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The Differences in White Metals

Walk into any Jewelry Store and you’re bound to see an assortment of White Metals: White Gold, Sterling Silver, Platinum, Stainless Steel, Titanium and Tungsten.

White Metals are fashionable, trendy and have taken over the market.

So what are the differences between these metals, and what should you choose?

Let’s find out…

White Metals for Women

For Women, which is more about Engagement Rings and Bridal Sets, there really are only 2 great choices for White Metals: White Gold and Platinum!

You won’t really find any of the other White Metals used for Engagement Rings and here’s why…

Sterling Silver

Sterling Silver is way too soft for these types of rings that you’ll wear every single day. The metal bends too easily to hold any Diamonds securely! Your stone would loosen up or fall out of the mounting. For an Engagement Ring, that spells disaster. For other types of Jewelry like Gemstone Rings, Chains, Bracelets, it’s not a big deal. But not for the big Diamond! No way!

When you talk about Silver Jewelry, you usually are referring to cheaper pieces. If for no other reason than the fact that Silver oxidates and turns black (also leaving black marks on your skin). Not cool for an Engagement Ring!

Here’s some examples of Sterling Silver Jewelry…

Sterling Silver Jewelry!

Jewelry Stores tend to stick with much more harder metals like Gold (10k, 14k, 18k and 22k), or Platinum, which is very durable!

White Gold

White Gold is the standard metal for Bridal Rings. It takes on a nice bright polish that looks great and holds the stones tightly.

You’ll find White Gold to be your best bet for a couple of reasons:

  • The Price is Cheaper than Platinum
  • There are many great choices available
  • It’s bright and very lustrous
  • Jewelers love it

I prefer White Gold for Wedding Sets and Solitaires. I think it makes the Diamonds POP in the mounting and look great.

Curious enough, White Gold was made as a substitute for Platinum (because Platinum was needed for the wars).

Here are some great examples of White Gold Jewelry…

White Gold Jewelry!


Platinum is a much tougher White Metal, both to wear, and to work with. It’s also at least double, if not 3 to 4 times the price of Gold!

Platinum is durable, but not scratch resistant as some people believe. It does hold up much better than White Gold though.

Platinum doesn’t look at bright as White Gold, nor does it take on the high polish. It’s more of a darker metal, but still beautiful.

Platinum is pure, rich and extremely elite. You tell someone you’re wearing a Platinum Ring and they’ll know you spent some bucks. It’s the cream of the crop.

Take a look at some great Platinum pieces…

Platinum Jewelry!

That’s pretty much it for the ladies. Maybe in some rare instances you’ll find some Titanium or Stainless Steel Engagement Rings, but these are not the norm. It’s too difficult to alter, size, swap out different sized stones, or change in any way. The metals are not very giving.

Stick with White Gold or Platinum and you’ll find your choices are limitless!

White Metals for Guys

Wedding Bands (can really be worn by Men and Women), are where you’ll see a lot of alternate metals to choose from.

In fact, white metals like Stainless Steel, Titanium, Tungsten and Black Steel (not a white metal, but a great choice for men), have taken over and dominated the wedding band arena.

This is for a couple of great reasons:

  • They are Cheap
  • They are Durable
  • They are Cool
  • They are Masculine

Most of these Wedding Band Metals aren’t highly bright or polished like White Gold is. They are muted, duller and darker, a feature that men love.

Stainless Steel is the brightest of the bunch, but hey, it’s Steel like the Man of Steel! And it has more of a gun-metal gray cast to it that guys prefer! :)

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel Jewelry has become so popular that just about the entire men’s line has been redone and revamped. Steel is everywhere!

Stainless Steel, as well as Black Steel, is very durable and takes quite a beating.

The biggest problem with Steel is that it’s just about impossible to size. I’ve seen Jewelers stretch a Stainless Steel band up 1/4 – 1/2 size, but that’s really pushing the limits of this metal. Most Jewelers would just say "NO" to a sizing, and enforce the fact that they should be ordered in the right size. Especially if the ring has any kind of etchings, patterns, designs, or stones in it.

