Just about everyone is familiar with gold and platinum. But, there are several other metals you may want to know about prior to purchasing fine jewelry. Precious metals also have several different attributes. For example, if you’re very active, you may want to consider wearing platinum, which is a very hard metal, whereas gold is generally softer and can easily dent or scratch. Each metal performs a little differently and also feels, looks and wears a little differently. Here are some things you need to know and an easy-to-read comparison chart.
Platinum is the perfect choice for anyone looking for something truly unique and timeless. It’s perfect for engagement rings because its durability and strength protect your center diamond throughout the years. Platinum is also naturally white, so it will not require any re-plating. It will retain its shine for generations and the perfect metal if you’re looking to pass something down from generation to generation. Platinum is always a classic and happens to also be hypo-allergenic!
Yellow gold is pure and will hold its shape in fine jewelry. To maintain its strength, it is typically alloyed with other metals. Look for 14K or 18K as a fineness mark proving the quality of your gold jewelry. Among fine metals, yellow gold tends to be more malleable, so you will want to make sure your jewelry is checked each year. Yellow gold is also making a resurgence in popularity!
Some prefer this white color to yellow. White gold is typically less expensive than platinum. However, it contains one or more white metals to lighten its color and add strength and durability. When you see a shiny white gold piece of jewelry, it’s typically shiny from the rhodium plating applied to all white gold jewelry.
18K rose gold is most often 75% gold and 25% copper alloy which results in this beautiful, warm color. Becoming more popular in engagement rings, it pairs very well with diamonds and is perfect for skin tones due to its soft appearance.
Palladium is a member of the platinum family and is also naturally white. Different from platinum, this metal is very light in weight and feel and also hypoallergenic.
Sterling Silver can be traditional or contemporary, based on the design. It’s becoming incredibly popular because it’s typically far less expensive than gold or platinum – making it the perfect purchase for some in fashion jewelry. Pure silver is very soft and also is generally mixed with other alloys, making most jewelry 92.5% pure silver.
Used often in men’s wedding bands, carbon fiber is black in appearance and seems to be trendy. Its dark, edgy appearance is considered very unique and non-traditional. It’s also very affordable!
Titanium is very lightweight and extremely durable and affordable. Stone settings in titanium resist loosening and the metal is very resistant to bending, cracking and scratching. It’s a popular choice for men’s wedding bands or for men who seldom wear their wedding band because of its low cost and comfort.
Tungsten is a grey/silver color metal ceramic, sometimes treated with black coating for a shiny, black look. It will never scratch because of it being a metal ceramic, but it’s also very brittle. Because of this, it can actually break instead of flex. It, too, is hypoallergenic. Tungsten and platinum are the heaviest jewelry metals.