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Why are Ring Prongs White Gold?


Do you ever stop to look at your wedding set or diamond solitaire?

Have you ever noticed that the prongs and head (see picture below) are white gold?

White Gold Prongs

Look at them now.

Chances are very good that they’ll be white. Even if your ring is 14kt yellow or rose gold, the heads and prongs (the things that hold your diamond in) will be white gold.

The question is:


There are 4 main reasons why. Let’s look at them…


Durability tops the list. It’s a fact, white gold is more durable than yellow gold or rose gold. That’s because white gold has alloys mixed with the metal to make it look more white (since white gold is basically yellow gold to begin with, same with rose gold which adds more copper).

These white alloys, like zinc, make white gold more durable. And when we’re talking about the main component that holds in your diamond, durability is of utmost importance.

No hue added:

White gold prongs don’t add any color into your diamond. If your diamond had yellow gold prongs, the diamond would pull some of this yellow coloring into the stone and give it a slight yellow cast (which isn’t so pretty).

White gold Won’t do that. White prongs Help keep your white diamond white.

White gold is brighter:

White gold takes on the best luster and shine of any metal on the market. It’s very bright, very white and very beautiful.

It glistens in the light like a million dollar ring. All you see are white sparkles and shine, and of course, your stunning diamond.

White gold is not distracting. It blends in with your diamond. There is no sharp contrast that stands out like a sore thumb. You almost don’t even see them.

They are clean, classy and elegant.

It’s the norm:

Since most bridal rings and wedding set heads are made with white gold, it makes it the norm. The look is to be expected.

Since 99% of all diamond engagement rings are mounted with white gold heads and prongs (like these awesome diamond engagement rings here), it makes it easier for the jewelers to work with them. They don’t need to carry tons of different solder.

Plus, it keeps the price down.

Jewelers don’t have to carry tons of different colored heads either, just white gold ones. Which also means, if you need to get your head and prongs replaced, jewelers usually have these in stock and can switch them out with no problem. It’s a win-win scenario.

So as you can see, white gold has many perks.

Are your prongs white? Let me know in the comments below.

Cheers! :)

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  1. Mine are, yes, in all the pieces I have where the prongs/head are NOT integral to the band itself. (I have a collection that “double parks” the majority of a large ring box – of nothing but ring rolls – with a capacity of 110+ rings! Did I ever mention I was a bit of a “RingFreak”? )

    With the exception of the all-one-piece trellis-type mountings that do not have replaceable heads, made in all yellow gold, (my personal favorite,) the heads are indeed white. And, back in the 70’s and prior, while I was growing up, white gold was not the general favorite. Yellow gold was the thing to have for the majority of each piece, but even so, for the first three reasons you mentioned, the prongs were still made of either white gold, or in the majority of 18kt yellow gold pieces, in platinum instead of yellow or white gold.

    I have seen some that were offered in jewelers’ catalogs with 18kt yellow gold shanks and 14kt white gold prongs, for their durability AND affordability, to keep the stones safe, and make the piece less expensive. Die-striking makes the heads much tougher than cast pieces, and most were made that way. Very little American fine jewelry was imported, so cheap, cast pieces weren’t the majority of what was offered on the US market. And gold was certainly cheap enough at the time, at $35 an ounce until the early to mid 70’s (of course!) to allow for it to be made with higher quality methods than it is now. Platinum would have added more to the cost than was desired, and 14kt gold is more secure than 18kt, which is always softer.

    My mother’s wedding ring was a memorable exception, however, but only to me. What I mean by that is when she and my stepdad went ring shopping – I was 5 at the time, or barely 6, so I remember it, but didn’t get to go along! – they had already dismissed the idea of the first-time-bride’s general preference for an engagement ring AND a wedding band, and decided to purchase just a diamond wedding ring instead. When they informed ME they had decided to marry soon, and wondered what I thought about it, my eyes went straight to her left hand, and seeing it still bare, I immediately wanted to know where her engagement ring was? They explained their choice, and that the wedding band was being made special, because it was to be a 14kt white gold band with platinum prongs holding 19 diamonds in 3 rows! Of course, being the jewel-mesmerized young lady I already was, I pictured something enormous – 19 diamonds after all! – and glittery beyond all reason!

    When it was finally done, and I got to see it on the morning of the wedding, I was both a little disappointed but also pleased to see a slightly tapered ring with three rows of beautiful sparkle and shine in all white metals. I already knew that platinum was more expensive than gold, and asked why only the prongs were platinum? I was told that because there were so many smaller stones all set so close together, that platinum was much stronger than gold, and would be better at holding all those diamonds safely. But that white gold was perfectly fine for the rest of the ring, and made it easier for him to buy my mom more diamonds! I figured already with all we had both been through up to the last year or so, that she deserved ALL the diamonds she could get!

    It remained a constant subject of fascination for me, watching them all glitter and sparkle so. And, mindful of paying attention to what the parts that held diamonds in safely were made from!

    In fact, every time we got our new Sears Catalog, every season, especially the Wish Book at Christmastime, the first section I turned to as a child was NOT the Toy Department, it was the Jewelry!

    • Hi Shari. Interesting to hear they mixed the prongs, platinum and white gold. Platinum is more durable, but all the jewelers I’ve ever talked to dislike it because it’s more brittle than gold. If you catch a prong, with gold it will bend, but not break. With platinum, it will just snap off. But, as small beads or prongs close to the mounting, they would probably last 10x as long as gold would. Interesting stuff. :) -Richard

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