There are many different types of metals that jewelry is made from, in this article you will learn all there is to know about some of the most popular metals used in making jewelry. There is sterling silver, yellow gold, white gold, platinum, palladium and many more. We will focus on the most common since that is what most people are interested in purchasing.
Sterling silver is a mixture (or alloy) of two different types of metals. It contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals; normally this other metal is mostly copper. Standard sterling silver will be a minimum millesimal fineness (European Measurement rather than 14K or 18K) of 925; the lower the number, the less silver there will be in the piece of jewelry which means it is not as high quality. In North America, they rate their fine metals by karats, the highest, pure gold or silver would be 24K so a 92.5% would be around 22K silver.
Fine silver is 99.9% pure, but this is most of the time too soft to make an object that is functional which is why it is mixed with copper to give it some strength and help to preserve its beauty. The lower amount of pure silver, the more likely your jewelry will be to corrode or tarnish. Many jewelry items are made with Sterling silver including rings, necklaces, chains bracelets, earrings, cuff-links and much more.
Pure gold is known as 24K gold, but it is too soft to be used to make jewelry. Combining it with other metals like copper and/or zinc helps it to keep its strength, just like sterling silver. The difference between white and yellow gold is the added metals which can change the color. Yellow gold requires much less maintenance because it is not plated with a metal. Your skin tone is likely the deciding factor when choosing between white and yellow gold, many people have a preference from an early age.
White gold is real yellow gold, but rather than mixing it with copper and/or zinc alone, it is mixed with zinc, nickel or palladium. It is also coated with a bright silver colored metal called rhodium. Rhodium is what gives the white gold a more shiny appearance. The karat of white gold is just like yellow gold and sterling silver, the best is 24K, but that is too soft to make jewelry out of, you are more likely to have a higher karat of gold with yellow gold because white gold has to be mixed with other metals in order to make it white (silver). When you choose between white and yellow gold you should take into consideration that there are people out there who have an allergic reaction to nickel so white gold might not be the best choice. White gold is more loved by those who are more casual, while yellow is aimed at more classy and glitzy types of people.
Platinum is a very heavy, silvery white metallic element that is resistant to many chemicals. It is almost impossible for oxidization to take place and it is only fusible in extremely hot temperatures. It is used for making jewelry and is one of the more popular and sought after metal these days. Platinum is also used in dentistry, laboratory items, electrical contacts, and electroplating. Since it is very strong and very resistant it lasts much longer and keeps its luster much longer than other metals.
Palladium is much like platinum, as it is a silvery white metallic element; it comes from the ores of platinum, gold and copper and is also used in jewelry, the making of white gold, medical instruments, dentistry and electrical contacts.
Jewelry Advice by Jewelrista.
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