Precious Metal Information
Platinum, gold and silver, are the most common metals used in the making of fine jewelry. Each of these metals is malleable, which means they can easily be formed into other shapes. This makes them absolutely perfect, for creating beautiful jewelry. All three metals have a high luster -- and provide a dazzling and durable base, for any type of fine jewelry.
If you are confused about which metal to choose for your Unique Celtic Wedding Ring -- here is some information we think you will find helpful when trying to decide, which metal will work best for you and your lifestyle.
Pure silver - also known as fine silver - is very soft and malleable. Because of this, it is easily damaged. When using silver for jewelry making purposes, it is most often combined with harder metals, to make it more durable. This combination is referred to as -- sterling silver.
Sterling Silver consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% of another metal, which is usually copper. After much experimentation, it has been shown that copper has no affect on silver’s natural color and is the best compliment, in terms hardness. Sterling silver is usually stamped with; 925 or sterling.
Silver is the least expensive of the three precious metals. It is much more abundant than gold and platinum, so the price of the piece is largely determined by the craftsmanship and labor involved in its creation.
You do need to clean you silver jewelry regularly, to prevent tarnish build-up. Silver becomes tarnished when it reacts with the sulfur or hydrogen sulfide in the air. There are special cleaners, clothes and tarnish prevention methods available to help you care for your silver items.
Gold is the most malleable and ductile metal; it does not tarnish, rust, or corrode. With its warm golden color, and dazzling brilliance, gold has been the metal of choice for some of the world’s most precious gems. It is also a wonderful conductor, so it has served some very practical purposes as well. Gold, is of course yellow, in its natural state, but it can combine with other metals to produce other colors such as; white gold, rose/pink gold, and even green gold!
Pure gold is very soft and needs to be alloyed with other metals to make is harder, and strong enough, to be used for jewelry purposes. Some of the most common metals used are silver, copper, zinc, and palladium. The karat system was designed to let people know how pure the gold piece is.
24k - 100% pure gold
22k - 91.7% pure gold
18k - 75% pure gold
14k - 58.3% pure gold
12k - 50% pure gold
10k – 41.7% pure gold (this is the legal limit for something to be considered real gold in the U.S.)
Adding more alloys to gold makes it harder, so the 10k gold will be much harder than the 18k gold but the 18k gold will be richer in color, because it contains more pure gold.
Yellow gold is most often alloyed with copper and silver. This makes it harder and more durable. As described above, the higher the pure gold content, the deeper the color. The warm color of yellow gold makes it a perfect choice for any stone.
Since gold is yellow in its natural state - in order to make white gold - white alloys need to be added to it. To do this gold is usually combined with palladium, zinc and copper. Because of these alloys, it is also harder than yellow gold. White gold is often rhodium plated to give it a bright-white finish.
White gold is an excellent metal choice, for showcasing the shimmering brilliance, of a fine quality diamond.
Platinum, with its cool white sheen, is the most durable - and considered the most precious - of the three metals. It is very strong it will not change shape or wear away like gold and silver do. Platinum is 95% pure, so it is an ideal choice for people with metal allergies. Platinum is commonly alloyed with iridium, palladium, or ruthenium.
Platinum is the most expensive of the three, because of its purity and rarity. It is about 30 times rarer than pure gold! Because of Platinum’s durability, you can be sure that stones will be held securely, and that it will make a high-quality piece of jewelry, which will be enjoyed -- for generations to come.