When you are browsing the net to buy silver earrings online, it’s quite normal to face the dilemma that many other buyers willing to buy a sterling silver anklet , or any other sterling silver for that case, face too. Which is: what’s the difference between white gold and sterling silver? The questions is more popular than one could imagine, and continues to torment first-time buyers of sterling silver.
So guess it’s time to settle this account for once and all by looking into the key differences the separate a sterling silver anklet from a white gold one.
White gold is a type of colored gold that’s manufactured by alloying gold and one other white metal like nickel, silver, or palladium. The alloying is done because of two major reasons. First, pure gold (24k) is too soft for any practical purpose, so metals like nickel, nickel, zinc, etc. are mixed with to provide with the strength needed to endure the wear and tear of real-life applications. The other reason for putting other metals into gold is the color of the latter one. As pure gold’s natural hue is yellow, it’s not possible to make colored jewelry using this precious metal alone. Engagement rings, pendants, necklaces, etc. are made using gold mixed with silver and copper; silver for color and copper for extra malleability. Jewelry made using white gold is often bears a stamp of 14k, 8k, 10k, and 9k. The numerical before the English letter “k” denoted the percentage of gold by-part.
White is not the only color that goldsmiths could obtain by the alloying process. To make a piece of gold jewelry look more exotic and trendy, other colors of gold jewelry are also used. While copper and zinc are mostly used to create red or pink gold, cadmium is favored by goldsmiths for making green gold jewelry. But certain health hazards have always been reported, relating colored gold to skin troubles. Cadmium, when used to make green gold, is a highly toxic element. Nickel, used in white gold, can cause minor skin irritation for the wearer.
Sterling silver, or 925 silver, is an alloy of 92.5% by weight of pure silver, and 7.5% by weight of copper. The alloying is done for the same reasons as white gold; to make silver items strong enough to bear purpose-related wear and tear. According to historical accounts, this alloy originated in Europe. Other than jewelry items, sterling silver is often used to make products like cutlery, paper clips, pots, surgical and medical instruments, musical instruments, etc. Many expert jewelry makers often oxidized sterling silver jewelry to give a permanent tarnished and edgy look to jewelry items. To achieve that, jewelry items are put into a sulfur bath. As the chemical reaction progresses, the jewelry continues to change its color throughout, to finally arrive at a certain black and grey hue.