CON: The rhodium plating will inevitably fade, leaving your formerly white gold ring with a yellowish tinge. I would suggest that if you don't want to spring for solid white gold then stick with sterling. This also includes saltwater like the ocean. Again, pure yellow gold is a little bit softer and when mixed with an alloy it becomes more durable and even scratch-resistant. When you see two samples of jewelry next to each other that are sterling silver and white gold, you may not be able to tell the difference. This gives you a better idea of how much pure gold and how much of the alloy has been combined to create your special piece of jewelry. Sterling silver is the highest grade of silver that can have any practical use and is usually 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. Does this mean that white gold is always better because it costs more? To truly qualify as Vermeil, the plating should be a minimum of 2.5 microns thick and always over sterling silver.) Rhodium is plated on sterling silver … Gold vermeil (pronounced ver-may) is a common term used to describe gold-over-silver plated jewelry. White gold costs $23.86 per gram, while sterling silver costs only $0.59 per gram. That k means the karats of pure gold, and we know that white gold is mixed with an alloy, which is why it will never reach the full 24 karats. So while shopping for white gold, you will often come across 10, 14, 18, or 21k. There are positives and negatives to both materials. What does that mean? As mentioned above, sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver alloyed with copper, but in some cases, nickel may be present in the other 7.5% of metals. Because of that, the copper alloy is added to make it stronger and more durable. It only needs periodic cleaning to maintain its shine. White gold is actually yellow gold mixed with white alloys such as nickel, zinc and palladium; as a result, it is not as bright as silver. For example, a copper or silver ring with a layer of gold on top would be sold as gold plated. White gold is more similar to platinum in the sense that it is a higher quality and possibly even a little rarer. Dry off the white gold jewelry with a clean, dry towel. It’s regular old gold plating – except the underlying metal is sterling silver of fine silver instead of a base metal. You should know the difference between the two already. On the other hand, sterling silver is just metal and a whole jewel by itself. You may have heard myths about the idea that sterling silver doesn’t last. Price - Sterling silver is the most economical choice between gold, white gold and platinum. The cost This time you will mix mild soap with warm water. White Gold PRO: White gold is a composite of yellow gold and the alloy metal nickel. So, if budget is a concern, silver can be great option. That may change depending on who you are buying it for, yourself, a friend, or a significant other. The reason for this, as well as the make-up of white gold, which has a different alloy that we will talk about in a bit, is that pure silver is a very soft material. In real vermeil, the gold plated layer can contain different layers of gold fineness. The Rhodium plated can have sterling silver beneath it or any other metal. Cleaning white gold may be a bit more difficult but still very much doable. Both gold and silver are durable, however, because they are both precious metals. Every few years, your white gold piece will require a reapplication of rhodium plating by your jeweler, which easily restores the white finish. At first glance, it's hard for the untrained eye to tell the difference between white gold and sterling silver. Regardless of whether or not you can identify it with the naked eye, don’t stress too much. That leads us to discuss the durability of sterling silver and white gold, as well as how much these metals compare when it comes to wear and tear. Regarding white gold, Nickel is generally used as the alloy, but often white gold is plated with Rhodium, a silvery-white metal in the platinum family. © 2021 Jewelers Mutual - All Rights Reserved. The most obvious difference between sterling silver and white gold is the fact they are made from two different precious metals. If you purchase quality sterling silver and treat it well, you can expect it to last for 30 or more years. A karat is a measure of how pure gold is. This is the case because white gold is made up of up to 75% pure gold. Meanwhile, markings of “EP” or “EPNS” indicate that you possess plated silver. We regularly see two main types of jewelry being sold, which are most easily identified as yellow gold and silver. White gold is worth more $ than sterling silver but it has to be karat gold - eg. The complete process involves electrically charging the object first to make sure it attracts the silver particles. We recommend using a soft towel to wipe off and dry your jewelry. Pure silver is extremely soft and is typically alloyed with other metals to create a more stable product for jewelry making. Just like yellow gold, the purity of white gold is measured in karats. (Bonus note: Gold Plate is not to be confused with "Vermeil" (pronounced vehr-MAY), which is a thicker level of gold plating over sterling silver rather than a base metal. What is the difference between the two of them? Avoid These 3 [VIDEO], 6 Ear Piercing Care Mistakes You're Probably Making, When and How to Make a Ring Smaller Without Resizing, What to Do When You Can't Get Your Ring Off, How to make a ring smaller without resizing. If you want silver minus the tarnish, then check Argentium silver engagement rings which carry a similar luster for much longer time. Here's what you need to know when you're on the hunt for silver-hued