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Sterling Silver vs. Gold Jewelry


When it comes to fine jewelry, there's usually the looming choice between gold jewelry versus silver jewelry. Naturally it comes down to style or preference, whether or not you are buying for yourself or for someone else. Some view types of jewelry metals as a sign of age or status: younger generations usually have a fondness for sterling silver or white gold, while more mature individuals prefer the gilded metal to decorate them.  However, there's more to picking metals than factoring age of the person you're buying jewelry for.  Cost, style and durability need to be considered as well when choosing between gold jewelry versus silver jewelry.

Is silver jewelry better than gold jewelry?

People assume that one jewelry type is the better so they have to get the best. While it may be true that you want the best of the best, selecting jewelry is an art and it can't be predetermined just because of the metal type. There are pros and cons for both silver and gold jewelry, so it cannot be said for sure that one is better than the other.


Silver jewelry

Sterling silver jewelry has become more and more popular for jewelry lately. It is clean, clear and neutral, and it goes with just about every skin tone and outfit. Most people enjoy the clarity in color of sterling silver though because it reflects light and adds brightness to gemstones and diamonds, while gold can look, and even feel, heavy. Continuing with that thought, silver actually weighs less than gold, so you can wear it for longer periods of time and still feel comfortable. Silver jewelry is also more affordable than gold, making it a better and more convenient choice for some. Unfortunately, silver tarnishes and needs to be cleaned often. Use silver jewelry cleaner or soak jewelry with a small about of baking soda in a plate lined with aluminum foil to remove any discoloration.  A soft cloth to rub and dry jewelry will prevent from scratching your beautiful jewelry.


Gold Jewelry

While sterling silver jewelry is neutral and bright, gold jewelry is timeless. Because gold is malleable, it can be manipulated into any shape and style and you have a variety of classy and fresh choices to decide from. Since gold is so soft, it's usually mixed with another metal, like silver or copper to make it more dense and durable. The type of alloy metal it is mixed with also determines its color, from rose to white to yellow. Gold jewelry is more scratch-resistant than silver and doesn't tarnish, but you still will need to take care of your gold jewelry. Clean your gold jewelry with warm water and soap or just a jewelry cloth to polish.


No metal type is absolutely "pure" gold or pure silver. Pure or solid gold and silver doesn't mean the metal is durable and strong. In fact, pure gold or silver is too soft for jewelry and therefore are prone to bending. Because pure gold and silver are too malleable to make into jewelry by themselves, they are mixed with other metals and alloys, usually copper or nickel, to make them more durable for wear. If you're looking to get the best of both worlds—the durability of silver but the color of gold—consider gold-plated jewelry. Coated with gold, jewelry made of inexpensive metals like silver or stainless steel is the best option for those shopping on a budget.


If you've noticed someone wears one type of jewelry metal, but not another, it may not be the result of taste. Some people are allergic to specific metals, like nickel, so be careful when picking jewelry. Whether you're shopping jewelry for yourself or for someone else, be sure you get the best of the best for your style, budget and, even sometimes, health.