Precious Metals Perfect for Each Need

Traditional metals used in jewelry are the “noble metals”: silver, gold and the platinum metal group (including platinum and palladium). Noble metals are so called because of their ability to withstand corrosion and oxidation and their chemical stability. Today's jewelry is more varied and versatile than ever. This is partly due to the use of new types of metals and alloys used to make jewelry.


Through the use of alloys, two or more metals or elements can be combined to give the resulting metallic substance certain properties that are different from its component metals. The primary purpose of alloys in jewelry is to give metals more desirable characteristics. For example, pure gold (24 karat gold) is too soft for prolonged wearing and would scratch easily. Most gold jewelry is either 14 karat gold or 18 karat gold which consists of gold mixed with other alloys, usually silver, nickel, copper or zinc. Sterling silver is silver mixed with alloys to make it stronger. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver usually mixed with 7.5% copper.

Purity

99.90%

75.00%

58.33%

41.66%

99.90%

92.50%

Noble Metal/Common Alloys

Pure gold

Gold with nickel, copper or zinc alloy

Gold with nickel, copper or zinc alloy

Gold with nickel, copper or zinc alloy

Pure silver

Silver with copper alloy

 

Precious Metal Characteristics The table below highlights some of the characteristics of different metals used in modern jewelry:

Metal

24k yellow gold

18k yellow gold

14k yellow gold

white gold

silver

platinum

palladium

tungsten carbide

tungsten

stainless steel

titanium

Hardness level (Mohs scale)

2.5 

2.75

4-Mar

2.8-4.0

2.5

3.5

4.5

9

7.5

6.5

6

Common Alloys

 

silver, copper, zinc, nicel, palladium

 

silver, palladium, nickel

copper

ruthenium, iridium, platinum

ruthenium, iridium

carbon

 

carbon, iron

aluminum, iron, tin

Metal

24k yellow gold

18k yellow gold

14k yellow gold

white gold

silver

platinum

palladium

tungsten carbide

tungsten

stainless steel

titanium

Metal

24k yellow gold

18k yellow gold

14k yellow gold

white gold

silver

platinum

palladium

tungsten carbide

tungsten

stainless steel

titanium

Pros

brilliant luster

alloys used make gold more durable for everyday wear

alloys used make gold more durable for everyday wear

less expensive alternative to platinum

low price point

hypoallergenic, will retain white color

hypoallergenic, maintains natural white color, great luster enhances gems, naturally strong metal, lighter than platinum

hypoallergenic, low price point, maintains white color forever, looks great after years of wear

hypoallergenic, resists scratches, especially useful for brushed jewelry designs

resists corrosion and staining

hypoallergenic, high tensile strength, resists corrosion, light weight

Cons

too soft for most jewelry

nickel alloy can have allergenic properites

nickel alloy can have allergenic properites

can have allergenic properties; rhodium plating will eventually wear off

suseptible to scratches

suseptible to scratches, prongs can bend

suseptible to scratches, more sensitive to acids, won't take a high polish well

not a precious metal, can chip or shatter, can oxidize; cannot be sized

not a precious metal; cannot be sized

not a precious metal; cannot be sized

suseptible to scratches; cannot be sized

 

FOLLOW US

Facebook


​

​Linkedin

  • facebook-square
  • linkedin-square