Sometimes selecting the perfect jewelry piece is more difficult than you anticipated!

So many beautiful options can bring out indecision in the best of us! Perhaps you’re drawn to the shimmering silver hues of white gold and sterling silver but aren’t certain of the differences that make each metal composition unique. Here’s some insight into the differences to help you in your decision making!

Appearance: Sterling silver and white gold are both beautiful smooth metal combinations that are attractive on anyone, but they especially complement cooler skin tones. While both are similar in hue, you can tell sterling silver apart by its slightly brighter complexion.

Composition: Silver and gold are both soft in their pure form so any jewelry crafted from these precious metals is going to be a combination of metals in order to hold structure. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% an alloy, commonly copper. You can tell sterling silver and white gold apart by searching for the hidden 925 on the jewelry piece, indicating the sterling silver composition. White gold is actually yellow gold combined with an alloy such as nickel, silver, platinum or palladium. Consider a comparison of 18k of yellow gold with 18k of white gold: the yellow gold may be a combination of 75% gold, 10% copper, and 15% silver for example; the white gold on the other hand may show percentages of 75% gold, 20% palladium or silver or another alloy, and only contain 5% of copper. White gold is also often coated with a rhodium plating to aid in its preservation.

Durability: Sterling silver will last decades with proper care. These pieces can be worn in the rain or the shower without cause for major concern, but be sure to keep them away from chlorine, harsh chemicals, and even saltwater.  Proper cleaning will help maintain its shine and keep your sterling silver good for thirty or more years.

You can clean sterling silver yourself with 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl of ½ cup white vinegar; soak for two to three hours and then rinse with water. Wipe carefully and dry with a soft towel.

Simple at home cleaning methods for white gold direct you to wash your piece gently with a mild soap and warm water, soaking it for 25 minutes before using a soft bristled toothbrush. Rinse and dry with a soft towel!

At home cleaning may not be sufficient for your white gold piece, however. The rhodium plating on white gold makes it more scratch resistant but can be prone to wear and fading: producing a yellowish tinge. The good news is you can easily have your piece repolished and replated. If your piece is in need of a little more professional restoration, please contact us about rhodium replating! We’d love to help care for something so valuable to you!

Prices: White gold is more valuable due to its composition of 75% pure gold as well as any use of a nickel alloy. Keep in mind that white gold is generally around $23.86 per gram while sterling silver is only about 59 cents per gram! Sterling silver is quite durable and cost effective! On the other hand, if you’re in the market for something a little higher end and searching for financial value over time, white gold is the option for you! Both types of jewelry are excellent and will shine for years with proper cleaning.

Do you still have questions? Joslin’s Jewelry is here to help you find the perfect piece for you! Drop by our location in Overland Park or give us a call at: (913) 341 – 2021.