A GUIDE TO JEWELRY Metals
A free informational reference guide to types of jewelry metal.
An enduring element found naturally in a distinct yellow color. Gold has an extraordinary heritage with unique qualities. Gold is resistant to rust, tarnish, and corrosion. Although gold is very strong, it's also the most malleable of all precious metals. Pure gold is too soft for everyday wear, so it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to give it strength and durability.
Differences between 14k and 18k Gold
When differences to the naked eye are nearly imperceptible, we offer you a closer look at what 14k and 18k gold are made of, and how you should choose between them.
The purest form of gold is called 24K gold and it is too soft for jewelry. Because of that, jewelry in gold will be produced by mixing pure gold with copper, nickel, zinc, among others.
The amount of gold in an alloy is what we call karat. That is how we have 14 and 18-karat gold:
- • 14-karat gold is 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts other alloys (14/24).
- • 18-karat gold is 18 parts pure gold and 6 parts other alloys (18/24).
Here we can conclude that 18k is purer because it contains more precious metal. On the other hand, the more alloys, the heavier and tougher the material will be, making 14k gold more durable than 18k.
The choice between 14k and 18k will then come to a matter of preference between purity and durability. Here we add a few pros and cons to each:
Cost: the difference in purity between 14k and18k gold results in a difference in cost. If you're looking for a more affordable item, 14K gold is the choice.
Shine: 18-karat gold contains more gold and is cleaner and softer. The higher the gold content of the alloy, the more the color of the material looks like pure gold.
Resistance: while more lustrous, 18k gold tends to scratch, wear out, bend with ease, making them a tough choice for jewelry that is worn under harsh conditions.
Allergy to nickel: nickel is sometimes used in gold alloys. It is found in high concentrations in low-purity alloys. Therefore, people with a nickel allergy are more sensitive to 14-karat jewelry and should opt for 18k gold.
Platinum vs White Gold
As a buyer, you need to have some knowledge of precious metals to make the right choice. After all, a great part of the cost of a jewel depends exactly on what metal it is cast from.
Some people think that white gold and platinum are one and the same, but the truth says different.
Platinum and white gold look quite similar, but in fact, a whole chasm opens between these metals.
Platinum is a metal that is mined from the depths of the earth, and white gold is the result of science and mastery: mixing gold and ligature.
Platinum is called the king of precious metals because it is a pure metal ranking from 95-99% pureness with only a small percentage of natural impurities, making it strong and durable.
White gold is an alloy that can be composed of gold, nickel, silver, platinum, or palladium. White gold jewelry is lighter in weight but may bend.
Allergy to nickel: again, unlike white gold, platinum is hypoallergenic. One of the best options in the market since it is almost 100% pure.
Cost: an important difference between platinum and white gold is the cost. Platinum is several times more expensive than white gold.
Rhodium coat: platinum is naturally silvery-white, for extra shine, it can sometimes be coated with rhodium. White gold goes through this process as well. Rhodium protects them from unwanted damage and enhances the noble hue.
While rhodium is durable and wear-resistant, it can wear off after many years of use. Fortunately, to restore the rhodium plating is a simple and quick procedure with few exceptions.
Since it is almost impossible to visually distinguish jewelry made of white gold and platinum, be sure to visit a renowned jewelry store like Blakeman’s. Our experts will help you identify the best metal for your needs.
Relatively soft, very malleable. Pure silver, also called fine silver, is commonly combined with other metals to produce a more durable product. The most popular of these alloys is sterling silver, which consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. Although any metal can make up the 7.5 percent non-silver portion of sterling, centuries of experimentation have shown copper to be its best companion, improving the metal's hardness and durability without affecting its beautiful color.
Tarnish-resistant with a substantial feel in weight. Tungsten is nearly impossible to scratch or wear down, so even the most delicate details are well-defined and polished after years of wear. Four times harder than titanium, tungsten retains its polish longer than almost any other metal. A practical and beautiful choice for gardeners, or anyone who works actively using their hands.
A bright white metal that is highly scratch resistant. Made from a highly durable alloy, cobalt is four times harder than platinum while at the same time, less dense. Because of its natural hardness, cobalt jewelry is extremely scratch, chip and corrosion-resistant. Its lower density and natural malleability allow for strong, dynamic designs with less weight. Cobalt is also hypoallergenic, making it an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin or an active lifestyle.
This metal will last forever, making it the ultimate symbol for true, enduring, and everlasting love. Platinum is durable. Its density makes it the most secure setting for your diamond or precious gemstone. All our platinum rings are crafted with platinum prongs for setting loose diamonds. Because platinum is a naturally white metal, re-plating is unnecessary; it will always hold its beauty.
Palladium is a rare precious metal, treasured for its brilliant silver-white surface that can be polished to a high mirror-like shine. Palladium wedding rings are extremely durable and resistant to tarnishing, extreme heat, and exposure to many types of chemicals. The strength of palladium makes it a preferred metal, along with platinum, for use in ring settings.