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Article: Sterling Silver vs White Gold Jewellery: Which Is Better?

Sterling Silver vs White Gold Jewellery: Which Is Better?

Sterling Silver vs White Gold Jewellery: Which Is Better?

When it comes to choosing the perfect silver jewellery piece, the consideration between sterling silver vs white gold jewellery often arises. Both metals have a similar silver appearance, however have their unique characteristics, pros and cons. Understanding the differences between the two is essential when making an informed purchasing decision.

In this blog, we explore the pros, cons and differences of sterling silver and white gold jewellery to help you determine which metal best suits your style and needs.

What is sterling silver jewellery?

sterling silver rope chain and bracelet
Sterling silver jewellery consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. This is why sterling silver is commonly referred to as 925 sterling silver. Other metals that are combined with silver to increase the durability of silver jewellery include copper and nickel.

  • Hypoallergenic: in general sterling silver jewellery is hypoallergenic, this is because it contains very little nickel. This is because it consists of 92.5% silver and only 7.5% other metals.
  • Affordable: compared to other precious metals, silver is affordable. Thus, jewellery made from sterling silver also tends to be affordable.
  • Versatile: silver is a malleable metal, and is perfect for creating intricate jewellery designs.
  • Appearance: silver and sterling silver has a bright white lustre that is unique to the material. This makes sterling silver jewellery pieces extremely eye-catching.
  • Easy to repair: Sterling silver jewellery tends to be easy to repair, with repairs only requiring basic soldering.

Prone to tarnishing: silver as a metal tarnishes when exposed to water, moisture and body oil. Over time, jewellery that contains silver will begin to tarnish unless looked after.
Durability: As silver is a malleable metal, it is also not as durable. Jewellery made using silver can scratch and dent easily, however this depends on the composition of the jewellery piece.
Maintenance requirements: Sterling silver jewellery requires greater maintenance to maintain its shine and lustre. This is because silver is a metal that can tarnish over time.

What is white gold jewellery?

14k white gold jewellery on female neck
White gold is an alloy that consists of gold and a small percentage of other metals including nickel, palladium, copper and zinc. Mixing gold with nickel, palladium and zinc gives it a white appearance. The most common karats for white gold are 14K and 18K. White gold is known for its bright, cool tone sheen that is achieved through rhodium plating. This rhodium plating gives white gold jewellery a shinier appearance, whilst also making it more resistant to scratches.

  • Hypoallergenic: 18K white gold jewellery tends to be very hypoallergenic. This is because of the low copper and nickel content present. 14K white gold jewellery in comparison to 18K white gold jewellery is less hypoallergenic.
  • Resistant to tarnishing: White gold will not rust, tarnish or corrode when exposed to water, body oil and air.
  • Less maintenance intensive: As white gold doesn’t tarnish or corrode, it generally requires far less maintenance to maintain its appearance.
  • Value: The value of white gold is comparable to that of yellow gold. Compared to sterling silver, white gold jewellery is seen as more valuable as it costs more.
  • Easy to repair: White gold is easy to repair as it is a malleable material. Often white gold jewellery will just need basic soldering.
  • Appearance: White gold has a unique appearance that stands out from other silver metal alloys. White gold has a less white, but more shiny appearance.
  • Durable: White gold jewellery is durable and resistant to everyday wear and tear.
  • Plating needs to be replaced: Over time, the rhodium plating that is often added to white gold jewellery will wear off. This can lead to your white gold jewellery looking less shiny than usual.
  • Expensive: like yellow gold, white gold isn’t cheap. This is why jewellery made from white gold is expensive.

Differences between sterling silver jewellery and white gold jewellery

  • Durability: white gold jewellery is more durable than sterling silver jewellery. This is because silver is naturally a more malleable metal than gold.
  • Composition: White gold is an alloy of 75% 24K gold and 25% other metals such as nickel, palladium and copper. Sterling silver is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals.
  • Value: White gold jewellery has more value than sterling silver jewellery. This is because gold is a more expensive metal than silver.
  • Colour: White gold jewellery has a less white but more shiny appearance, whilst sterling silver has a more white but less shiny appearance.
  • Price: White gold jewellery is more expensive than sterling silver jewellery. This is because gold is a more expensive material than silver.
  • Care and maintenance requirements: White gold jewellery requires less maintenance than sterling silver jewellery. This is because gold doesn’t tarnish or fade over time, whilst silver does.
  • Tarnish resistance: White gold jewellery is much more resistant to tarnishing than silver jewellery, this is because of its metal composition and rhodium plating.

Sterling silver vs white gold jewellery: which is better?

Whether sterling silver or white gold jewellery is better for you will depend on several factors. These include your personal preferences, styling needs and budget.

Sterling silver jewellery is great for someone looking for an eye-catching silver piece that is affordable, offers great value and is highly hypoallergenic. White gold jewellery is perfect for someone looking for a valuable silver jewellery piece that requires minimal care and maintenance, is easy to repair and is resistant to tarnishing and fading.


Now that we have compared sterling silver vs white gold jewellery, you should be aware of their pros, cons and differences. At the end of the day, the choice between the two should come down to your personal preferences, budget and styling needs.

Jewellery made out of sterling silver is affordable, eye-catching and hypoallergenic. Whilst jewellery made using white gold is valuable, requires minimal care, is easy to repair and is resistant to tarnishing and fading.

When choosing between these two types of silver jewellery types, make sure to consider what is sensible for your budget, as well as whichever one makes you feel most confident wearing.

FAQ’s about sterling silver and white gold jewellery

Can you wear white gold every day?

Yes, white gold jewellery is great for everyday wear. This is because it is highly durable, resistant to scratches and won’t tarnish when exposed to body oils, moisture or air.

Can people tell the difference between silver and white gold?

Yes, people can tell the difference between silver and white gold if they look up close. White gold has a more grey but mirror-like appearance. While silver has a greater lustre and bright white appearance.

Can you shower with white gold?

Yes, you can shower with white gold and not have to worry about it tarnishing, fading or corroding. However, if your white gold jewellery piece is rhodium-plated, it is a good idea to take it off before showering. This is so the rhodium plating doesn’t wear off over time. 


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