While white gold and silver look similar, they are distinct metals with specific characteristics. When shopping for a new piece of jewelry, it is essential to understand the differences between these two alloys.
Pure silver is far too soft to use in jewelry and can easily change shape or become marked over time. It is mixed with alloy metals like nickel to make it more durable as a precious metal.
It’s More Durable
Silver jewelry tends to tarnish more quickly than white gold, but it is important to remember that this does not indicate poor quality. Instead, it is due to the metal reacting with hydrogen sulfide in the air, which can cause your jewelry to dull or darken.
White gold is also a much more durable metal than silver, with a high level of durability dependent on its karatage. Those who prefer to wear their precious metals jewelry with minimal upkeep will want to look for pieces at least 14K, significantly more potent than silver.
However, white gold may contain some alloy metals that can trigger allergic reactions in those sensitive to these materials. For this reason, it’s best to avoid pieces mixed with nickel and other known allergens. If you are concerned, ask your jeweler to give you a full breakdown of the metal composition so you can choose a hypoallergenic piece.
It’s More Versatile
White gold’s silver-hued color can be paired with various gems and diamonds to create beautiful jewelry. It’s also an excellent metal for rings and bracelets, as it has good resistance to impact. Silver is less versatile as it can develop a yellowish tint on high-impact areas, like the top of a ring or its prongs.
So white gold vs silver has pros and cons, so choosing one depends on your preferences and the type of jewelry you’re shopping for. However, if you’re searching for a durable and low-maintenance metal that will retain its bright white shine for years, white gold is the right choice.
Regardless of the type of jewelry you’re shopping for, make sure that you ask your jeweler about the metal composition of each piece. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin, as silver and gold may contain metal alloys that can cause itchy rashes.
It’s More Affordable
Silver is more affordable than white gold, making it ideal for those on a tight budget or just looking for a more straightforward aesthetic. However, it is not as durable and hypoallergenic as white gold.
Choose white gold for a classic style with all skin tones. Its neutral tone looks beautiful with many outfits and is more lustrous and versatile than silver. It also has a more modern look and is ideal for stone-set jewelry designs.
Remember that while silver is pure, white gold is mixed with other elements, making it less hypoallergenic. These alloy metals may contain nickel, a common allergen for some people. Ask your jeweler to provide a full breakdown of the metal composition for peace of mind, particularly if you have sensitive skin. This will help you avoid any unwanted side effects. The karat rating on your piece will be helpful in this respect.
It’s Less Allergenic
To the untrained eye, silver and white gold look very similar. However, at a closer glance, you can see that silver has a grayish hue, and white gold is a brighter shade. Silver is a softer metal, requiring an alloy of other metals to make it strong enough for jewelry. White gold is more durable than silver, plated with more rigid metal rhodium.
Unlike yellow gold, which contains pure gold, white gold comprises a combination of metal alloys, including nickel and palladium. These can cause reactions in people who have a nickel allergy.
Generally, jewelry pieces that are 14-karat gold or higher shouldn’t cause reactions in people with nickel allergies. However, you should always check the jewelry’s metal composition to ensure no nickel is present. Some jewelry may also be plated over metals such as copper and brass, which can trigger a reaction in those sensitive to these precious metals.