Line up a bunch of jewelry from afar and the most basic distinction you can make is between silver and gold. While deciding broadly between these two hues is mostly a matter of style and preference, choosing an exact type of metal jewelry is a bit more involved. In this post care of Bridechilla Partner, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, we share some quick tips about choosing the right metal for your wedding and engagement ring, so that they match with your lifestyle and go the distance!
Let's get the differences in appearance addressed first. While at first glance both silver and platinum appear silver in color, the two metals are actually easily discernible to the naked eye. Both have gray undertones, unlike white gold which has a warmer, yellow undertone, but platinum is much brighter and shinier and silver has a duller, gray appearance.
The difference in durability is really no contest between platinum and silver. Silver is a soft metal that wears down quickly and tarnishes easily. One of the biggest advantages of platinum is its high melting point, making it hard enough to not require any alloys.
Platinum rings are often 90-95% pure platinum, perfect for standing up to the test of the everyday wear of an engagement ring.
Silver is one of the most affordable jewelry metals. It's great for costume jewelry that goes in and out of style. However, when the item of interest is a piece of fine jewelry you'll wear quite often, if not daily, platinum is well worth the investment. It's one of the most expensive metals for jewelry making, second to rhodium, which is typically only found as a coating over gold to increase its durability.
Platinum is a metal of choice for jewelry wearers with sensitive skin. It's naturally hypoallergenic and shouldn't cause any skin irritation.
While most people aren't directly allergic to silver or gold, many of the metals that can be alloyed with them are common allergens.
Looking for low maintenance? Another point for platinum.
While all fine jewelry should be professionally cleaned by your jeweler a couple times a year, you won't need to do much else to maintain the hallmark luster of platinum. Silver, on the other hand, requires frequent polishing to keep tarnish at bay.
The type of jewelry you're looking to get will weigh heavily into your decision between white gold and silver. Researching for an engagement ring? Your decision should be easy.
When shopping for a piece you'll wear every day, like an engagement ring, white gold is a much better bet for long-standing durability and resistance to wear. Silver is soft and easy to scratch, while white gold is resistant to both corrosion and impact.
The extra durability of white gold does increase the price tag of the metal. Silver is among the most affordable types of metal for jewelry, making it perfect for costume jewelry that you rotate with your wardrobe. White gold, on the other hand, costs more than silver, but less than platinum, making it moderately affordable.
Both white gold and silver require some level of maintenance, as does all jewelry.
Most white gold is plated with rhodium, which eventually wears away and "yellows." Every few years your piece may require a reapplication of rhodium plating by your jeweler, which easily restores the white finish.
Silver, on the other hand, requires regular cleaning and polishing to prevent tarnishing. While sterling silver is prone to tarnish, it will never rust, so that's a plus.
Whatever you decide, make sure to visit your jeweler twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning.
This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Jewelers Mutual Insurance.