Different Metals

Written by Bold Commerce Collaborator


Posted on November 22 2019

Here Is Brief Explanation Of Each Of The Metals That We Use:-

Gold – Is by far the most popular metals of all used in jewellery making. Gold is exceptionally flexible and elegant with a classical look – Is very popular for its golden and warm tone and captured all mankind heart like no other metal. It has been used by Ancient Egyptians in creating art and since used for jewellery for over 6000 years. It is now also a strong commodity within the financial market. The gold metal itself is very flexible and is easily moulded into various shapes and designs. It is ideal for engraving and setting stones. It is very easy to maintain as it is resistant to tarnish and rust, shine can fade slightly with detergents and moisturisers but is easily polished back to its original shine.

Gold jewellery must be stored separately to avoid getting scratched from hard metal and discolour.

Gold is a very soft and the softness is based on the purity of gold, gold on its own cannot be used in jewellery making as it is too soft to make jewellery. As gold is too soft other alloy metals such as copper and zinc is mixed and hence all gold jewellery has hall marks to confirm the amount of pure gold.

Break Down Follows:-

24 Karat – 99.9% pure

22 Karat – 91.7% pure

18 Karat – 75% pure

14 Karat – 58.3% pure

10 Karat – 41.7% pure

 It is important to select jewellery based on how much you will use the piece of jewellery as when buying a ring it needs to be strong due to the use of it therefore best to select either 18 or 14 karat as it much stronger than 22 karat due to less purity of gold within it. The alloys that are mixed with gold can change its colour, there are many mixtures however the three most commonly used are yellow gold, white gold and rose gold.

Yellow Gold 9ct, 14ct, 18ct – Has always been popular for engagement and wedding rings due to its hue of warmth and shine. It is recognised as romantic and timeless and versatile for various jewellery designs and gems. Yellow gold is mixed with a tiny silver and copper to bring out the warmth. Due to the karats of gold there is slight colour variations. Usually there is no allergic reaction to wearing gold, colour does not change and resistant to tarnish. Easily maintained, keep away from chemicals, polish with a jewellery polish cloth to bring back shine.

White Gold 9ct, 14ct, 18ct – Is elegant and fashionable, with a shiny silvery tone different to yellow gold. It started from 1920 when it became fashionable with art deco. The silvery tone attracts people to the simplicity and subtle look. Gold is naturally yellow and too soft to make into jewellery therefore mixed with stronger alloys. To get the silvery tone it is mixed with one or more of the white metals such as palladium which is the most common followed by nickel and magnesium. White gold is an alternative to platinum and more affordable and used with diamond settings as it complements each other. White gold naturally contains the pure yellow gold, and the silvery shine is formed using the rhodium from the platinum group of metals to improve the whiteness and durability. Cleaning is easy in warm soapy water however keep away from other item of jewellery as the rhodium can scratch and golden hues might come through.

Rose Gold 9ct, 14ct, 18ct – Has become popular and trendy in recent years and very fashionable in making traditional jewellery. It was first widespread back in 1920’s when Louis Cartier designed the Trinity ring consisting of three interlocking rings of yellow, rose and white gold. Yellow displayed loyalty, white friendship and rose love, together it symbolised harmony. Since then rose gold has been used as an alternative to yellow and white gold. It is very stylish and elegant and due to the colour it matches more skin tones than yellow and white. Yellow gold is mixed with copper to get the rose colour. Maintenance is the same as any gold, it should not be in touch with chemicals and stored separate from other jewellery. Like all other gold it is hallmarked.

Two/Three colour gold – As mentioned above gold comes in three colours yellow, white and rose gold. When a jewellery is mixed with different colours of gold it is called either two toned gold jewellery or three toned gold jewellery. The different tones are usually put together to create a fashionable look also it symbolises the love between the two people as mentioned earlier yellow displays loyalty, white friendship and rose love combined together it symbolises harmony. It is also recognised as past, present and future. Hence the two / three tone is ideally chosen for eternity and anniversary rings.

Platinum – Is very popular due to the purity, colour, durability and status. Platinum has a beautiful subtle shiny silver look. The strength and resistance to tarnishing is the attraction as it is suitable for busy lifestyle users and chosen due to its popularity amongst the rich and famous. Platinum metal is a pure metal unlike gold which is mixed with alternative stronger alloys therefore platinum is ideal for sensitive skins and those with allergic reactions. This metal is used in both men and women’s jewellery however it is ideal for men’s wedding ring due to the strength and weight making it ideal for diamond settings. However it wears over time and scratches easily if in contract with stronger metals as steel. Can be easily re-polished and easy to clean in warm soapy water, dry with a soft cloth. Platinum is more expensive to gold due to its purity and rarer than gold. Many people buy platinum as heirloom and pass it down family. A traditional platinum jewellery piece would have the 950 mark meaning it contains 95% platinum.

