The debate about gold versus silver has stood the test of time.
People always ask which one is better? Should I go with gold or silver?
Now, there are many aspects to these questions. You won’t find a straightforward answer.
Some strongly believe gold is superior to silver, while others support the opposite. But there is one such question that often takes the limelight: white gold vs silver.
Both look alike yet hold a significant number of differences in between.
So, what are these differences? Which one is the best for you?
Well, in this article we’ll discuss various aspects of the question: white gold vs silver. This will help you shape your decision while choosing the best one for you.
Let’s get started…
Let’s start by exploring the composition difference between white gold and silver.
So, what is white gold composed of?
White gold is an alloy. In simple words, it is a mixture of pure gold and other metals. This is done to enhance the properties of the metal, whose purity depends on the number of karats.
An alloy can have different weight percentages of pure gold and other metals.
This means one variant of white gold can have less pure gold in it, while another variant can have more. You can measure the percentage of pure gold present in white gold.
How can you measure this?
You can do this by dividing the number of karats by 24. This means more the karat, more the percentage of pure gold. People often use this as a factor while deciding on the subject.
There is another interesting aspect which gets overshadowed.
Properties of white gold depend on the type and percentage of alloying elements added. While most people focus on the number of karat, you must understand this aspect as well.
Now, let’s talk about the composition of silver.
Silver is a white, lustrous metal which is soft innately.
It has excellent reflectivity and is often mixed with alloying elements like nickel and copper to enhance the strength.
You can measure the percentage of pure silver in a silver alloy.
How can you do this?
To find the percentage of pure silver, look for a label “Sterling” or “925” on the jewelry. This means the alloy has 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of alloying elements.
People look for this number while purchasing silver jewelry.
Which One Is More Lustrous?
Well, both of them have a shiny appearance. A side-by-side comparison won’t help you decide which one is more lustrous.
The critical factor about this property is it wears off after a period. This means, whether white gold or silver, it’ll get less shiny. But you can tackle this issue.
How can you do this?
To keep your white gold shiny, you need to ask a jeweler to put a new rhodium plating on it after the original plating wears off.
Silver requires more care than white gold. This is because it tarnishes in contact with hydrogen sulfide.
Hence, you need to keep your silver jewelry in a dark place and protect it from sunlight, moisture and heat when you aren’t wearing it.
Which one is better?
White gold keeps its shiny appearance for a longer time.You must polish and clean silver jewelry to maintain their appearance for a long time.
Sensitivity to Skin
White gold and silver contain nickel as an alloying element.
Nickel causes itchy rashes when it comes in contact with the skin. This means, whether you purchase white gold or silver, you’ll have to deal with nickel.
But, with white gold, this isn’t a significant issue because the rhodium plating on the surface of white gold prevents direct contact with the skin. In simple words, the rhodium plating acts as a protective coating.
Alloying elements of silver include copper and nickel.
Sterling silver uses copper as an alloying element, which is hypoallergenic while nickel is present in inferior quality silver jewelry.
Durability and Cost
White gold is more durable than silver, which is vulnerable to easy scratches. People often go with white gold because of its high strength. The more the karat, the stronger the alloy.
Hence, the more it’s resistant to wear and tear.
What about the cost?
Well, white gold is costlier than silver.
You might’ve guessed it, given the superior properties of white gold over silver, which is more affordable.
Ultimate Pros and Cons
Let’s break the question: white gold vs silver by comparing the pros and cons of each one. This will help you get the entire picture.
So, What Are the Advantages of Purchasing White Gold Jewelry?
- White gold is durable.
- It requires less maintenance because of its high strength and rhodium plating on its surface.
What Are the Disadvantages?
- Although the rhodium plating prevents nickel from reacting with skin, some people still develop itchy rashes.
- To keep the shiny appearance, you need to replace the rhodium plating with a new one when it wears off. This comes expensive.
What Are the Advantages of Silver Jewelry?
- Silver is more affordable than white gold.
- It is more lustrous and excellent for everyday use.
What Are the Disadvantages?
- It causes itchy rashes because of nickel content.
- It requires high maintenance regularly.
White Gold vs Silver: Which Is Right for You?
Well, the answer to this question depends on your preference. This is because you already know the difference between silver and white gold.
An excellent way to reach a conclusion is to weigh in two factors. The first is comparing the advantages and disadvantages of both alloys. The second is your desire.
Considering these two factors can help you make a wise decision.
There you have it. Now, you know all about the question: white gold vs silver. You also know what purchasing one over the other can mean.
We discussed the differences regarding their composition, durability, cost, and sensitivity to skin. I hope this article helps.