Precious metals have been the centerpiece in fine jewelry since the ancient Egyptians. Today, when it comes to choosing jewelry, people usually have a color preference: white or yellow. However, there are many different options when it comes to choosing a metal.
Stainless steel is a heavy, white metal that is corrosion resistant, strong and doesn’t tarnish. Another great benefit of stainless steel is that it is hypoallergenic for those who have metal allergies.
Sterling silver is one of the most popular silver alloys; consisting of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent cooper. Sterling silver is the most lustrous, most plentiful and least expensive precious metals; however it does tend to tarnish.
- Sterling silver is a white metal and its hallmarks include:
- sterling silver
Gold, like silver has been around since ancient times. In its natural form, gold has a distinct yellow color and is resistant to rust, tarnish and corrosion. Because gold is too soft for everyday wear, it is alloyed with other metals to give it the strength and durability. Karatage, indicated by the letter “k”, specifies how much of the piece of jewelry is gold. Karatage is measured in 24th, therefore 24 karat gold is 100% gold.
Gold jewelry can be found in colors other than its natural yellow coloring. The color of gold is determined by the type and percentage of the metal alloys combined with the gold.
- Yellow Gold: The natural color of gold and the mixture of color-saturated alloys give yellow gold its rich shine and luster. The mixture of copper, silver and pure gold gives yellow gold its signature coloring.
- White Gold: In order to make the gold white, yellow gold is combined with alloys that are naturally white. The metal is then plated with a hard element called rhodium. Rhodium will wear over time but Hoff Jewelers can rhodium plate your jewelry and restore the whiteness.
- Rose (or Pink) Gold: Rose or pink gold gets its color by combining gold with a copper alloy.
Platinum jewelry is the metal of choice for the majority of brides-to-be for many reasons. The main reason is for its purity. Platinum is a natural white metal which maximizes the brilliance of diamonds and other gemstones. It is 95% pure (18k gold is 75% pure) and will not tarnish. It is also naturally hypoallergenic; therefore, it is kind to the skin.
Platinum commands a premium price because it is rare. On average, 2,700 tons of gold are made into jewelry each year, compared to 88 tons of platinum–making platinum 30 times more rare than gold. It is the perfect metal to give in celebration of a memorable event due to its special uniqueness.
Another desirable characteristic of platinum is its eternal nature. It is the perfect choice for a lifetime of everyday wear. Platinum’s everlasting value comes from its unique properties. It is one of the densest of precious metals. A platinum ring loses very little metal; a scratch just displaces the metal and platinum is not lost. Prongs are less likely to wear down. This allows jewelry made with platinum to be handed down generation after generation. Platinum is synonymous with the best because of its tremendous value and reputation. When you select platinum, you know it is heirloom quality. Wear it without worry and with great pride!
Hallmarks for platinum include:
- .95 Plat
Palladium is a member of the Platinum family and has the ability to withstand corrosion and oxidation. Palladium is lighter in weight than platinum and is one of the most scarce metals in the world. Like platinum, palladium is a white metal that will not tarnish overtime.
Palladium jewelry is marked with the hallmarks:
- 950 Pall
Tungsten Carbide is ten times harder than 18 karat gold. It is created by firing tungsten and carbon powder in an oxygen free oven at 6,200 degree Fahrenheit! This process creates one of the hardest metals used in jewelry making. Tungsten Carbide will remain polished forever and is scratch and tarnish resistant.
Titanium is a strong but lightweight metal. At 99% pure, titanium is an enduring metal that does not tarnish and is corrosion-resistant.
*Facts presented by AGS®