive on nickel have led to a number of issues concerning white gold to be raised within the industry. Prime among these is the issue of what is 'white'. Associated with this is the use of rhodium plating. For good technical and economic reasons, many white golds are not a good white color and need to be rhodium plated, a fact the jewelry purchaser is generally not made aware of. The validity of the nickel-release test procedure as a basis for the E.U. legislation is also questioned, as conformance does not necessarily prevent the appearance of a skin rash on sensitized people. These issues and some of the marketing and legal implications are discussed. The need to address these issues has resulted in the establishment of the White Gold Task Force being established in the U.S.A. under the auspices of the MJSA and World Gold Council. Progress in the work of the task force and that of a U.K. initiative are discussed in terms of proposed recommendations regarding the technical issues in this paper as part of a worldwide consultation to reach an agreed international industry concensus.

Author: Dr. Christopher W. Corti

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