White Gold Vs Silver

To the untrained eye, white gold and silver look and feel the same. However, they are two completely different substances. 

This post explains the difference between white gold and silver and then discusses the pros and cons of each.

Difference Between White Gold And Silver

White gold is a gold alloy containing palladium, nickel, zinc, rhodium and silver. The exact ratios of these metals vary according to the manufacturer, but gold typically comprises 37.5 per cent of the alloy. (By contrast, gold bars are 99.999 per cent gold). 

By contrast, silver is almost entirely silver. 925 Sterling silver is 92.5 per cent silver and 7.5 per cent other metals, usually copper. Fine silver (like fine gold) is more than 99 per cent silver. Silver coins are Sterling silver. 

Both white gold and sterling silver are hardier than pure gold and silver. Alloying improves their strength and durability characteristics. Pure gold or silver jewellery can break easily because these metals are soft in their natural state. 

White gold is shiny, similar to platinum. However, the shininess comes from the rhodium plating, not the white gold itself (the underlying metal is slightly yellow). 


Silver is shiny and lustrous, like white gold, but has a slight hint of grey. It’s not quite as bright as rhodium but easy to texture and style. 


White gold is more expensive than silver because it contains rare metals, such as gold and palladium. Interestingly, jewellers may charge more for white gold than regular yellow gold because some of the metals in it cost more per ounce than pure gold. 

Silver is a more abundant and cheaper metal than either gold or palladium. Gold is £47.50 per gram, and palladium is £47.10 per gram. On the other hand, silver is just £0.62 per gram


Rhodium protects white gold. However, it doesn’t last forever. You know it’s time to replace the plating when a gold colour starts showing through.

By contrast, marks on silver can appear more easily. Owners must clean and polish it regularly to keep it in good condition. 

For example, Sterling silver with a high copper content can form an oxidative layer on the surface, making it appear greyer than fine silver. This tarnishing doesn’t damage the silver, you can recover the metal later if needed, but it does affect the appearance. 

Pros And Cons Of White Gold


  • Shiny and lustrous
  • Usually less expensive than pure platinum
  • A popular choice for wedding bands


  • Rhodium plating may require replacement
  • It may turn yellow over time as the rhodium plating wears off
  • It is not hypoallergenic because it may contain nickel

Pros And Cons Of Silver


  • Inexpensive and beautiful
  • Looks great when new
  • Widely available and mimic the appearance and characteristics of more valuable metals
  • Cons:
  • Tarnishes easily due to the copper content
  • Softer than white gold, increasing the risk of silver marking
  • Requires regular cleaning and polishing to look its best

    Both white gold and silver are valuable metals, so if you own them, you should get them valued.

Understanding Carat Values in Scrap Gold


If you are an investor, or you’re looking to buy or sell gold, it’s crucial to understand carat values and how they impact the value of scrap gold. The carat value is an indicator of the purity of the gold. If you’re shopping for jewellery, for example, you may have come across 24ct, 18ct or 9ct gold rings or necklaces. The higher the carat value, the more pure the gold. In this guide, we’ll explain carat values and their effect on scrap gold prices and outline ways to buy and sell gold for the best price.

Understanding carat values

The carat value is a measure of the purity of gold. The scale runs from 0 to 24, with 24-carat gold representing the purest gold on the market. The carat value of scrap gold is used to determine the ratio of gold to other metals or materials, such as copper, nickel and silver. 

It is common to come across gold that is marked 24ct, 18ct, 14ct and 9ct. A 24ct ring will be 99.9% pure gold compared to a 9ct gold ring, which will contain approximately 37.5% gold.

Differences between high and low-carat gold

  • Purity: the higher the carat value of the gold, the higher its purity. 
  • Value and function: pure gold is worth more but it’s not always the most practical choice. If you’re buying gold jewellery to wear every day, rather than investing in gold or looking for a piece for special occasions, for example, it may be better to choose an 18ct, 14ct or a 9ct piece, as they will be more durable. 
  • Strength and durability: pure gold is softer and less durable and hard-wearing than lower-carat gold. 

Colour: 24ct gold usually appears more yellow than lower-carat gold.

How to identify carat value

Understanding scrap gold carat purity levels is important for determining its value. In most cases, the easiest way to determine the carat value of scrap gold is to check the hallmark. Most pieces will be stamped, which will enable the buyer to learn more about the purity of the gold. Stamps and hallmarks vary according to location and origin.

