Sterling Silver vs White Gold: What’s the Difference?

In the earth’s crust, there are many naturally occurring metals that we extract to use for different purposes. Silver and Gold are two of them which are considered soft metals. These metals are combined together to yield products that are used in our daily lives. A most common example is jewelry which is made from different types of metals among them gold and silver are mostly used.

Both gold and silver are very soft therefore silver is alloyed with copper and gold is mostly mixed with zinc or nickel to increase their strength, and durability and even make them scratch-resistant.

Sterling silver is the mixture of 92.5 percent pure silver while the remaining 7.5 percent consists of other metal combinations while white gold is not real as it does not naturally exist like sterling silver. The base of white gold is of yellow-gold or pure gold mixed with different materials to create different appearances.

They both look very similar but when noticed carefully white gold will look less bright than sterling silver.

To measure the authenticity or purity of gold we use Karats. Pure gold means it is not mixed with other metals which are also known as yellow gold and measured as 24 Karat. While white goods can reach a max of 21 Karat.


White gold is more durable and scratch-resistant than sterling silver. When considering which one is better for daily use than people choose white gold over sterling silver and it is the major difference between them. Sterling silver can become dull over time, bend, or scratched if not cared for properly. It can last more if cleaned and polished regularly and stored away from excessive moisture and heat. While white gold is more durable when exposed to water and heat and requires less care and cleaning.


White gold is more expensive than sterling silver as it consists of 75 percent pure gold. The value of gold is more than silver and its price fluctuates according to the market state while silver contains copper which is not expensive metal and can be afforded easily. White gold is better compared to sterling silver as it does not lose its value because it contains pure gold so it is better to purchase white gold as it gives guaranteed quality, durability, and value. On the other hand, sterling silver has its own perks like it is budget-friendly and same resemblance as white gold.


Some shine of white gold may be lost over time but its luster can be recovered by a professional jeweler or it can also be cleaned at home if its coating is not damaged. Sterling silver tarnishes easily over time due to moisture. To keep sterling silver in good condition only storing it properly is not enough it has to be stored away from moisture or heat and must be cleaned or polished regularly or after some time.
It will be better for both especially sterling silver to last long if used with care like removing it when washing hands or applying body lotion. After wearing jewelry clean it with any soft cloth as it will remove any body oil or perfume from the jewelry.


White gold gets a yellow tinge on its surface on the other hand sterling silver tarnishes over time. Both of these characteristics are not desirable or beneficial for consumers. For both sterling silver and the white gold best treatment is rhodium dipping or rhodium finish. This treatment is very popular and widely used. Rhodium metal lies in the family of platinum which has a luster rich in silver that helps in preserving shine and prevents tarnishing. Dipping white gold in rhodium creates a coating that preserves or protects the roots of its yellow gold. And dipping sterling silver helps it preventing from tarnishing. Therefore, it is best to always look for rhodium-finished jewelry for low-maintenance and long-lasting.

These are some differences between white gold and sterling silver although they look very similar in appearance they both are made up of different metals. Both have positive and negative aspects and they must take into consideration when buying sterling silver is affordable but less durable and will tarnish over time also it has been seen that many people do not wear jewelry made up of sterling silver due to allergic reactions mostly in their ear while practically white gold is hypoallergenic and more durable than sterling silver but is expensive.


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