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Sterling Silver Vs. White Gold: Full Comparison You Need to Know

Jul 04,2024 | Juyoyo

Sterling silver and white gold look similar but are very different. Both are popular choices for jewelry. When choosing a piece of jewelry, it is important to understand sterling silver and white gold before making an informed decision. So let's have a look at the differences between sterling silver and white gold.

sterling silver vs white gold

The Basic Meaning of Sterling Silver and White Gold

What is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver is a popular and widely used metal alloy for making jewelry. It consists of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, typically copper. The term "sterling" originated in England in the 12th century and referred to the standard of purity for silver coins. Over time, the term "sterling silver" came to be associated with any silver alloy that met the 92.5% silver content requirement. With its timeless appeal and durability, sterling silver has become a popular choice for jewelry enthusiasts all over the world.

What is White Gold?

White gold is another popular metal alloy used in jewelry, particularly for engagement rings and wedding bands. It is made by mixing pure gold with a white metal such as nickel, palladium, or zinc. White gold is very versatile and is used in a wide range of jewelry, including engagement rings, wedding bands, earrings, necklaces, and more. Its neutral color makes it a popular choice as it complements different gemstones and can be easily incorporated into different designs.

Differences between Sterling Silver and White Gold

Composition and Properties

Metal Alloys

Sterling silver is made up of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, most commonly copper. White gold is an alloy made by combining gold with white metals such as palladium, silver, and nickel. It's usually available in different purities, such as 14K or 18K.


Karat is used to measure the purity of gold. The most common carats for white gold are 14 carats (58.3% gold), 18 carats (75% gold), and 24 carats (pure gold). The purity of sterling silver is 925, which means it contains 925 parts of pure silver in 1000.

Appearance and Color

The natural color of sterling silver is a bright and metallic silver grey with a lustrous appearance. However, over time it can develop a slight yellowish or greyish tint due to tarnishing. The natural color of white gold is slightly yellowish. Most white gold jewelry sold on the market has a white color due to the presence of other metals in the alloy, it is often plated with rhodium. Higher karat white gold, such as 18 karat, can have a slightly warmer tone due to the higher gold content, while lower karat white gold, such as 14 karat, can have a slightly whiter appearance due to the higher proportion of alloying metals.

Durability and Care


When it comes to durability, white gold has an advantage over sterling silver. Sterling silver is softer and more prone to scratching and tarnishing. Gold is a harder metal than silver, making white gold less prone to scratching and tarnishing. White gold is more durable due to its rhodium plating. However, both need to be properly cared for to maintain their beauty over time.


Silver is susceptible to tarnishing, especially when exposed to air and moisture. Tarnish appears as a darkening or dulling of the silver surface. You can polish your jewelry with a silver cleaning cloth or a special silver cleaner. White gold is often plated with rhodium, which can wear off over time. Therefore, white gold jewelry needs to be re-plated to maintain its whiteness.

Price and Affordability

The main difference between silver and white gold is price. In general, white gold is more expensive than sterling silver. This is due to the higher cost of gold and the complex manufacturing process. Sterling silver is an affordable alternative. It is widely available and often more budget-friendly than white gold, making it an attractive option for those looking to save on their wedding bands.

Allergies and Skin Sensitivities

If you have a known metal allergy, it is important to check the composition of the jewelry before making a purchase. Both sterling silver and white gold are hypoallergenic, but some people can still have a mild reaction to some metals. A high percentage of copper in sterling silver and nickel metals in white gold can cause allergic reactions. In such cases, it may be advisable to opt for higher-quality sterling silver or nickel-free white gold.

Usage of Sterling Silver and White Gold in Jewelry

Engagement/wedding rings

Juyoyo Lab Ruby Engagement Ring

lab ruby engagement ring

This 925 sterling silver ruby engagement ring is designed in the Art Deco style. Ruby is the birthstone of July. If you are looking for an engagement ring to match your July birthstone, this 925 sterling silver ruby ring is the best choice. It can also be personalized in white gold.

Juyoyo Silver Curved Moissanite Wedding Band Stacking Ring

silver curved moissanite wedding band

This wedding band is made from 925 sterling silver and also uses the Art Deco style. This ring is also available in white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold.



Juyoyo 925 Sterling Silver Curved Bar Moissanite Necklace

925 sterling silver necklace

This gorgeous moissanite necklace uses the materials of 925 Sterling Silver with 18K White/Yellow/Rose Gold plating, which is more durable and hypo-allergic.



Juyoyo Silver Evil Eye Earrings

Juyoyo silver evil eye earrings

This type of silver earring uses 925 Sterling Silver with Rhodium plating, decorated with high-quality cubic zirconia stones, making it delicate and eye-catching.

FAQS about Silver and White Gold

Which is better, sterling silver or white gold?

You should use the above differences to decide which is right for you.

Is white gold more expensive than sterling silver?

Yes, white gold is usually more expensive than sterling silver. White gold contains gold, which is a precious metal with a higher market value than silver.

How can Sterling Silver be prevented from tarnishing?

To prevent tarnishing, there are several steps you can take to protect and maintain the luster of sterling silver:

  1. store properly
  2. Wear it often
  3. Keep it dry
  4. Polish regularly
  5. Avoid chemicals
  6. Use anti-tarnish strips