White Gold vs Sterling Silver

by bhthanks

Sterling silver versus white gold: What is the difference, and which one to buy, silver or white gold?

When looking for jewelry for a loved one, an important difference is the type of metal. Much of this decision comes down to the aesthetic value. For example, a woman who has mostly gold jewelry will not want a silver piece, as it is hard to match this with what she usually wears.

While the difference between gold and silver is generally very distinct, this is not the case between white gold and silver.

Gold varies substantially in it's purity. For example, 18k gold is 75% pure gold, while 14k is 50% pure gold and 10k is around 41.7% pure gold. The remainder of the item is made of a combination of other metals. These act to reinforce the gold, making it sturdy and durable enough to be worked with. The choice of metal has a strong influence over the color of the final product. Yellow gold involves alloying the gold with metals such as zinc and copper, while white gold is made using white metals as the basis for the alloy, such as palladium or silver. Because it is an alloy, the color does not flake or wear off. The color of the gold does not affect the percentage of pure gold that is present; a 10k white gold ring has the same percentage of gold in it that a 10k yellow gold ring does. A white metal called rhodium is sometimes used to coat white gold rings to make them appear whiter, as white gold is naturally light grey.

Like gold, silver needs to be mixed with another metal to make it strong enough to be used in jewelry. However, the percentage is different. The silver that is used in jewelry is called sterling silver, and generally ranges between 92.5% and 95% purity. Sterling silver has a similar appearance to white gold; however, it is more prone to oxidization, and as a consequence, can turn black over time. This is easily fixed by using jewelry cleaner, which can be readily bought from many locations. Silver can scratch easier than white gold. They can be differentiated by small stamps that tell the purity of the metal, for example 925 for 92.5% sterling silver, or 750 for 75% pure gold or 18k. Many people say that white gold is warmer then sterling silver when wearing.

One example of a sterling silver ring is a princess cut cubic zirconia solitaire ring.

This ring has 92.5% purity and uses cubic zirconia instead of diamond. Cubic zirconia is a manufactured gem that is similar in appearance to diamond, however it is much lower in price.

Thus, it is possible to get a piece of jewelry in sterling silver that appears very similar to a piece in white gold, but is only a fraction of the price.

Sterling Silver Womens Band Princess Cut Cubic Zirconia Solitaire Ring

Sterling Silver Womens Band Princess Cut Cubic Zirconia S...
Only $15.99

10K White Gold Diamond Promise Ring, Crossover Band

10K White Gold Diamond Promise Ring, Crossover Band

Beautiful promise ring with diamonds flowing across the finger. This diamond promise ring features 3 diamonds total with a 5 point center diamond. I/J color, I2 clarity.

View on Amazon

  A white gold diamond ring that is beautiful and elegant that makes a good gift for your loved one is a crossover band promise ring.

This ring uses 10k gold and comes in a number of different sizes and uses 0.06 carets of white diamonds.

Updated: 08/20/2012, bhthanks
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Kelly Rogers on 10/11/2013

It's not that white gold has gold in it. It's just that I like the look and finish of white gold better than silver. :) And if I need money, I can always get more money from companies like http://www.goldbuyersmelbourne.com.au/ because of its gold content. :) But if the ring came from my beloved husband, I won't sell the ring. :)

bhthanks on 01/09/2012

Yes, White Gold has a better finish than silver.
Kinworm, Thank you for your comment.

Marie on 01/09/2012

I love white gold jewelry, I think the metal has a nicer finish than silver and I prefer the coloring to gold.

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