If there is no stamp, or it’s impossible to identify the carat value through a visual inspection, there are other ways to confirm the purity of scrap gold before buying or selling. These include:

  1. Acid tests
  2. Electronic tests

The importance of identifying carat value when buying or selling

It is critical to identify the carat value of gold when buying or selling to ensure that you get the best price if you are selling and that you pay a fair price if you are purchasing gold. If you don’t know the carat value, you can’t estimate the value accurately and this means that you could lose money or fall foul of a scam or an unfair offer. 

Carat value is one of the main factors to consider when calculating profits when buying and selling scrap gold. If you own a 24ct gold necklace, for example, it will have a higher value than 18ct, 14ct and 9ct jewellery. 

Risks and challenges when buying and selling scrap gold

Buying and selling gold can be lucrative, but there are risks. These include market volatility and price fluctuations, fraud and scams. To minimise risks, follow these steps:

  1. Research: carry out thorough research and learn as much as possible about the market, gold prices and which factors impact the value of scrap gold.
  2. Find a reputable gold buyer and verify claims and accreditations
  3. Get a series of quotes before you accept an offer
  4. Learn as much as possible about the pieces you plan to buy or sell
  5. Make use of resources designed to help traders, investors and collectors, such as market analysis tools and gold trade associations

How do gold carat values compare to other precious metals?

The purity of gold is measured in carats. Silver and platinum purity are not classified using carats. The purity of silver and platinum is expressed in parts per thousand. The higher the figure, the higher the purity. 


Carat values are used to determine the purity of gold. If you are buying or selling scrap gold, it’s important to understand carat values. The purity of the gold will have a significant influence on its value. The purest form of gold is 24-carat gold. 

How to Clean Your Gold

Gold is a beautiful metal, but it looks its best when it’s well cared for. Whether your gold is in the form of jewellery, coins, bullion, or anything else, gold cleaning and polishing can help to maintain it.

When you clean gold, you obviously don’t want to damage it in any way. It’s important to use the right methods that will help your gold to look clean and bright without causing any problems. Fortunately, there are plenty of tried and tested methods that you can use to clean your gold in a safe way.

Methods for Cleaning Gold

There are various methods for you to explore to clean any gold items you own. You can choose whichever method works for you.

Gold cleaning solutions

If you want to clean any gold items that you own, you could start by looking at gold cleaning solutions. These commercial products are designed to clean gold gently and efficiently, and they can be a quick and simple way to ensure you clean your gold safely.

Household cleaners

However, if you want to save money, you might want to explore other methods. There are some everyday household products that you could use to clean gold. For example, a little washing-up liquid mixed with some lukewarm water can be an effective solution for cleaning gold. You can also use sparkling/carbonated water (sodium-free), which can help to loosen dirt. You can soak your gold in the solution for around 15 to 30 minutes, then use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub away dirt before rinsing and drying.

Another option is to use a few drops of ammonia mixed with water. However, ammonia is strong, so be sure to only soak your items for a few minutes at most.

If you have any jewellery with glued-in gemstones, avoid soaking these in water. It can cause the stones to become loose. Instead, you can wipe the jewellery down with a soapy cloth, then finish it with a clean, damp cloth.

Professional cleaning

If you’re not sure about cleaning your gold at home, you could also choose to have it cleaned professionally. While this might be a more expensive option, some people prefer to use a professional service if they’re looking for complete peace of mind.

Polishing Your Gold

If you want to give your gold an extra polish, perhaps in between cleans, you can use a microfibre cloth. These soft cloths are also useful for drying your gold items after you have washed them. A jeweller’s cloth can be used to do the same job. This can help to give your gold a little extra shine.

How Often Should You Clean Gold?

What are the signs that you need to clean gold items, and how often should you do it? Gold can generally stand up to frequent and gentle cleaning, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to clean it all the time. Gold jewellery that you wear often should be cleaned more often. A gentle weekly clean should be sufficient, and you can use deep cleaning methods if there’s any reason your gold jewellery might be dirtier than usual. Jewellery that you only wear on occasion probably only needs to be cleaned when it looks dirty.

As for other gold items, you probably don’t need to clean them if they don’t appear dirty or tarnished. The occasional clean and polish can help to make them look their best.

What Causes Gold to Tarnish?