Stainless Steel comes in many, many designs. I love Steel and for men, it’s one of my favorite metals to recommend.

Take a look at some Stainless Steel Jewelry below…

Stainless Steel Jewelry!


Titanium is a very light weight, inexpensive, and durable metal that’s been around for about 10-15 years in the Jewelry Industry.

I first started noticing Titanium coming into the stores in the form of Watches. They felt weird to me. I was so used to a heavy watch (I love the weight of a Stainless Steel Watch), and to pick up a Titanium Watch was like picking up air. It felt hollow inside. It was so light!

Light or not, it stands up extremely well. After all, they use Titanium on the Space Shuttle! Titanium in Rings is great. It’s a darker gray metal, but sadly, it has the same problems, if not more, when it comes to sizings… It can’t be done! Titanium needs to be custom ordered in the proper size to begin with.

Usually this isn’t a big deal for men. They just need to go to the store, have their finger fitted, and within 2-6 weeks, a perfectly made ring will come in. Men aren’t eager to wear a ring anyway… :)

Take a look at some Titanium designs…

Titanium Jewelry!

Those rings rock! :)


Tungsten is the most durable white metal there is. It’s dark, inexpensive, and makes for some stunning looks. I like Tungsten, but once again, it can’t be sized or resized… Don’t lose or gain any weight! :)

With Tungsten, you have to order it in advance.

Tungsten is so durable, that it claims to be scratch proof! Videos online (Tungsten Scratch Test via YouTube) show people taking a Steel File to a Tungsten Ring and showing no scratches or damage at all. Now that’s impressive!

Take a look at some Tungsten Rings below…

Tungsten Jewelry!

Compare White Metals

On the Mohs Scale of Hardness (A scale that rates metals in toughness), it lists the White Metals in this order of hardness:

  • White Gold – 2.5 – 3
  • Silver – 2.5 – 3
  • Platinum – 4 – 4.5
  • Steel – 4 – 4.5
  • Titanium – 6
  • Tungsten – 7.5

White Metal Colors

Now let’s compare all the different colors of metals side by side…

Colors of White Metals!

It’s interesting to see all the hues together to really see the variety available from light to dark.

It may be trendy at the moment to venture into these new metals, but I actually feel that they’re here to stay. It’s made much more of a dent in the Men’s Jewelry Line than anything ever in the past.

Men actually like to wear Jewelry now! Fancy that!

What do I recommend?

For Ladies: White Gold!

It’s bright, lustrous, easy to work with and reasonably priced. Plus, the availability of it and the designs are out of this world!

For Men: Stainless Steel or Titanium. They have made a huge impact with men and the choices you get in Rings, Bracelets, Chains and Watches are phenomenal! They are my #1 choice! Plus, they are manly, rugged, and will handle any physical activity you throw at them. Bonus!

P.S. The Colors of all these White Metals will vary depending on the style and manufacturing process of the item.

Cheers! :)

Recommended Jewelry Supplies:

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Jewelry Steam Cleaner Complete Jewelry Cleaner Kit Diamond Dazzle Stick
Gold Silver Jewelry Polishing Cloths Jewelry Making Supplies Kit Gold Acid Test Kit Watch Tool Repair Kit
Ring Adjusters EMT Emergency Ring Cutter 10x Jewelers Loupe Jewelers Microscope

Recommended Jewelry Supplies:

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Jewelry Steam Cleaner
Complete Jewelry Cleaner Kit Diamond Dazzle Stick
Gold Silver Jewelry Polishing Cloths Jewelry Making Supplies Kit
Gold Acid Test Kit Watch Tool Repair Kit
Ring Adjusters EMT Emergency Ring Cutter
10x Jewelers Loupe Jewelers Microscope


  1. Bill Proctor, Canada // February 17, 2018 at 2:02 pm // Reply

    I have a white metal men’s chain bracelet that was left to me by my father. It is at least 50 years old, has only an illegible Hallmark. It is not silver, the links very in size, smaller at the ends largest in the center. Being that someone spent a lot of time making the links of varying sizes I’m thinking it’s white gold, not stainless. Is there a test I can do to determine the metal? Thanks for your anticipated help, Bill

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