Is Sterling Silver Harder Than 14k Gold?(Detailed Answer in 2024!)

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Is Sterling Silver Harder than 14k gold? The world today is filled with metals of varying types and colors and the information tends to be overwhelming and confusing for the population with no background knowledge on metals.

Sterling silver and 14 karat gold are some of the top-ranking metals for jewelry. Which between the two metals is more durable?

When it comes to the selection of jewelry pieces, you want to pick the best and most durable one. Having to select from two favorites made with a different metal, will prove to be a headache for some but not for you who has read this summary review.


Is Sterling Silver Harder than 14k gold?

No, 14k gold is harder than sterling silver. This is due to their properties that make gold and silver quite soft in their natural and pure states.

Sterling silver is 92.5% silver with only 7.5% of other metals like zinc, copper, or nickel added to make it stronger and a little harder.

14k gold is made of 58.3% of pure gold with the remaining 41.7% being a mix of other metals such as zinc, nickel, copper, silver, and rhodium plating.

The higher percentage of alloyed metals as compared to the pure metal makes the resulting piece more durable, strong, and resistant to scratches and corrosion.

Even when made thinner, 14k jewelry is still hardier than sterling silver and will outlast it every time.


Is Sterling Silver Harder than 18k gold? Why?

No, it is much lighter and more susceptible to damages than the 18k gold.

18k gold contains 25% palladium, nickel, or silver metals that give it its white and bright color. This combination is also referred to as white gold. Many people get confused between white gold and sterling silver as they may look quite alike.

The 18k gold is further coated with Rhodium to make it more resistant to corrosion and to create a protective barrier for those who are allergic to metals such as nickel.

Though the rhodium plating over the gold piece will wear out over time, the higher percentage of alloys in 18k gold makes it harder than the sterling silver.


Is 10K Gold Harder Than Sterling Silver? Why?

Yes, 10K gold is harder than sterling silver. The reason for this is similar to the previous two gold classes and in their metal alloy composition.

10 karat gold is marked 417 to indicate the 41.7% pure gold quality in its composition. The other 58.3% represents the added metals that make up the finished 10K product. These extra-base metals make the gold harder and more durable.

Sterling silver is only 7.5% impure and this means that it retains much of its original properties such as its softness and affinity for scratches.


Is Bronze Stronger Than Silver?

Yes. Bronze is considerably hardier than silver. Bronze is a copper and tin alloy while silver is pure metal. On the Moh’s hardy scale, bronze has a rating of 3 while silver has a rating of 2.5 to 3.

This means that bronze can scratch or indent the silver metal. It is mostly used in the production of tools, armors, and coins. Red bronze contains higher levels of copper and should be thinly coated to prevent tarnishing and chipping.

Bronze mostly used in jewelry is referred to as Tombac and replicates the look of a fine piece of gold but with a cheaper price tag. This alloy has less zinc in it.

Based on these findings, it is true that bronze is stronger than silver. The only downsides to using bronze are its metal reaction with skin that will pose a problem for most people either due to allergic reactions or with instances of skin discoloration.

You could alternatively have a blend of both silver and bronze metals by adding tin, lead, nickel, zinc, and copper to make corrosion-resistant, fairly strong metal alloys.



Since Sterling Silver contains 92.5% of its pure form, it has retained most of its silver-like properties. This makes the alloyed metal much softer than other heavily alloyed metals such as 10k, 14k, or 18k gold.

For this very reason, silver and its metal alloys are not as resistant to corrosion as their gold and bronze counterparts.

For more jewelry metal articles, read this page for more. We write a lot of jewelry metal topics here and here.

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