Palladium – An alternative metal to platinum due to its affordability. Its appearance is of the platinum, shiny silvery white colour and strong. It has become more popular in recent years as an alternative to the platinum for those that are looking for affordable jewellery. It falls within the platinum group of metals however much softer than platinum. Ideal for sensitive skins and those with allergic reactions due to purity of the metal. Also like platinum if dented or scratched it can easily be re-polished and as platinum easily cleaned in warm soapy water and died with a soft cloth. Palladium is a precious metal in its own right and more elegant when set with diamonds and gems.

Palladium must me hall marked as all other precious metals. There is 2 marks to establish palladium 500 and 950.This simply means how much palladium is actually in the piece of jewellery for 500 mark it means 50% palladium and 950 means 95% palladium the rest is other alloys.

Sterling Silver – Is the most popular, contemporary and fashionable precious metal. The metal itself is soft and cannot be used in its original form to make any jewellery which is why it is mixed with other alloys to increase its strength and flexibility, as then is can be made into all types of jewellery. It is ideal for making larger statement jewellery. Silver has become more fashionable as fashion designers are using silver to create exquisite pieces which can be affordable by all.

 When pure silver is mixed with less than 7.5% of alloys it is known as sterling silver. As with all precious metals sterling silver will also have a hall mark for its quality and authenticity. Its hallmark is usually 925 as it contains 92.5% of sterling silver and 7.5% of other alloys usually copper. The colour is brighter than other white metals and complements diamonds and other gems.

Silver jewellery is prone to tarnishing with the ambience of air therefore it is important to clean the tarnish prior to cause of rust or harm to your jewellery. Tarnish is easily cleaned with polishing solution to get back the silver shining effect. Silver scratches easily therefore ensure to store it separately to other jewellery items.

 In recent years techniques have been sourced for jewellery making and has now become one of the modern metals to use in jewellery. As titanium is hard wearing it is also non-toxic therefore ideal for those with allergies and sensitive skin and is used for surgical appliances for this reason. Titanium is resilient to chlorine. It can be easily cleaned in warm soapy water, rinsed in cold water and then dried with a soft cloth. It can get scratched from every day wear and tear however will build a layer of patina over time. In case of a deep scratch it can easily be refinished to bring it back to its original form.

Do our listed white golds have nickel in the mixture?

Yes. Unless otherwise specified or requested, all of our white gold metals have nickel in the mixture. For our clients who are sensitive to nickel, we suggest alternatives such as white gold mixed with palladium, palladium (no mixture), or platinum. Please contact us for pricing of the alternative metals.

Platinum vs. Palladium: What’s the difference?

Although palladium and platinum are both hypoallergenic and sister alloys, there are major differences. The primary differences between palladium and platinum are:

1) When hit with blunt force, platinum will bend out of shape, while palladium will bust apart. This is because palladium is more brittle than the more malleable platinum. The metal is strong in a sense that it bends versus breaking when force is applied to the object.

2)  Platinum is the only precious metal that doesn’t lose metal or value after polishing. Even though like all the metals, platinum scratches easily, it never loses any metal when polished unlike gold, silver, or palladium. This is because when you polish platinum, it shifts back to its original location; no layer comes off.

3)  Platinum is a bit denser than all the other metals. The density is what gives it that layered strength. Although you will feel a major difference in the metals on thicker men’s bands, on women’s rings, there is only a slight weight difference. This is because women’s rings typically involve less metal and more design.

4)  Platinum is easier to repair than palladium. In terms of maintenance, although palladium is less expensive initially, it will end up costing more to upkeep in the long run.

Due to the fickle nature of palladium, we no longer offer palladium as an option. However, we continue to carry 10kt/14kt/18kt white gold and platinum for white metal options.

Why does white gold turn more yellow in color with time?

White gold is not naturally white in color. The only precious metals that are naturally white in color are silver, palladium, and platinum. We achieve the bright white silver color by rhodium-plating all our rings. This is a standard process that all major jewelers do to get their jewelry in a bright-white silver color state. The piece of jewelry can easily be turned back to white gold by additional  rhodium plating. As each item is priced in relation to the level of intricacy of the rhodium process, please contact us on pricing and turnaround time.

Which metal is stronger -- 14kt, 18kt, or platinum?

The following is the listing of the metals from strongest to softest (1 = strongest; 3 = least strongest):

1) Platinum

2) 14kt

3) 18kt

Why does my rose gold ring turn my finger green/black?

Rose gold is a mixture of yellow gold and copper. Typically when a ring turns your finger either green or black, it's the acidity from your skin mixing with other substances such as lotion or sweat that results in a chemical reaction with the copper. Contrary to popular belief,  this isn't an allergic reaction but a chemical one which occurs in about 20% of people who wear rose gold. Unfortunately, because each person’s  ph balance is different, there isn't a set formula on how to completely eliminate this reaction, aside from trial and error. Here are a few steps you might take to try and prevent or eliminate this occurrence:

1) Consume fewer types of foods that have high acidity.

2) Keep your hands dry and clean whenever possible.

3) Create a barrier between your finger and the copper by painting a thin layer of clear nail polish on the inside of your ring. Clean and reapply the clear coat every two to three months.



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