(Closed) Science behind "silver is a softer metal than gold"

posted 6 years ago in Rings
Post # 2
1365 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Gold is mixed with something else too make it stronger. I have many gold and silver rings. I much prefer the gold. Because silver bends and warped out of place. I do still love my silver too. 

Post # 3
40 posts

Both gold and silver are too soft to be used in jewelery in their purest forms. 

The rhodium plating on silver will protect it from tarnishing but won’t make it much stronger.  If you’re talking about jewelry with diamonds or large gemstones it’s still safer to go with gold over silver for durability and value.

Post # 4
15471 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I have 24kt rings and bracelets and yes, they do get all bent out of shape.  My bracelet was all spheres and are now little cubes from hitting them on my desk whenever I move my hand around.  The rings can certainly not be everyday jewlery, they will get bent out of shape so easily.  Gold for most rings are combined with other metals to make it stronger.  I don’t like silver cause it is soft too and tarnishes.

Post # 5
295 posts
Helper bee

Like pp’s have said, gold is mixed with something that makes it stronger. I have a ridiculous collection of gold earrings, necklaces, and rings from high school (so that makes them 20+ years old) that are still in excellent condition. Granted, they’ve sat in a box for the last 17 years or so b/c I hate the look of yellow gold now, but they still look great. When I was in college I fell in love with sterling silver and never looked back. But I have had many sterling silver pieces come and go because they just aren’t made for everyday/forever wear. I wish they were though!

Post # 6
6798 posts
Busy Beekeeper

My silver wedding set is 92.5% silver.  I don’t know what the rest is, nickel probably.  The pair isn’t a year old yet, but it’s still holding up just fine.  It’s scratched in a sort of ‘overall’ sense where there isn’t patterning, but who cares?  That just gives it character, as they say.  Nothing would have induced me to go with gold when silver was around (luckily my husband feels the same).  So yes, gold and silver are both mixed with ‘something’ to strengthen them.  Use whichever you prefer.  Silver is cheaper so you can have it reset more easily in the future if need be.

Post # 7
733 posts
Busy bee

I have a rhodium plated silver ring, and the rhodium plating after about 2 years started cracking, so the finish looks really weird now. It was cheap, so I don’t care, but I don’t see it being a forever ring.

I also think the cons of silver are very overstated. I have several silver rings that were worn a ton and look fine, and my father had a silver ring he wore every day for 20 years. He never took it off, even when he was working on his cars or doing yard work. It bent, but survived.

Silver doesn’t tarnish while you’re wearing it, especially if the design is simple. If you had a lot of detailing it might get a patina where it isn’t rubbed often.

But probably the biggest thing, is that very very few jewelers are going to set quality stones in silver. If you find a gemstone silver ring, chances are the gems are inferior.


Post # 8
4232 posts
Honey bee


I agree that there is much information to be gained from the science.

I also have found in my 30+yrs of wearing jewelry that while quality counts, it has its limits. I’ve banged up silver and gold (even the 10ct gold of my class rings). When you slam the door on your hand or lift/grasp weights in the gym while the ring is warmed or whatever, the metal can give. Thicker rings will likely do better than thinner, and if you lift weights like I do as opposed to doing a Rhonda Rousey workout, your rings may be just fine.

Now, some people seem to find silver tarnishing quickly and that could be their skin ph or their climate or some other external factor. I’ve not found those issues yet and I won’t act like they are meaningless. I just haven’t found the reason yet why silver won’t work for me. I’ve got some silver rings that are older than some Bees, so, what does one consider a “lifetime ring?” Is 25yrs enough? Because I’ve got those.

Anyway, it all just boils down to personal preference but what fun we have checking out all the sparklies as we look for the ones we want.

Happy shopping,

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misswrl:  !



Post # 9
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

I have 18k wg, but no constant replating. Some wg rings are made with better alloys than others and don’t require constant redoing. Just an fyi, for what it’s worth. But I like sterling just fine. 

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