Global Differences between white gold and silver

Differences between white gold and silver


Some­times even spe­cial­ists find it dif­fi­cult to eval­u­ate a par­tic­u­lar piece of jew­el­ry and deter­mine what mate­r­i­al it is made of. Sil­ver, white gold and plat­inum are very sim­i­lar in appear­ance — this is a fact. If there is such a met­al as white gold, why is sil­ver need­ed? Because they are sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fer­ent.

The answer to the ques­tion of how sil­ver dif­fers from white gold, you will receive by read­ing this arti­cle of our online store to the end.

How to distinguish silver from gold?

white gold and silver rings

Sil­ver is the whitest nat­ur­al pre­cious met­al. This is often used to make dif­fer­ent types of jew­el­ry. It has the high­est elec­tri­cal and ther­mal con­duc­tiv­i­ty, and there­fore lends itself well to pro­cess­ing.

In its pure form, this jew­el­ry mate­r­i­al is not used because of its soft­ness, but only its alloys. There­fore, instead of the 999 sam­ple, the fol­low­ing applies:

  • 925 con­tains 92.5% sil­ver and 7.5% cop­per;

  • 958 — the stan­dard intro­duced in Eng­land in the 17th cen­tu­ry — 95.8% sil­ver and 4.2% cop­per.

Oxi­dized sil­ver, which dur­ing the oxi­da­tion process is cov­ered with a thin lay­er of its own oxide. Thanks to this, it is pro­tect­ed from destruc­tive fac­tors and addi­tion­al­ly acquires a char­ac­ter­is­tic antique look.

What is white gold, how to distinguish it from silver?

white gold and silver ring

White gold, which is becom­ing more and more pop­u­lar every day, does not real­ly exist. It is noth­ing but its alloy with nick­el, zinc and some­times also with pal­la­di­um, which change col­or. Thanks to them, the mate­r­i­al becomes hard­er and more resis­tant to dam­age. Jew­el­ry made from it is usu­al­ly cov­ered with a thin lay­er of rhodi­um, which gives them extra depth.

The phys­i­cal prop­er­ties of white gold can be dif­fer­ent, because they are due to the con­tent of alloy­ing impu­ri­ties. Most of the jew­el­ry made from it looks sil­ver because they are cov­ered with a lay­er of rhodi­um.

There is white, non-cen­tered gold that has the right col­or and shine. The most pop­u­lar sam­ple is 0.585 or 14 carats. But such a met­al quick­ly tar­nish­es and the pro­tec­tive coat­ings are erased over time.

7 ways to distinguish white gold from silver at home

how to test white gold

Fraud­sters prey on buy­ers who do not know how to dis­tin­guish white gold from sil­ver by eye. At the cost of the pre­cious met­al, they are usu­al­ly sold alloys with cop­per. It turns out cheap and short-lived mate­r­i­al. To avoid con­fu­sion or scams, learn how to tell the dif­fer­ence between white gold and sil­ver.

  1. Check­ing the sam­ple and brand of the pur­chased jew­el­ry. White gold is pro­duced with a hall­mark of a rec­tan­gu­lar shape or in the form of a spat­u­la. If encrust­ed with pre­cious stones, it has a puri­ty of 750 or 585. The eas­i­est way to deceive the buy­er is to sell white gold with a low­er puri­ty. The imag­i­na­tion of scam­mers knows no bounds. It is pop­u­lar today to sell chains with pat­tern 333 (8 carats) with fas­ten­ers attached to a much larg­er pat­tern. The sell­er draws the atten­tion of the buy­er to the mark on the fas­ten­er and diverts atten­tion from the mark on the cor­rect part of the prod­uct.
  2. A mag­net­ic test will help you under­stand the dif­fer­ence between white gold and sil­ver. This met­al has absolute­ly no mag­net­ic prop­er­ties, so the object should not vibrate. Sil­ver also does not react to a mag­net. If the jew­el­ry is made from an alloy, it should­n’t react to a mag­net either, because the met­als used in alloys are also dia­mag­net­ic. How­ev­er, if a sil­ver ring reacts to a mag­net, this does not mean that it should imme­di­ate­ly be thrown into the trash can. Per­haps it is not made of an alloy with pal­la­di­um. Some of its impu­ri­ties are para­mag­net­ic, that is, they react to a mag­net.
  3. Col­or change. White gold has a slight­ly gold­en hue, sil­ver is cold white, even gray­ish. It is always brighter than sil­ver thanks to rhodi­um, which is applied by elec­tro­plat­ing, that is, using direct cur­rent. Rhodi­um-plat­ed sur­faces, or just indi­vid­ual pieces of jew­el­ry, take on a light silver/white tint, which makes them resis­tant to tar­nish­ing and acquires a beau­ti­ful sheen. Gold and sil­ver do not change col­or. Dark­en­ing occurs when jew­el­ry is plat­ed only with gold. Their sur­face lay­er is erased, and the met­al under­neath begins to react with water, air and dirt, and then changes its prop­er­ties. Unsight­ly dis­col­orations appear on its sur­face.
  4. Den­si­ty cal­cu­la­tion is a reli­able but more com­plex method for ver­i­fy­ing the authen­tic­i­ty of a met­al. It lies in the fact that each sub­stance has dif­fer­ent den­si­ty val­ues. For gold, this para­me­ter is 19.3 g/cm3, for sil­ver, 10.5 g/cm3. To check the den­si­ty of the met­al in the pur­chased prod­uct, you need to pre­pare a glass ves­sel with water, and then cal­cu­late its vol­ume using known for­mu­las. Ide­al­ly, if it is an ordi­nary glass con­tain­er in the form of a tube — a test tube. Its vol­ume is the deriv­a­tive of the height, the radius of the base squared, and the num­ber pi (3.14). Then you need to place the dec­o­ra­tion in a con­tain­er and cal­cu­late the dif­fer­ence between the dis­placed water in cubic cen­time­ters. Then you need to divide the num­ber obtained ear­li­er, the vol­ume of the con­tain­er, by the vol­ume of water dis­placed. Get the desired den­si­ty. If the result is around 19.3 g/cm³, then the jew­el­ry is gold even though it is sil­ver in col­or. If you get 10.5 g / cm³, then this is sil­ver.
  5. Hard­ness test. Since sil­ver is soft­er than white gold, it can be deter­mined with a sim­ple exper­i­ment. You just need to draw a line on the sur­face of the paper with a lit­tle effort. If a trace remains on the sheet, then this is sil­ver. White gold leaves no traces.
  6. Acid treat­ment. Sil­ver oxi­dizes and tar­nish­es eas­i­ly, unlike white gold. To con­firm this, mix some water and vine­gar in a small con­tain­er, where you low­er the jew­el­ry to be checked. If its sur­face is gray, it is sil­ver.
  7. reac­tion to iodine. Dip a tooth­pick in iodine and draw a thin line on the inside of the prod­uct. Iodine will enter into a chem­i­cal reac­tion with sil­ver, leav­ing a trace. It will not appear on white gold, and you can wipe it off with a paper tow­el or dry soft cloth.

Home meth­ods do not guar­an­tee 100% reli­a­bil­i­ty. To make sure that a ring, ear­ring or bracelet is made of qual­i­ty met­al, you should take it to a pro­fes­sion­al jew­el­er.


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