Gold may become dirty from being worn or other factors.Pure gold does not tarnish but jewellery is usually made of an alloy of gold and other metals such as silver and copper and can tarnish due to a chemical reaction that causes a dull film to form. This can eventually turn black if it isn’t cleaned off, causing your gold jewellery to look unsightly. There are also certain things that can make tarnishing worse, such as wearing gold jewellery while swimming.

Protecting Your Gold

As well as understanding the best methods for gold restoration when it needs cleaning, you can take steps to protect your gold. If you protect it, you can prevent it from becoming dirty and tarnished. For good gold maintenance, keep your gold somewhere clean and dry. If you have gold jewellery, avoid wearing it when you’re sweaty, working out, or going swimming. There are also some products you can use to spray gold items to create a protective layer that helps to repel dirt.

Cleaning your gold will help it to stay looking smart so it retains its value. If you have any gold items, make sure you understand proper gold maintenance.

Gold-Plated Vs Gold Filled

Neither gold-plated nor gold-filled jewellery is solid gold. However, these two processes are different from each other. 

This post explores what the terms “gold-plated” and “gold-filled” actually mean and the pros and cons of each. 

What Is Gold-Plated? 

Jewellers make gold-plated jewellery by coating a base metal, usually brass, silver, copper or nickel, with gold. The gold layer is exceptionally thin, only enough to give items the appearance of solid gold, nothing more. Items using this method are approximately 0.05 per cent gold by weight, but it depends on the process.

Gold-plating begins with surface preparation. Jewellers remove oils and dirt and polish the material to accept the new gold layer. Base metals then undergo a second electro- or ultrasonic cleaning to eliminate any remaining residue. 

Once cleaned, jewellers can begin the strike process. Here, they apply thin nickel plating between the base metal and where they will deposit the gold. This layer acts as a buffer and prevents contamination of the precious metal. 

Following rinsing, manufacturers apply another base layer (usually nickel, but it depends on the underlying material) and then add the final coating. Gold-plating involves submerging the jewellery item in a vat of gold ions and applying an electric charge. The charge causes gold to deposit thinly and evenly over the surface of the jewellery, giving it the appearance of solid gold, but without the cost. 

What Is Gold-Filled?

By contrast, gold-filled jewellery is where manufacturers take a cheap base metal and then wrap it in a solid gold layer. Like regular gold jewellery, gold-filled items come in various purities, including 10K, 14K, 18K and 24K. 

Gold-filled jewellery has a higher gold content by weight than gold-plated. Items usually contain 5 per cent (or more) gold, with the rest being a cheap base metal. 

The process of making gold-filled jewellery is different from gold-plating. Jewellers start with a base metal and then sandwich it between two layers of gold (or gold alloys). Applying heat and pressure to the metals creates a chemical bond, causing them to fuse, yielding a solid piece of jewellery. 

The Pros And Cons Of Gold-Plated Vs Gold-Filled Jewellery

Deciding whether to get gold-plated or gold-filled jewellery can be challenging. Here’s a rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of each across several dimensions: 


Gold-plated jewellery is significantly cheaper than gold-filled jewellery because it uses so little gold. However, gold-filled is still far less expensive than solid gold. 

The price of gold-filled depends on the carat. The purer the metal, the more you pay. 


Gold-filled jewellery is durable because it is made by sandwiching base metals between solid gold or gold alloy. Therefore, it takes on the longevity qualities of regular gold. 

By contrast, gold-plated jewellery is less durable. Because the gold layer is only a few microns thick, the risk of it rubbing off is higher.


Lastly, neither gold-filled nor gold-plated jewellery should tarnish if cared for correctly. However, the thin layer of gold on gold-plated items can wear off quickly, exposing the corrosion-prone base metal. 

Selling Gold Jewellery? Read this First! 

You can make money fast by selling your old or unwanted pieces of gold jewellery. But there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to secure the best price. Read on for our top three tips. 

1. Understand the real worth of your jewellery  

Our first tip is to understand how you can realise the true worth of your gold jewellery. This involves looking at the item and its component parts separately.  

Scrap gold buyers are very specialised companies. At UK Scrap Gold, for example, we handle the full end-to-end process from buying scrap gold, to testing and validating its purity and finally smelting it down to be recycled into new gold products.

This means we have an efficient business, and we can give you some of the best prices on the market for your scrap gold. But it also means we’re not necessarily the best people to speak to when there’s another item involved, such as a substantial ruby or an emerald.  

