Sadly… this isn’t about Hair Metal, the glorious glam rock of the late 1980’s.” It’s just a guide to help you select the perfect metal for your jewelry. We apologize for any disappointment. Metal is the foundation of your jewelry, building a solid foundation is as important in a ring as it is in a relationship.
When choosing a metal you should consider its look, feel and function. There are no wrong answers as long as you love it! At the end of the day that’s what jewelry is all about! Now on to metals, like Sherlock said, it’s pretty “Elementary” stuff.
A pristinely white metal of extreme durability. Our platinum is an industry standard 95% pure (with the remaining portion comprised of iridium, palladium, ruthenium, and other alloys.) Platinum is hypoallergenic making it perfect for those with sensitive skin. It will not fade or tarnish over time nor does it require any plating or refinishing as is the case with other materials. It has long been prized for its rarity and is nearly thirty times scarcer than gold.
King Louis XV proclaimed it “The only metal fit for a King.” During World War II the allied countries prohibited the sale of platinum, which, due to its remarkable conductivity, had a strategic use in the construction of submarine engines. Although it is the hardest of traditional jewelry metals it does scratch which causes a rich patina to develop over time. This antiqued heirloom finish is considered a desirable contribution to the character of a platinum piece. However, it can easily be polished to restore its original luster.
A long-standing symbol of wealth and stability this metal bears unique qualities and an unmistakable yellow shine that has fueled desires for thousands of years. Pure gold is far too malleable to craft into durable jeweler so we use alloys to strengthen it for everyday wear. Today gold jewelry is presented in a scale called a Karatage.
Pure gold is standardized at 24 karats, the 14 karat variety is comprised of 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloys (including zing, copper, nickel, and silver) while 18 karat contains 75% gold and 25% alloys. Visually there is very little difference between 14k and 18k yellow gold however the 14k is slightly stronger and less susceptible to daily wear and tear.
While it bears the same gold base as its yellow relative, white gold is alloyed with different metals which cause its warm, silvery hue. Initially manufactured in the early 18th century by German alchemists, white gold was first popular during the art deco period of the 1930’s.
It is also cast in 14k and 18k varieties and is usually plated in a remarkably resistant white element called Rhodium. After its plating white gold is very similar to platinum in terms of color but is much lighter in weight. It’s important to note that white gold jewelry requires occasional re-plating but no need to worry, we can handle that simple process with a quick visit to our service counter.
This uniquely luminous metal is alloyed with copper giving it a signature pink complexion. It first ROSE to prominence (ß See what we did there!) in 19th century Russia where its use was so pronounced that it became known as “Russian Gold.”
In the roaring twenties consumers acquired a taste for the silver tones of platinum and white gold. However, in 1924 famous French writer Jean Cocteau commissioned Cartier to produce a three band interlocking ring which contained Rose gold. The ring and more precisely its pink gold became a fashion cult object cementing the alloy in the public consciousness.
Much like gold, pure silver is extremely malleable and unsuitable for jewelry. Contemporary silver is a combination of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper; this alloy, serves to strengthen and preserve its form. Over time silver can tarnish but it easily maintained using a sliver polishing cloth. With occasional light cleanings it can be kept in perfect condition.
As one of the rarest earth metals known to exist, Palladium is part of the Platinum family. It is one of the “Noble Metals” which are prized for their anti-corrosive properties and bear an unrivaled resistance to oxidation. In 15th century Spanish exploration of the new world Palladium was considered a nuisance as it was often found side by side with its cousin, Platinum, while miners sought gold. Swindlers were the first to use it in the forging of gold coins.
They would start with a solid palladium core then adhere thin gold plating to its exterior. The remarkable and beneficial attributes of this rare element were not discovered for centuries. Palladium will not tarnish or fade, it is hypoallergenic, considerably lighter and 10% harder than Platinum. Standard Palladium jewelry is 95% pure with 5% comprised of other alloys.
Named after the titans of ancient Greek mythology this lustrous metal was discovered by British mineralogist William Gregor in 1791. True to its namesake Titanium is of superior strength and is widely used across industries including aerospace, medicine, and construction.
In the early 1990’s jewelers began to produce titanium rings which are now available in a number of finishes, patterns, and even colors through a process called anodization. Titanium is anti-corrosive, hypoallergenic, and very lightweight making it an ideal choice for men’s wedding bands.
Cast from a sturdy blend of Cobalt, Chromium, Tungsten, Carbon, Iron, and Silicone this alloy has the look of white gold with superior strength and durability. Cobalt has been found in early examples of Egyptian, Chinese, and Persian jewelry dating back to the third millennium B.C. Archaeologists even found pieces in the ash covered ruins of Pompeii from 79 A.D. Today’s cobalt alloy is hypoallergenic, scratch-resistant, does not require any plating, and will not tarnish. It is four times stronger than platinum but far less dense which makes for a lighter piece.
A combination of 80% elemental tungsten and 20% carbon alloy provides strength in several different colors. Popular in men’s wedding bands, Tungsten Carbide is hypoallergenic, extremely resistant to scratches, tarnish-proof and easy to maintain. This material holds a permanent polish, carries substantial weight in comparison to titanium, and is 10 times stronger than 18k gold. It is a perfect choice for active, on-the-go lifestyles.