Global How to distinguish white gold from silver at home

How to distinguish white gold from silver at home


Some­times even spe­cial­ists find it dif­fi­cult to eval­u­ate a piece of jew­el­ry and deter­mine what mate­r­i­al it is made of. Sil­ver, white gold and plat­inum look very sim­i­lar — that’s a fact. If there is such a met­al as white gold, why is sil­ver need­ed? Because they dif­fer sig­nif­i­cant­ly.

You will get the answer to the ques­tion of how sil­ver dif­fers from white gold after read­ing this arti­cle in our online store to the end.

How to distinguish silver from gold?

white gold and silver rings

Sil­ver is the whitest among nat­ur­al pre­cious met­als. It is often used to make dif­fer­ent types of jew­el­ry. It has the high­est elec­tri­cal and ther­mal con­duc­tiv­i­ty, and there­fore is eas­i­ly processed.

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

  • 925 con­tains 92.5% sil­ver and 7.5% cop­per;

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

Oxi­dized sil­ver, which in the process of oxi­da­tion 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 actu­al­ly exist. It is noth­ing more than its alloy with nick­el, zinc, and some­times also with pal­la­di­um, which change col­or. Thanks to them, the mate­r­i­al becomes hard­er and resis­tant to dam­age. Jew­el­ry from it is usu­al­ly cov­ered with a thin lay­er of rhodi­um, which gives them addi­tion­al depth.

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

There is white, off-cen­tered gold that has the cor­rect col­or and lus­ter. The most pop­u­lar sam­ple is 0.585 or 14 carats. But such met­al tar­nish­es quick­ly and pro­tec­tive coat­ings wear off 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 tell the dif­fer­ence between white gold and sil­ver by eye. Accord­ing to the val­ue of the pre­cious met­al, alloys with cop­per are usu­al­ly sold to them. It turns out a cheap and short-lived mate­r­i­al. To avoid con­fu­sion or fraud, learn how to tell the dif­fer­ence between white gold and sil­ver.

  1. Check­ing the sam­ple and stamp of the pur­chased jew­el­ry. White gold is pro­duced with a stamp of a rec­tan­gu­lar shape or in the form of a blade. If encrust­ed with pre­cious stones, it has a fine­ness of 750 or 585. The eas­i­est way to deceive the buy­er is to sell white gold with a low­er fine­ness. The imag­i­na­tion of fraud­sters knows no bounds. Today, it is pop­u­lar to sell 333 (8 carat) pat­tern chains with mount­ing details that have a much larg­er pat­tern attached to them. The sell­er draws the buy­er’s atten­tion to the mark on the fas­ten­ing part and diverts atten­tion from the mark on the cor­rect part of the prod­uct.
  2. A mag­net­ic test will help you under­stand how white gold dif­fers from 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 of an alloy, it should also not react to a mag­net, because the met­als used in the alloys are also dia­mag­net­ic. How­ev­er, if the Sil­ver Ring reacts to a mag­net, it does not mean that it should be thrown into the trash imme­di­ate­ly. 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 due to rhodi­um, which is applied gal­van­i­cal­ly, that is, using direct cur­rent. Sur­faces with a rhodi­um coat­ing or only indi­vid­ual jew­el­ry ele­ments acquire a light sil­ver / white shade, thanks to which they become resis­tant to black­en­ing and acquire a beau­ti­ful shine. Gold and sil­ver do not change col­or. Tar­nish­ing occurs when jew­el­ry is cov­ered only with gold plat­ing. Their sur­face lay­er wears away, 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 of check­ing the authen­tic­i­ty of a met­al. It con­sists in the fact that each sub­stance has dif­fer­ent val­ues ​​of den­si­ty. For gold, this para­me­ter is 19.3 g / cm 3, sil­ver — 10.5 g / cm 3. 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 accord­ing to known for­mu­las. Ide­al­ly, it will be an ordi­nary glass con­tain­er in the form of a tube — a test tube. Its vol­ume is the deriv­a­tive of the height, the squared radius of the base, and the num­ber pi (3.14). Then you need to place the jew­el­ry in the 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 dis­placed water. The desired den­si­ty will be obtained. If the result is about 19.3 g / cm³, then the jew­el­ry is gold, even though it is sil­ver. If it turns out 10.5 g / cm³, then this is sil­ver.
  5. Hard­ness check. Since sil­ver is soft­er than white gold, it can be deter­mined by a sim­ple exper­i­ment. You just need to draw a line on the sur­face of the paper with lit­tle effort. If there is a trace on the sheet, then it is sil­ver. White gold leaves no traces.
  6. Acid treat­ment. Sil­ver eas­i­ly oxi­dizes and tar­nish­es, unlike white gold. To con­firm this, mix a lit­tle water and vine­gar in a small con­tain­er into which you drop the jew­el­ry being test­ed. 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 show through white gold, but it can be wiped off with a paper nap­kin or a dry, soft cloth.

Home meth­ods do not guar­an­tee 100% reli­a­bil­i­ty. To make sure that the ring, ear­rings or bracelet are made of high-qual­i­ty met­al, you should take them to a pro­fes­sion­al jew­el­er.


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