White Gold and Silver

There has been a lot of development in the precious metals’ world, especially when it comes to materials engineering and new smelting techniques. This has brought variety to the precious metals’ world. When it comes to jewellery people are making unconventional choices driven by design more than the material used to make a particular piece of jewellery. They trust that when a jeweller says something is made of gold it really is. In the past gold jewellery was distinctively yellow, these days gold comes in other colours like rose pink and white.

With the number of different options available today, some people are bound to be confused. There are still people who make jewellery from iron sulphide and people who buy said jewellery thinking that it was the real deal only to find out later that they have fallen for fool’s gold. Sometimes you need a gold dealer’s trained eye to tell the difference between gold and pyrite.

When gold isn’t mined out of the ground it is yellow in colour. It is smelter and refined to remove impurities. The highest purity that gold can attain is 24 karats or 99.99%. At this purity, it is either made into investment-grade bullion or fashioned into other products like jewellery.  24 karat gold is too soft. To make it more durable and rigid it is combined with other metals like nickel, copper, or zinc. White gold is produced when gold is combined with zinc, nickel, and palladium. This combination is what makes the gold look white like silver.

White gold and silver are almost identical in weight and colour but gold dealers will usually conduct tests to determine what they are and their purity. Dealers and jewellers who have been looking at jewellery for a long time can spot the difference between metals that look the same but aren’t.

White gold and silver the difference

White gold might look the same as silver or even platinum but there are a ton of differences that contribute to the vast contrast in market pricing, uses, and whether they tarnish or not. For instance, but because white gold is an alloy, you won’t find a pure 99.99% gold bar that is white in colour. Adding additional metals is what gives the desired color but when it comes to gold bullion, the unspoken rule is that it cannot be any other colour but yellow.


To influence the colour of the gold, goldsmiths have to add sufficient palladium, zinc and nickel to pure gold to change gold from yellow to gold. White gold jewellery is not any less pure than yellow gold jewellery. If your white gold ring has a hallmark of 18K then it means there is 75% gold, that’s holds true for a gold jewellery piece with an 18k hallmark. Both have 25% metal alloys; the gold is strict as a result of metal alloys. However, the highest quality of white gold you can get is 21 karats which means a maximum of 87.5% pure gold. That is quite hard for most jewellery and a lot of gold rings hardly get close to that kind of purity. Jewellery with less pure gold will be prone to some tarnishing and with nickel being one of the metal alloys, people with nickel allergies will react to its presence in what they are wearing.

By default, sterling silver contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals while fine silver has 99.99% pure silver.


When it comes time to sell gold jewellery it doesn’t matter whether its color is yellow or white. Gold dealers will pay you the same price for it regardless. This is because when a gold dealer evaluates your jewellery its only to buy the gold content in it to put through the recycling or refining process.