Gemorie's Guide to Precious Metals
Platinum is probably the most coveted of all precious metals because of its purity, rarity, popularity amongst those with metal sensitivity. Since platinum is used in jewelry at 90-95% purity (which requires impeccable craftsmanship), platinum jewelry’s density and heft give them a lavish feel that can’t be mimicked by other precious metals. Its versatile color makes it the perfect precious metal for nearly all gemstone colors. Lastly, platinum jewelry is very durable and maintains their shine, which make them ideal for heirloom pieces to hand down from generation to generation.
“Karat” is the measure of the percentage of pure gold to alloy within jewelry. Pure 24K gold is too pliable for jewelry craftsmanship so it is often mixed with copper or silver for added strength. 18K gold jewelry typically contains 75% pure gold, while 14K gold pieces are composed of about 58% pure gold. Gold’s scarcity and composition make it a highly sought-after metal for jewelry making because it resists tarnishing and rust. This is why so many historical pieces or estate jewelry are still brilliant after decades, even centuries.
Next to the diamond, gold is the most universally recognized symbol of luxury and class. The most traditional of all precious metals, yellow gold is warm, bright, and looks great for all occasions. Yellow gold will not tarnish and will always maintain its value for years to come! Tip: 14K yellow gold pieces are more popular and less expensive than that of 18K gold.
White gold has gained popularity over the last few decades because of its resemblance to platinum at a fraction of the price. Others adore white gold because of its likeness to silver, but white gold will not tarnish and is much more scratch resistant. Usually treated with rhodium for a luminous look, 14-18K white gold jewelry is usually even less expensive than those made with yellow gold.
Trendy and unpredictable, rose gold (a delightful blend of pure gold and copper) has enjoyed a recent spike in popularity because of its pink tint, which lends a certain romanticism unseen in more traditional pieces. Rose gold’s warm color is flattering against most skin colors.
With 95% purity, palladium looks very much like platinum but is more affordable since it is considerably less dense. Palladium also shares the same white luminosity of white gold, but does not require rhodium to keep it shiny and will not tarnish or scratch easily. Budget-friendliness and versatility makes palladium pieces favorites amongst jewelry lovers.
Sterling silver has enjoyed a long and illustrious history of jewelry making because of its timelessness. Much more affordable than white gold, palladium, or platinum, sterling silver still has the same incandescent features of more expensive precious metals. Furthermore, sterling jewelry is perfect for day-to-night occasions.