How to Identify White Gold at Home
White gold arises from the combination of pure gold with other metals such as nickel or palladium, while silver is a transition metal that, for jewelry making, is usually combined with metals such as copper. Although both metals have a very different composition, at first glance they can be very similar, which leads to a large number of people not knowing how to distinguish one from the other.
Do you also have a jewel and you are not sure if it is white gold or silver? Next, we show you several simple methods so you can learn how to identify white gold at home. Let’s go there!
How to identify white gold at home?
Silver and white gold are precious metals that have very different characteristics but, on the other hand, can be confused with the naked eye. The combination of gold with palladium or nickel results in a silver-tone jewel that can confuse buyers: is it white gold or silver?
On the one hand, gold is measured in carats (k); jewels with the lowest value are equivalent to 10K (41.7% pure gold), and those with the highest value are 24K (99.9% pure gold). The silver used to make jewelry, on the other hand, is sterling silver, which has a degree of purity of 92.5%.
Sterling silver, 925 sterling silver or 925 silver, is a silver alloy combined with some type of metal such as copper (7.5%) to guarantee the strength of the piece and its durability. Other metals that can be combined with silver are zinc, germanium and platinum.
Among the differences that we can find between white gold jewelry and silver jewelry we find:
- Different inscriptions: The white gold jewels have their value in carats inscribed with the denomination 10K, 14K, 18K, etc., while the silver jewels have 925, the letter S, a double S, Ster or the word sterling.
- More pronounced shine: White gold, being a composition made of other metals, does not have a pure white shine exposed to light, it shines much more than silver.
- Scratches more easily: White gold is more susceptible to scratching and deterioration than silver, since its combination with other metals makes it more vulnerable.
- Different combinations: White gold jewelry is designed with nickel or palladium, while silver jewelry is designed with copper.
- Darkening of the material: Silver, with the passage of time, tends to darken and turns grayish or black, while white gold maintains its shine and silver color.
- Gold is more expensive: A jewel of the same size, shape and weight designed with white gold is worth more than a jewel designed with silver and, of course, more than other metals.
- Different maintenance: The white gold pieces do not require specific maintenance, since they do not deteriorate over time, while silver jewelry requires periodic maintenance.
Look for spots on your skin
If you’re wondering how to tell if it’s white gold, the first step you should take is this. It is a basic method that almost everyone knows and that can be definitive. The spots on the skin are a clear example that your garment is not white gold, so look at the skin of the person who has worn it and you will be able to check if it has left a greenish or dark trace.
This is especially easy to detect with rings, necklaces and piercings, as dirt on the skin immediately demonstrates that the piece itself has very little or no percentage of white gold.
Paper sheet test
This is one of the simplest methods to determine if your jewel is white gold or silver. To do it correctly, follow these steps:
- Before starting, clean the piece you want to analyze with a dry cloth.
- Next, take a white piece of paper and run the jewel across the sheet as if you wanted to scratch it.
- Check if there are any dark traces left on the sheet.
- If the garment is white gold, there will be no stain on the sheet of paper. However, if the jewel is from the beach, it is very likely that a dark trace will be seen on the paper.
If you are wondering how to know if it is white gold or silver quickly, this method is one of the most effective. However, to get out of doubt, we recommend you also carry out the following techniques.