Sterling Silver vs. White Gold

by Ultimate Jewelry Guide
Sterling Silver vs. White Gold

Sterling silver and white gold are two of the most popular jewelry metals. They both have their unique benefits and drawbacks, making it difficult to decide which metal is suitable for you. This blog post will discuss the differences between sterling silver and white gold. It will also help you make an informed decision about which metal is best for you!

What Is Sterling Silver?

Sterling Silver is a type of metal made up of 92.50% silver and the other half copper. Sterling Silver jewelry is well-known because it doesn’t corrode or tarnish as easily as gold, making it a good choice for those with allergies. Standard sterling silver has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925. Because it is not as hard as gold, Sterling Silver jewelry will require more care to keep its shine and luster.

History Of Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is a precious metal that has been used as currency, jewelry, and other decorative items for centuries. The name sterling comes from the Old English word sterling, meaning little star. It traces back to Anglo-Saxon times when a pound of silver was divided into 240 pennies; each called a star.

The Symbol For Sterling Silver

The symbol for sterling silver is .925 because it is 92.50 percent pure silver, and the rest is copper to give it strength. Pure fine silver (100 percent) is too soft for making jewelry or other functional items like flatware, candlesticks, and teapots.

What Is White Gold?

White gold is yellow gold that has been alloyed with a mixture of metals, most commonly nickel. Once the metal is alloyed, it can then be plated in rhodium to give it a bright white finish. Rhodium itself is very hard, so this provides the metal with strength and its brilliant shine.

History Of White Gold

White gold was first created in early 1700 by two alchemists in Germany. It was a way to make a metal that looked like platinum but was cheaper to produce. It got popular in the 1920s when the Art Deco movement hit. However, gold had its influence in ancient Egypt and Rome as well. It was used to showcase wealth and status.

Does Sterling Silver and White Gold Look Alike?

Yes, they do look alike. Sterling Silver and White Gold both have a bright white shiny color that is very similar. When white gold is created, the gold alloy has been mixed with palladium or nickel to make it a more pure, brilliant silver tone. 

The same can be said for sterling silver; its purity comes from the mix of copper and silver. So, if you are looking for something that is just a tad bit different than sterling silver but still want the brightness of white gold, go with white gold.

The Differences Between Sterling Silver And White Gold

Before we dive into their differences, it is essential to understand what Sterling Silver and White Gold have in common. Both metals are naturally formed, and both are beautiful, lustrous metals.

They also share some practical qualities; both are durable and hypoallergenic. Sterling Silver and White Gold are also soft metals. Therefore, both must be alloyed with other metals to make them harder.

Now we know a bit about what they have in common, let’s explore their differences;


The first thing you’ll notice is that Sterling Silver has a brighter shine than White Gold. This is because sterling silver contains more copper, while white gold contains palladium and nickel to give it its bright color. Sterling Silver also tarnishes over time, while white gold does not. This is because sterling silver contains more sulfur, which causes it to rust.


Sterling Silver is a softer metal than white gold. As a result, it scratches and dents more easily. However, this can be remedied by using protective coatings or treatments like rhodium plating.


While the most common purity of sterling silver is 92.% pure Silver, you can find higher quality Sterling Silver pieces that are 95-99% pure. The rest of the metal is usually made up of copper or nickel alloys to make it stronger and more durable. 

White Gold tends to be more expensive than Sterling Silver because white gold requires more costly materials, like palladium and nickel, to achieve its bright color.


If you’re looking for a metal that requires little maintenance, white gold is the way to go. As mentioned above, Sterling Silver tarnishes over time. This means it will require polishing and cleaning from time to time to maintain its shine.

How To Take Care Of Sterling Silver Jewelry

For your jewelry to last long, you must take care of it. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Avoid exposing your sterling jewelry to harsh chemicals like bleach, ammonia, and chlorinated water with sterling silver. These can cause the metal to tarnish. Instead, use mild soap and warm water.
  • Please store your sterling jewelry in a fabric-lined box or pouch to protect it from scratches.
  • Don’t wear your sterling jewelry when you’re doing chores or working out. The friction can cause the metal to wear down over time.
  • Remove your sterling jewelry before you go to bed. Sleeping in your sterling jewelry can cause it to lose its shine.
  • Get your sterling jewelry professionally cleaned every once in a while. This will remove any built-up dirt or tarnish.

How To Take Care Of White Gold Jewelry

Maintaining your white gold jewelry will ensure that it lasts for a long time. The following tips will help you do this:

  • To clean white gold jewelry, use mild dish soap and warm water. Then, use a soft cloth to polish it.
  • To protect your white gold jewelry from scratches, store it in a jewelry box or pouch.
  • When doing chores or working out, avoid wearing white gold. This could cause it to tarnish.
  • Make sure you take off your white gold before going to bed. This can cause your white gold to lose its shine.
  • Have your white gold jewelry cleaned by a professional every so often. The cleaner will remove any dirt or tarnish that builds up over time.


Sterling Silver is more accessible than white gold. You can find sterling silver jewelry in various price points, while white gold jewelry tends to be on the more expensive side. This is because white gold is harder to work with and requires more expensive materials.

Should You Choose Sterling Silver Or White Gold? 

Both types of metals are fantastic for jewelry but it does depend on what you are looking for. You should consider white gold jewelry if you need a piece that is durable, low-maintenance, and stays bright white for a long time. While silver is an excellent choice if you are looking for something more affordable, grayish-white in color, and would prefer a metal with much easier maintenance.


Both sterling silver and white gold are beautiful, valuable metals. However, they have different properties that may make one or the other a better choice for you. If you’re looking for a precious metal that will last a lifetime, sterling silver is a great option. It’s also less expensive than white gold, making it a more affordable choice.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a metal that will create a bright, dazzling shine, white gold may be the better choice. Its high value and luxurious look are perfect for special occasions.

You may also like

Leave a Comment