Choosing the Right Metal for your Jewelry
Recently we had a customer ask "what's the difference between gold and platinum" the answer left her perplexed at first but eventually she understood the differences and was able to make a sound decision for her particular custom piece. So this week's blog, I want to talk about the different metals in jewelry making, their pros and cons and help make the decision on future jewelry purchases easier.
How you intend to wear your jewelry piece will determine your decision on what materials to use. You may want to wear your piece everyday or have one for only special occasion. Some metals are stronger and better for daily wear, while other not so much. So let's start with the most popular metal recently and through out history in fact, the eternal GOLD.
Here is a metal that is the most commonly used in jewelry, it comes in white, yellow and in recent years rose gold has made its mark as well. White gold, however, has always been the favorite. White Gold is made by combining yellow gold with nickel, zinc and silver. Its final color tone is a light champagne and to get that bright white, white gold is plated with rhodium. White Gold is extremely durable and resists tarnishing. The rhodium will wear off after time though, if you wear the piece daily, most likely you'll need to replate your piece once or twice a year. If it isn't a daily wear, once in a few years. 14K White Gold is usually what buyers prefer, some prefer 18K. Both are stunning and can withstand daily wear.
Yellow Gold is a combination of pure gold, zinc and copper. Equally durable and a popular choice for men and women's jewelry. For those who seek that classic charm, yellow gold, depending on the design will reflect an extremely modern look or a very vintage one. Both 14k and 18k hold up well over time, an occasional cleaning and polish will bring it back to a shine. Yellow Gold is as perfect a metal as the White Gold minus the need to re-plate.
Rose Gold, a new comer in recent year, and a favorite of younger buyers who like the more romantic and unique look to jewelry pieces. Rose Gold is made by combining gold and copper which gives it the pink tint. This combination makes it a level more durable than the white and yellow gold. The romance it brings to a jewelry piece has made Rose Gold more and more popular over the years. Great for drop earring, tennis bracelets and engagement rings.
Here we have a metal that is heavier, denser, incredibly durable but also more expensive. Platinum will never lose its whiteness and never tarnish. Breathtaking engagement rings have been created with Platinum, which is rare and valuable. Mostly used in rings, it is important to note that sizing a platinum ring will be far more expensive, so when buying one, make sure to get the right size. If you plan on fluctuating on your weight, opt for White Gold.
Another reason to lean toward the Platinum is that it is hypoallergenic, often someone who experience allergy reaction with Gold, is recommended platinum. Platinum while incredibly durable, is also more malleable than Gold which means that it will scratch and dent more easily.
But if you want a piece of jewelry truly WHITE, platinum will be the better choice as even White Gold will have a hint of yellow and will need to be re-plated. Platinum being stronger is less likely to break but Gold is less likely to scratch. Decisions, decisions. As mentioned, platinum being denser, heavier will cost more as more of it will be required to make a jewelry piece. finally I'll end by saying Platinum IS Platinum while Gold has other metals included.
.925 sterling silver, a popular choice for many because it is affordable clearly. Silver can be stunning and bright and white but will tarnish over time unless it is plated with rhodium, yes the same plating that goes over the White Gold. Most our pieces in our Silver Collection are plated and therefore keeps them from tarnishing. Silver is a soft metal and will scratch easily, silver jewelry should be well taken care of with regular polishing and keeping it from moisture will delay tarnishing (if your silver piece isn't plated).
If there was anything lighter than this metal! A popular choice for men's bracelets and wedding bands, it is tarnish resistant and incredibly STRONG, if you're the man who will wear and tear your jewelry - GO TITANIUM, but if you want something heavier, you want to feel that band on your finger.... Tungsten is the metal for you.
This metal is very hard and heavy, will never need polishing and it will shine forever!
A level higher in hardness than TUNGSTEN, scratch proof and hypoallergenic. Most asked by men who want that strong white gold look without the cost of the white gold.
I hope this has helped clarify any questions you might have had about the different metals in jewelry making! Many of our customer like to have a collection of all the above in their jewelry box, in the end, it's whatever makes you feel good when you wear that special piece.