Gold is surely the most famous of all precious metals and is widely
documented throughout history. Roman, Egyptian, Greek, and South American
cultures all have historic documentation of the use of gold in ceremonial
items and jewelry.
Pure gold is called 24k gold - all other forms of gold are gold alloys.
The Karat system of measuring the purity of gold (not to be confused with
Carat/diamonds) defines the purity of gold. Gold is most commonly alloyed
with silver, zinc, copper and nickel. Varying concentrations of alloys
present in gold can influence the color. Gold classified as 14k gold is
of 14 parts pure gold mixed with 10 parts metal alloys to total the full
24 karats. Similarly, 18k gold is 18 parts pure gold mixed with 6 parts
metal alloys making the full 24 karats. Pure Yellow gold as a precious
metal is fairly soft - most gold used for jewelry-making needs to be a
lot harder and stronger, so 14k gold is much more commonly used than
higher karat gold.
Rose gold comes in two forms: 14k and 18k. Both have high concentrations of
copper, which gives a reddish tint to the gold. 14k rose gold has a deeper
red color than its 18k cousin because it contains more copper.
Similar to rose gold, white gold is available as 18k and 14k with 14k being
the whitest. Its whiteness comes mostly from silver, zinc and nickel. The
use of white gold became popular as an alternative to platinum during the
Second World War. To aid the War effort, platinum was banned from use in
industries not related to fighting the war. Today, it's a good alternative
to platinum and it often comes platinum plated to help keep the coloration
white and make it more hypo-allergenic.
Since at least 2000 BC, silver has been used extensively as coinage and as
jewelry. Silver is a brilliant white, shiny precious metal that is extremely
easy to work. Its properties make it useful for many different applications,
such as electrical circuitry. The use of silver in jewelry remains commonplace
today. Silver alloyed with copper or lead is often used in jewelry. Much of
our jewelry is made with sterling silver with a higher concentration of pure
Platinum is the rarest precious metal on earth. It is definitely the most
valuable of all precious metals. If platinum mining production ceased,
reserves would last less than one year. Nearly eight tons of raw ore are
required for the production of one ounce of platinum. The demand for platinum
jewelry has really accelerated over the past two decades, but has been important
to Japanese consumers for much longer. Some estimate that the Japanese buy 48%
of the worlds platinum jewelry each year.
Due to the enormous tensile strength and hardness of platinum, it is the most
popular precious metal used in high-quality gemstone settings, and for
securing diamonds, it is the safest choice. It's virtually impervious to
corrosion and is hypo-allergenic, completely suitable for sensitive skin.
Platinum grading is similar to the gold standard and uses a scale based on
so many parts per thousand. For platinum to retain its name it must be 95%
pure, called "950 parts per thousand". Platinum also weighs more than gold
by volume. It's easy to distinguish platinum from silver, white gold and
titanium by weight alone.
This element was discovered over 200 years ago, but its qualities have been
best utilized in the last 50 years. Expensive and difficult to produce, its
most valuable properties are extreme strength and light weight, which
has made its use natural in military applications, aircraft, and space
exploration. Quite corrosive-resistant and hypo-allergenic, Titanium is
extremely comfortable to wear as jewelry.
For understated elegance at a great value, silver is the metal. We generally
choose silver as a setting for our jewelry. Gold is a popular alternative
because it is affordable, attractive, and readily available. Gold is the only
precious metal which comes in a variety of colors. Platinum is a great
choice for those who are able to afford it, due to its rarity, beauty, and
strength. Titanium is an alternative to all of the above metals, but is valued
less by jewelers and consumers.