Compare White Gold vs Silver It can be a complicated task, since they are two of the precious metals that are very popular in jewelry. But that, in addition, they share a similar characteristic such as their color, which at first glance can make it difficult to distinguish between one and the other. So it is possible to think that they are similar materials, but it is also normal for many people to wonder what the difference is between the two.

Bearing this in mind and before choosing a jewel made with these metals, it is important to consider what distinguishes each one. Therefore, below we will make a comparative analysis between the two so that you can decide which one is better for your purposes.

White Gold vs Silver – Composition

Both gold and silver are pure metals found in the earth’s crust. But being fairly soft metals, they are made into alloys to alter appearance and strength as needed to make jewelry.

What is white gold made of?

You will not find white gold bullion in nature because white gold is an alloy. This means that it is a combination of pure yellow gold and other metals, most commonly manganese, palladium, or nickel. White gold is not very shiny on its own and is usually covered with rhodium to add sparkle and shine.

There are several types of white gold depending on the metals with which the gold is mixed. The best variety of white gold is made up of gold, silver and copper and is hypoallergenic, malleable and durable. White gold with nickel is the strongest and most durable variety, but on the other hand, it can cause allergies for people with nickel sensitivities. To avoid this, be sure to check what metals your white gold alloy is made of before purchasing. In general, all types of white gold contain a minimum of 50 percent gold.

White gold does not have a particular hallmark to identify it, and is generally stamped with the same hallmarks used for gold (.417 for 10K gold, .587 for 14K gold, and .750 for 18K gold).

What is silver made of?

Fine silver, or 99.9% pure silver, is used in jewelry making, but it is very soft and not ideal for items like rings. In fact, it is not considered suitable for jewelry because it is quite soft, loses shape and is easily damaged.

In jewelry, silver is often combined with other metals, such as copper, nickel, or zinc, to create a more durable alloy. If the alloy has a silver purity of 92.5%, it is called sterling silver. Sterling silver is the most widely used variety of silver in jewelry. Genuine sterling silver should be stamped to identify it as such, so look for the .925 number stamped on the silver or the words STER, STERLING, STG, or Sterling Silver.

White Gold vs Silver – Worth

Both silver and white gold are precious metals and as such are more valuable than many other metals used for jewelry. However, silver is the most affordable of the precious metals used for jewelry. Due to its lower price, silver jewelry is ideal for costume jewelry or pieces of daily use. Interestingly, at one stage in history, silver was valued more highly than gold.

White gold, on the other hand, is more valuable than silver, but more affordable than platinum. For those who want the platinum look but don’t want to pay a high price for it, white gold is a great alternative. The value of white gold varies depending on the amount of pure gold in the alloy. The higher the percentage of pure gold, the more valuable the piece. If you’re thinking of your jewelry as an investment piece, white gold is viewed the same way as real gold when it comes to liquidity.

White Gold vs Silver – Durability

Pure silver and pure gold are soft metals that are not recommended for use in jewelry. As mentioned above, mixing these metals creates stronger, more durable metals that can be used in jewelry.

Silver jewelry tarnishes and scratches easily, and items can lose shape and bend. Sterling silver, which is silver mixed with another metal, is much more durable and hard. It is not easily scratched or damaged. With reasonable care, silver jewelry can last a lifetime, and it’s not difficult to restore a tarnished piece to its original shine.

White gold is harder than the purest forms of gold and is harder and more scratch resistant. Generally, the lower the karat of gold in the white gold alloy, the more durable the metal will be. This is because gold is a soft metal and the other metals mixed into it make it hard.

18K, 14K and 10K white gold is tough and durable and suitable for everyday wear. However, the rhodium plating in white gold wears away over time, causing the metal to leach. The coating is also susceptible to scratches and will require periodic resurfacing.

White Gold vs Silver – Engagement rings

Today there are many new and contemporary metals available for engagement rings, but gold and silver continue to be among the most popular. While yellow gold was possibly the most popular metal used for bridal rings since ancient times, silver provided a beautiful and modern alternative.

Right now, white gold is more popular than silver and is the first choice for many people who want a white metal but can’t afford platinum. Because silver requires more maintenance, people tend to choose white gold for their engagement rings.

White Gold vs Silver: maintenance and care

Silver, similar to copper and its bronze and brass alloys, tarnishes easily when exposed to air and moisture. Over time, if not maintained, silver develops a dark patina. While some love the look of patina on silver, admiring the depth and character it gives to the piece, others prefer a shiny, lustrous item.

There are many ways to easily clean silver tarnish at home or by using a commercial jewelry cleaner to restore its shine. Silver should be kept away from chemicals and should be cleaned and cleaned to prevent dirt build-up.

White gold is much easier to maintain than silver as it does not tarnish or oxidize. It requires minimal cleaning from time to time to maintain its shine. However, over time, the rhodium plating on white gold can wear away and the yellowish metal underneath will show through. Consequently, you will need to have the piece replated with rhodium from time to time by a professional jeweler.

White gold or silver: which should I choose?

As we have seen, both silver and white gold have their pros and cons and are quite different from each other. Silver has the advantage of being very affordable and hypoallergenic, but on the other hand, it requires more maintenance than white gold. White gold is more durable and easier to maintain, but it is also more expensive and in some cases can cause metal allergies.

At the end of the day, knowing and considering these different characteristics of these two metals will help you decide which option best suits your purposes.