So, we suggest you remove any significant precious stones before selling your gold. That way, you can keep them if they’re important to you, or sell them on to a specialist.  

Meanwhile, we’ll give you a price based purely on the weight of the gold in the item you sell to us with no hidden charges or processing fees. 

2. Sell to a business you trust   

Next step in securing the best price for your gold is to find a business you can trust. Unfortunately, not all online scrap gold buyers are who they say they are, so it’s essential to seek out businesses with a loyal customer base and many years of experience. 

At UK Scrap Gold, we take great pride in our reputation and the relationships and trust we have built with our customers. We’ve been operating for over 20 years with a team of experts who you can speak to about your scrap gold sale.  

Feel free to contact us by phone or email, or you can even come to visit us in person at our physical location in Wolverhampton. We operate through a system of appointments in order to keep you and your gold secure.  

3. Look for transparent gold prices 

Finally, take some time to look for a guide on how much you’ll receive for your gold. Familiarise yourself with the different prices that businesses offer you before you make a decision on who you want to sell to and prioritise those who are transparent with their pricing. 

At UK Scrap Gold you can use our calculator for a quick and easy way to find out the value of your gold should you sell to us. Our website also has a price comparison feature so you can look at our rates in comparison to some of our competitors. These are just some of the small steps we have taken to maintain transparency with our customers.  

Sell your gold jewellery today 

By recycling your gold to create new products, we provide your jewellery with a new life! It’s also an increasingly important way of reducing the negative impact that gold mining has on the planet, including the pollution of waterways and the destruction of protected natural reserves.  

Your contribution helps reduce the need to mine for new gold, a small but significant step towards protecting our planet. Fill out our form to find out how much you can get for your gold today! Any questions? Give us a call we’ll be happy to help. 

The Flip Side of Selling Gold Coins

In an age of digital transactions, going paperless and having fewer reasons to spend actual cash, you might wonder what coins have left going for them. Gold coins, you’ll be interested to know, can crop up in the most unexpected of places. We know for a fact that you can attract a respectable price if you wish to sell gold in your possession.

Victorian Gold Sovereigns  

Gold coinage might sound like an archaic form of exchange calling back to an older time, but really, these items hark back more to a golden age if anything. Just 150 years ago, Gold Sovereigns were commonly used forms of currency in the UK, bearing the portrait of Queen Victoria herself, one of the country’s longest-reigning monarchs. 

Her lengthy reign and the production of various designs of Gold Sovereigns during this time means Queen Victoria has a wider variety of Sovereign coins struck in her likeness than any British monarch before or since. Gold Sovereigns and Half Sovereigns contain gold to the value of roughly £300 and £150 at today’s prices. Depending on the design, the date it was minted, rarity and condition, specific coins may be of interest to historians, numismatists or gold coin enthusiasts and hold much greater value. 

For example, during Queen Victoria’s long reign, several versions of her likeness were used on her coins. The ‘Young Head’, for the early part of her reign, the ‘Jubilee Head’ covering the period from 1887 to 1893, and the ‘Old Head’ or ‘Veiled Head’, with Queen Victoria depicted in mourning following the death of her husband. The iconic St George and The Dragon design for Sovereigns was also replaced by a shield design at various times during Queen Victoria’s reign. 

Gold coins by type 

Gold Sovereigns aren’t the only types of coins you might find as old heirlooms, or as part of pieces of jewellery. The UK is a popular producer of such coins, including the Britannia, depicting the British emblem herself. The 1oz of pure gold contained in a Britannia coin is currently worth more than £1,200. This means, if you are lucky enough to find some of these coins in your possession, you could be sitting on a small fortune.  

South African Krugerrand gold coins are another form of coin to watch out for, first minted from 1967 onwards as a means of allowing for private ownership of gold. Between the 1970s and 1980s, at the height of the apartheid era, import of such coins from South Africa was prohibited in many countries. However, following relaxation of these regulations, the Krugerrand went on to become the most widely held 1oz gold bullion coin on Earth. 

There are a finite number of gold coins which are now prized heirlooms or incorporated in items of jewellery, such as Sovereign pendants or rings, lying in homes all over the country. As there is such demand from the buyer side from the likes of gold coin enthusiasts, historians and other gold-related buyers, prices can be substantial, and give you a golden dividend, should you wish to sell with UK Scrap Gold today.  

Found a gold coin but want to get the experts to take a look at it? Give us a call on 01902 623 254 to make this happen today. 

