The sheen of white gold compared to subtle silver is something very few people can see at first glance. White gold and silver are popular choices for necklaces, bracelets, and engagement rings, and at first glance, telling the two metals apart isn’t always easy. White Gold vs Silver, What makes these precious metals different?
What’s The Difference: White Gold vs Silver
When it comes to white gold vs silver, there are several notable differences.
Silver is an unadulterated metal which is far softer than white gold. It is more likely to change shape and become marked over time. Silver is an affordable option for most and has a much lower price tag than white gold does. The beautiful shine of silver makes it popular in all kinds of jewellery.
White gold has a more mirror-like sheen to it which is due to its rhodium plating. Renewing this kind of plating will prevent the sheen becoming dull over time. White gold is a fine quality material which lasts and does not lose its shape like other metals.
What is White Gold?
White gold is a hard metal that is a part of the family of yellow gold and made in a similar fashion to rose gold. The metals combine with another alloy metal, such as silver, palladium, or nickel. The carat percentage of gold used is what determines its final carat value – such as 14K gold or 18K gold. This is how you can determine how much pure yellow gold is in your white gold jewellery item.
What is Silver?
Silver is a soft, lustrous, precious metal that makes an ideal jewellery material. It is malleable and can be wrought into many unique patterns and pieces. It has the symbol Ag and 47 is its atomic number. Silver remains a popular gift today, especially as a traditional silver anniversary gift.
Can You Tell The Difference Between White Gold And Silver?
If you are wondering whether a jewellery item you own is silver or white gold, then look at the sheen of the item. Silver has a gray-hued sheen, while white gold will have a much brighter mirror-like sheen.
Secondly, look for the number associated with it, usually found in the links of necklaces or the inner circle of a ring. Silver will have 925 on it if it’s sterling silver, which stands for 92.5% purity – the remaining metals are usually composed of copper or another alloy.
If the metal you’re looking at doesn’t have this anywhere, but a number with a K after it, then it’s white gold, and the carat number will range between 9K up to 18K.
How To Choose Between Platinum vs White Gold?
When it comes to choosing between white gold and platinum, both are worthy options.
The main consideration will fall to your budget and the price of the item in question. Platinum is more expensive than white gold, since platinum consists of 95-98% platinum. White gold is usually mixed with other metals which make it far less expensive.
Colour & Shine: Platinum vs White Gold
Platinum is a good choice for those who don’t want to have to do regular jewellery maintenance on it. Platinum is more durable than other metals and requires far less repolishing in the long run.
White gold, however, will not only need polishing, but will need regular reapplications of rhodium plating to give it a pure white glow.
Cost: White Gold vs Silver, Why is White Gold more expensive than Silver
When it comes to pricing, for silver vs white gold, then you’ll find that white gold tends to be the more expensive option of the two.
Pricing is usually done on the metal quality and white gold is predominantly made up of around 75% pure gold, which costs more per gram than per silver. This gold content is what pushes the cost of white gold up in comparison to silver. Silver is also usually priced at a far lesser ratio, usually ⅓ of the price of gold.
Durability: Silver Vs White Gold
If you’re after a durable piece that will last through daily wear, like an engagement ring, then you’re looking for something in white gold. The ability white gold has to resist tarnishing, corrosion, and stay durable makes it an ideal item for your special piece.
Silver, while beautiful, is more likely to become damaged and will become scratched or can change shape after wear and tear. It’s more suited to lesser-used jewellery pieces like necklaces or bracelets to ensure your piece doesn’t have any kind of damage.
Popularity: White Gold vs Silver
Both white gold and silver remain popular jewellery options in present times. Both are subtle and luxurious and suit every kind of setting.
Other Lifestyle Considerations: White Gold vs Silver
When it comes to choosing between silver vs white gold, it’s good to consider how the item will wear over time. If you have an allergy to nickel, then you’ll need to evaluate the white gold or silver item you’re considering. White gold is a good choice since its rhodium plating will protect you from contact with the metal below, though this does erode over time. Silver is more likely to cause an allergy reaction if mixed with nickel.
However, there are sterling silver items that have only a copper content and these will be hypoallergenic. Should you require jewellery that will work in outdoor activity settings, white gold is a superior choice since it is more robust and able to handle day to day activities without having the metal bend out of shape.
When it comes to maintenance, both white gold and silver are good choices since both have very little maintenance required. Silver will need regular buffing to keep it looking lustrous, while white gold requires a rhodium plating recoated on it every few years.
Which Is Better For An Engagement Ring, White Gold Or Silver?
When it comes to engagement rings, white gold is far more popular, due to the timeless, classic look it gives to all brides. It goes with every kind of outfit and setting and stands the test of time with its polished mirror finish – thanks to the rhodium plating.
Silver, for many with budget constraints, becomes the go-to option, since it will enhance the bright beauty of any diamond and be wrought into any number of beautiful patterns.
At the end of the day, it’s a win for both metals, depending on what you want!
Chermaine’s journey into the world of gemstones and crystals began as a child, collecting shimmering stones on family vacations. Today, she’s a certified gemologist and spiritual healer, intertwining the physical beauty of jewels with their metaphysical properties.
Chermaine has traveled to mines in Africa, marketplaces in India, and spiritual retreats in Bali, always seeking to deepen her understanding.
Jump To a Section Below
- What’s The Difference: White Gold vs Silver
- What is White Gold?
- What is Silver?
- Can You Tell The Difference Between White Gold And Silver?
- How To Choose Between Platinum vs White Gold?
- Colour & Shine: Platinum vs White Gold
- Cost: White Gold vs Silver, Why is White Gold more expensive than Silver
- Durability: Silver Vs White Gold
- Popularity: White Gold vs Silver
- Other Lifestyle Considerations: White Gold vs Silver
- Which Is Better For An Engagement Ring, White Gold Or Silver?