Precious Metals

   Gold is one of the world's most precious metals and is the oldest known to humankind. Due to gold's magnificent properties and wonderful luster, it is considered to be the most important metal in jewelry making.

When purchasing a piece of gold jewelry consider the karat of the gold. The higher the karat, the more durable the item will be. The higher the karat of gold, the closer you are getting to pure gold(24k), therefore the higher the price will be.

Karat Parts Gold to Alloy Percent Pure Gold
10k 10/24 41.67%
14k 14/24 58.33%
18k 18/24 75.00%
24 24/24 99.99%

Karats also factor into the color of the gold. For example, 18k is going to be a brighter golden yellow than 10k.
   Gold alloys, aside from strengthening gold for jewelry, can also affect its color.

Gold Color Additional Metals Used
Yellow Gold Copper, Silver
White Gold Nickel, Zinc, Copper
Green Gold Silver, Zinc, Copper
Rose Gold Copper, Silver

   Palladium is the newest trend in jewelry. Alone or alloyed with silver or gold, palladium offers some of the same metal working properties as other jewelry metals, and remains tarnish free. It also offers a sharply different pricing point than either gold or platinum, especially with both of them reaching record highs. It is more precious than silver and whiter than platinum. Because it is also lighter than platinum, nearly half the weight, more intricate necklaces and bracelets can be made capable of bearing larger gemstones with no gain in overall weight.

   Platinum is pure, rare, eternal – uncover its fascinating past and discover the hidden qualities that make platinum the most precious of metals. Platinum never fades or tarnishes but keeps its natural white color for a lifetime. As platinum is so pure, it is naturally hypoallergenic and ideal for those with sensitive skin.

   Platinum’s unequalled durability and resistance to wear makes it the most secure and protective metal, which means your jewelry will be protected for a lifetime of wear. Platinum does not change shape or wear away so precious stones are held firmly and securely. The density of platinum makes it more durable than other jewelry metals.

   Found in very few places around the world, platinum is 30 times more rare than gold. Platinum jewelry is exclusive, a statement of individuality, and desired by those in the know.

   Platinum is denser than gold, so an identical ring made in platinum rather than 14kt gold would be around 60% heavier and 40% heavier than a ring made in 18kt gold.

Sterling Silver
   Sterling silver is the most lustrous, most plentiful and least expensive precious metal. Silver is much more plentiful than gold; however, silver tends to tarnish, making it less popular in some forms of jewelry. Like gold, silver is too soft for use in its pure state and must be combined with other metals for durability. When silver oxidizes/tarnishes it first turns a yellow golden colour and darkens with time to be dark graphite grey or nearly black. Since silver will discolor or tarnish over time from being exposed to air, a protective coating of rhodium will be plated over the silver on some jewelry. Over time these finishes will wear off, but they do provide an extended time before oxidation occurs.

A new type of silver is Argentium Silver. Argentium Silver is the most tarnish resistant silver available today – it is available in a wide range of products, is firescale free and whilst perfectly malleable in an annealed state, can easily be made almost twice as hard as annealed traditional sterling silver.

Alternative Metals

Stainless Steel
   Stainless steel is a metal not traditionally used in fine jewelry, though its popularity in dress jewelry is increasing. Stainless steel is a relatively hard and durable metal. It is particularly popular in men's bracelets, necklaces and men's dress rings. The range of stainless steel jewelry is generally more restricted than for other metals.

   Titanium is a natural element which has a silver-greyish-white color. Titanium is the hardest natural metal in the world. It is very strong, three times the strength of steel and much stronger than gold, silver and platinum and yet is very light weight. Pure titanium is also 100% hypo-allergenic which means that it if safe for anyone to wear as it will not react to your skin. Titanium provides several unique factors that make it a good metal for jewelry. It is very strong, more dent, bend and scratch resistant than gold, silver and platinum, is lightweight and importantly offers an exotic array of colors which other metals simply do not. One factor to consider with titanium is that titanium cannot be soldered, which means that titanium rings cannot normally be resized. Titanium rings made using pure titanium can normally be cut-off the finger in the event of an emergency, though they are more difficult to cut-off than gold, silver or platinum rings. Aircraft grade titanium rings normally cannot be cut-off in the event of an emergency.

   Tungsten carbide, also referred to simply as tungsten, is a very hard, strong and durable metal. It's also quite heavy. Tungsten carbide wedding ring Tungsten has a characteristic unique to this special metal - tungsten is highly scratch resistant. Unlike gold, platinum and even titanium, tungsten rings do not scratch with everyday wear like the other metals do. It is technically possible to scratch tungsten, though only with objects that are harder than tungsten. So that leaves diamonds, sapphires, rubies and ceramic. Though unless you dragged the tip of a loose diamond along the tungsten, the metal will stay scratch resistant. Tungsten always looks new and bright and shiny. Tungsten offers what's referred to as a permanent polish, which means that it doesn't need to be re-polished. So, it doesn't need the polishing maintenance that gold, platinum and titanium rings do. Tungsten stands up to the wear that even the roughest husbands can dish-out, making it a popular choice for men's wedding rings. The tungsten color is a grey-white color, similar to that of white gold or titanium. The range of tungsten jewellery is generally more restricted than for other metals. Tungsten rings cannot be resized (as tungsten can't be cut and resoldered), so it's important to have your finger size accuratley measured before buying a tungsten ring.