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What Is The Difference Between Silver, White Gold, and Platinum

Posted on May 26th, 2016 by Joe G

When you are shopping for jewelry you will notice that there are several different types of silver & white precious metal items. Some will be slightly gray in appearance. Some of these pieces are silver, others are white gold, and some could be platinum or palladium. How do you tell these grayish/silver metals apart?


If you are looking at a necklace, rings, bracelet or any type of jewelry with a gemstone set, it is likely to be platinum or white gold. In the past jewelers in most cases did not set diamonds or gemstones in silver jewelry since it was considered a lesser precious metal. Silver jewelry depending on the origin, will most often be in the form of rings, belt buckles, money clips, bracelets, pins, necklaces, etc. with stones like coral or turquoise, but newer trends show that jewelers are starting to incorporate diamonds along with other colored stones like amethyst, tourmaline along with others into their creations. Not often for diamonds but it does happen


It is a fact that silver will generally tarnish. If you pick up a piece of jewelry or item at a store and see blue/black tarnish on the surface, you can almost be sure that it is silver. Platinum tends to have a white appearance and is shiny when new but tends to turn a whitish gray after awhile and needs to be polished professionally to revive the luster.Silver also exhibits this so you need to then look for markings on or inside to determine what it is. Silver will usually be stamped Sterling, or .925. Platinum will be stamped Platinum or 10% Iridium/90% Platinum.


Hallmarks, stamped markings on an item, indicate an items metallic content. If you see markings with letters PT, Pt, or Plat, 10% Iridium 90% Platinum, or .900 you will know that this item is platinum. When an item is a white gold you will see a K or k, followed by numbers. However, there are not always hallmarks on your jewelry. This could mean the piece was made in a country where hallmarks are not required. It could also mean that the items are very old, dating back to a time when hallmarks were not needed. Or the ring may have been sized and the jeweler took out the part that was stamped to reduce the size.

Bring your silver, white gold, palladium, and platinum pieces into Chicago Gold Gallery. We have been buying gold, jewelry, diamonds, watches, and collectibles since 1980. Our expert team will carefully assess, inspect and evaluate all your items individually. If you are looking to sell your silver, platinum, or white gold, we will make sure that you are getting the best prices possible. Visit us today at 1236 W. Devon Avenue Chicago, IL 60660.


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