Is Your Scrap Gold or Silver Worth Its Weight?

Authenticity is crucial when you wish to sell gold or silver. UK Scrap Gold has been a buyer of a wide range of items including rings, chains, gold tooth fillings and silver cutlery over the years, just to name a few. But all is not as it seems. All that glitters is not gold.

Precious metals prices are close to all-time highs, so you don’t want to fall at the last hurdle, and find your items aren’t what you think they are.

An electroplating epidemic

UK Scrap Gold has experienced a growing number of people sending in items believed to be gold or silver, only to be disappointed when our team digs deeper and discovers they’re not. Items which give the appearance of gold or silver can often be electroplated. This means manufacturers apply a thin layer of gold or silver onto the surface of a cheaper metal, often copper.

It makes you believe the item is authentic, but cut through the glossy exterior, and you’ll find you may have been short-changed.

Electroplating is an electro-chemical process which can short-change you, and stops you benefiting from the tangible value to be had when selling true gold or silver, when the time comes. While gold and silver are durable metals, electroplated alternatives are worth a fraction of their value, and degrade easily, as the molecules from the base metal transfer into the thin gold/silver layer, causing it to look tarnished over time.

Signs to watch out for include apparent wear to the surface of your item – solid gold is ageless and doesn’t oxidise, helping preserve its shine for thousands of years. Electroplating serves as a sticky plaster, but the shine soon wears off, exposing the copper underneath.

Hallmarks to spot

Fortunately, gold and silver items can be more easily identified if they have hallmarks. These markings serve as effective seals of approval, informing you of the purity of your item, as well as the Sponsor’s Mark and Assay Office mark.

For more information about hallmarks and how they work, check out this article here.

Gold items often include a stamp saying “375” which means the item has been assessed and officially classed as being 9 carat or 37.5 per cent pure. Keep an eye out for this number, as purity plays a significant role in determining how valuable gold items can be. Our Gold Scrap Calculator can help you work out what you could make by selling with UK Scrap Gold today. All you need is the item’s weight, plus its purity.

If you’re sure you have an item which you believe to be genuine gold or silver, and you wish to sell, look no further than UK Scrap Gold. We offer £14.25 for just one gram of 9-carat gold, as a starting point. Imagine what a heavier higher-purity item could be worth.

For more information about selling scrap gold or silver, call UK Scrap Gold on 01902 623 254.

Make Some Easy Cash Ahead of Christmas 2020

It’s not an exaggeration to say 2020 has been a tough time for many of us. COVID-19 and the recession that followed mean this will be one of the hardest Christmases for generations. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t have something of a Christmas miracle – if you have any scrap gold lying around, that could loosen up some much-needed cash.

With prices higher than during any previous festive season, now could be the opportune time to make a sale, to reap a much-needed cash boost this Christmas.

High prices, high rewards

During times of uncertainty, gold prices rise and we’ve had bucketloads of that in 2020. Crashing stock markets, businesses shutting up shop and people having to stay indoors has forced many of us to get more used to staying within the four walls of our homes. But what if you’ve done some looking around, and found a trove of unwanted gold items?

This summer, UK gold prices touched £1,500 per troy ounce for the first time. This means UK Scrap Gold is able to offer some of the highest prices for scrap we’ve ever seen since we started helping people make sales across the UK.

You can see more of gold’s impressive winning streak by checking out our Live Gold Price tracker here. By catching the markets at the right time, during a price rally, you might be in a position to make the most of selling your gold for the highest price possible.

Use our Scrap Gold Calculator to get an up-to-date reading for what your items could be worth this Christmas. All you need is the weight and purity, as measured in carats. An item weighing just one gram with 9-carat purity could earn you £15.93, so there’s much to be made from selling today.

A much-needed Christmas boost

Our prices are some of the most competitive on the gold scrap markets, as we offer an efficient digital service, which is easy to use, and allows you to make a transaction with a few short clicks.

No doubt we’d all leap at the chance for a few extra pennies, especially ahead of the Christmas holidays. Selling your scrap gold with UK Scrap Gold today could be just what you need – we’re specialists in helping make quick and easy sales.

It all starts with filling out this Sell to Us form with the basic personal details we need to ensure a safe transaction. Please note we will pause receipt of scrap items from 17th December 2020 for the festive holiday period, so make sure to send items before this date, to ensure we can receive them without delay.