How to tell the difference between silver, white gold and platinum

If you buy jewelry you are surely aware of the challenge of differentiating between these gray/white colored metals. It is not always easy to tell with the naked eye but this is may help.

precious metals
Silver Bars Cooling

  • The look Very simply, silver tarnishes. White gold and platinum do not.
  • The stone If you are looking at a precious stone in a setting, you are most likely looking at a gold or platinum piece. Most jewelers will not set a precious stone in silver. You are more likely to see a stone such as turquoise or amber set in silver.
  • Hallmarks
    • If you find a marking on an item with the letters PT, Pt or Plat, you most likely have an item made of platinum.
    • If you come across a marking K, k usually accompanied by a number such as 14K or 10k. You have found a white gold piece.
    • If you have an item with no hallmark or stampings it would mean it is made in another country that does not require hallmarking, or the item is quite old and was made when hallmarking was not required. Many times the item could be silver because if a craftsman makes a gold or platinum piece it is almost always hallmarked to preserve its value.

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