jewelry. Furthermore, if you are swimming in a chlorinated swimming pool or working with any kind of chemical, it is a good idea to keep your silver jewelry stored away. White gold usually is not white. Most of our vermeil is plated with 22K-24K gold. Next, you will soak your jewelry in the solution for about 25 minutes. The most common alloy that usually contributes to the total make up of sterling silver is copper. Vermeil — Means gold plated sterling silver or fine silver. Researching for an engagement ring? So, if a white gold ring is 18 karats, this means that the ring is made up of 75% gold (18 karats divided by 24) and 25% other metals. Estimate your rate in less than one minute. The higher the percentage of gold, the higher its karat value, but the more yellow its appearance. Gold is more durable than sterling silver. Read the differences between the two to help make your decision easier. If you want to purchase one, make sure you invest in a quality machine that won’t damage your jewelry. Silver is an excellent base metal for gold plating; however, the quality of the metal is an important factor. Haven’t insured your jewelry yet? Just tell us what you need to insure, how much it’s worth and your zip/postal code. While sterling silver is prone to tarnish, it will never rust, so that's a plus. Do you think they look exactly the same or are you a jewelry expert who can tell every little difference? The shine of white gold depends on the karat rating of white gold and whether the piece has been plated. Plating needs to be redone periodically depending on how hard you wear your jewelry. To give you a better idea, keep in mind that white gold comes with a price tag of $23.86 per gram, while sterling silver is only $0.59 per gram! With that being said, white gold may look like platinum, but with time the rhodium plating may cause issues. Generally, the metals used in white gold are nickel, silver or palladium and the properties of white gold varies on which alloy is used. Pure gold comes with a fancier price tag as well as the nickel alloy. However, it is common for people to call any gold plated jewelry item with a sterling silver base metal as vermeil. Now you may have been taken back a bit when you heard the word karat. White gold is still a blend of yellow gold and other materials like palladium to make it look more white in color, but it will have a yellowish tone compared to silver. To be legally called “vermeil,” the item must have a gold thickness of 2.5 microns and the coating must be over a sterling silver base. Which Is More Durable – Vermeil or Gold-Plated Jewelry? The difference is that white gold’s main base is yellow-gold which is found in the Earth’s crust. They are typically calculated in overall percentages. //-->. Already have a quote?Retrieve your saved quote or application. Silver plated items are items that have gone through a process called “silver plating,” a process that involves applying actual silver or sterling silver to the surface of the base metal (such as copper, nickel, brass, pewter, or white metal). What is silver’s value? Sterling Silver vs White Gold. So what is the difference between the two of them and why does it matter? I only use 1/10 high quality silver filled. To give you a better idea, keep in mind that white gold comes with a price tag of $23.86 per gram, while sterling silver is only $0.59 per gram! Sterling silver and white gold are both made up of combinations of metals. For example, you may see that the bracelet you want to buy says that it is 925 sterling silver. If the silver was any purer then it would be to soft to use. You can also use a soft brush; even a toothbrush with soft bristles would do the job to rub away the dirt or any other particles. Because sterling silver and white gold look so similar, the hidden 925 will tell you what metal you are looking at. Sterling silver is more prone to tarnish and corrosion because it reacts with oxygen in the air because of its copper content, thus requiring more cleaning. White gold is a mixture of pure gold and other metals, which makes the metal harder with a white color appearance. Rhodium-plated Sterling Silver Vs. Sterling Silver Available on Amazon-Please Click the Picture to Check the Price. Sterling Silver vs 925 Silver. Soak whatever piece of sterling silver jewelry in a bowl where you added two tablespoons of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar. Is it for a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation gift? Silver is among the most affordable types of metal for jewelry, making it perfect for costume jewelry that you rotate with your wardrobe. Silver, on the other hand, requires regular cleaning and polishing to prevent tarnishing. Gold Over Sterling Silver … Regardless of what you know and don’t know about sterling silver and white gold, we hope you find something helpful and interesting from reading this. This gives white gold that mirrored look and finish. The gold alloy normally is a dull yellowish or gray color. Cleaning your sterling silver doesn’t take a whole lot of supplies or solutions. If you’re looking for longevity with your jewelry, white gold is definitely going to outshine silver. Now that you know all the differences, you really can see that although they may appear to look similar, they are two very different metals in white gold vs sterling silver. To be more specific, 18k white gold is 75 percent pure gold, while 14k is 58.5 percent pure gold. However, if you are looking for something high-end, super polished, and has financial value over time, then go for white gold. Sterling silver is the most affordable white metal on the market today. 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