Because jewelry expresses your personality and sophistication, sometimes it’s difficult to decide between white gold vs. sterling silver, kind of like picking between Gucci and Dior. (But that’s not even a debate. Gucci wins.) Whether you like to be high-brow or low-key comes down to personal style and preference.
Sterling silver and white gold are very similar. And yet, there are subtle differences that elevate one metal over the other. We’ll explain the difference so that you can decide which jewelry metal is a better fit for your personal style.
What’s the Difference Between Sterling Silver vs. White Gold?
Let’s talk about what makes these two metals distinctly different:
Like gold, silver is a natural, soft metal found in the Earth’s crust, requiring to be combined with other metals for strength. Silver is generally paired with copper. To be considered as Sterling silver, the jewelry must consist of 92.5% of pure silver. Because of this purity level, silver appears brighter than white gold.
White gold does not naturally occur. It’s a mix of gold with other materials that give it that platinum color. Yellow gold is generally mixed with zinc or nickel to create white gold. White gold is usually 75% pure gold or less to achieve that platinum color. Because it isn’t as pure as silver, white gold has a softer color.
To determine which metal is best for your look, you’ll need to decide if you want your jewelry to pop or be more subdued. White gold looks more posh, but it doesn’t draw the eye as well as silver.
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Gold is more expensive than silver. And white gold holds its value even though it is mixed with other metals. So between the two, sterling silver is less expensive. Although, white gold is more affordable than gold or platinum. Because it has a similar look to platinum, many fashionistas pick white gold as a more affordable metal with the same lux feel.
When it comes to durability, white gold wins this round. Sterling silver scratches and bends more easily than gold. So if it is a piece you plan to wear often, like a ring, you’ll want to invest in the white gold. If it’s a pair of earrings you’ll wear occasionally, then sterling silver will work great.
Now let’s talk about the shower for a second. Can you wear white gold or sterling silver in the shower? White gold is tough, so it does hold up against the elements. Bring on the shower power.
Sterling silver is another story. If you can’t be bothered to take off your jewelry in the shower, then plan on tarnished black metal. But let’s be optimstic, black never goes out of style, right? You’ve been warned. It’s on you now.
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Maintenance and Care
Sterling silver will definitely require more care because it tarnishes with time. If you don’t maintain your silver, the black tarnish can turn your finger black where the metal touches the skin. But if you have a good polish and don’t mind the maintenance, this isn’t really an issue.
White gold is stronger against humidity, water, and heat, so it requires way less care. If your white gold dulls over time, you can take it to a jeweler or buy a cleaning kit to restore it.
If you don’t want to deal, take your jewelry to a jeweler. They can recoat your silver and white gold to return it to its original shine and color. But be warned, this may cost as much as a new pair. So take the time to maintain those favorite pieces.
Color and Shine
Sterling silver has a better shine, which is great for statement pieces. But because it can tarnish and turn black, you’ll need to clean it more often than white gold. White gold has a faint yellow tone that can show through as the plating wears after a couple of years. You can have it recoated or embrace the gold.
Some people have metal allergies. If this is you, then you need to avoid metals that are mixed with these metals:
Spoiler: Don’t wear white gold. Nickel and zinc can irritate some people’s skin when the plating of the white gold wears off. If you are very sensitive to these metals, then the choice is made for you. Stop reading and buy sterling silver. Or skip silver and pick up this super chic, trendy necklace.
What’s on Trend?
According to Vogue’s jewelry trend report, we’ll see a lot of white gold and sterling silver this season. The crushed metal look is really having a moment, but when it comes to which metal is best for you, that’s up to you. Both metals are fairly timeless.
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What Do You Think?
At the end of the day, picking sterling silver vs. white gold is a personal choice. If you need a more durable metal that’s easy to maintain, then go with white gold. If you’re sensitive to metals, then sterling silver is going to be a better option.
White gold has a quiet sophistication, and sterling silver is a little edgier. Pick the metal that fits your personality, and you’ll never go wrong.
LaCkore Couture offers artisan, unique, and trending jewelry that speaks to your personality and style. You can find sophisticated statement pieces and timeless signature necklaces that will compliment your outfit of the day.
Can’t decide? Why not buy LaCkore’s Slay All Day Earrings that mix metals for effortless glamour.
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