The metals for your lifestyle.
There are precious metals and what are considered alternative metals. The metal you choose for your fine jewelry not only comes down to the look, it comes down to what best suits your lifestyle and budget. A great example of this is allergies. If your skin is very sensitive, platinum might be the perfect choice since it’s hypo-allergenic. Each metal has its own unique properties and characteristics. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your precious metal.
Popular metal trends for fine jewelry come and go, but gold has remained one of the most popular metals and has the longest and most storied history of all the precious metals There are various grades of gold, from 10K, 14K, 18K and 24K (considered pure gold). 18K gold is actually 75% gold and 25% other metals. As the karat weight drops, the metal becomes more durable, but less yellow. Lower karat weights are usually plated to some degree to enhance the color. In order to increase the durability, typically they are mixed with other metals. Yellow gold is natural and resistant to rust, tarnish and corrosion.
White Gold is obviously not natural and provides a different look. It is made with similar properties to yellow gold but is mixed with different metals to give it a white color – typically with rhodium (a rare member of the platinum family). Rhodium plated rings will wear and eventually need re-plating. This is something to consider if you’re a very active person and plan on wearing your piece when you exercise, as an example.
Rose Gold is made with similar properties but is mixed with copper to give it that rose color. Rose gold engagement rings and jewelry styles or the use of rose gold with white gold is a very popular look today!
Overall, gold is timeless and the most popular metal for everyday wear.
Platinum is one of the most popular metals for engagement rings and wedding bands. It’s naturally white and will never fade or change color. It is also durable and hypoallergenic. People love to purchase platinum because it will last forever and is the ultimate symbol of everlasting love!
Sterling silver is primarily used for fashion jewelry and accessories. It is a very soft metal and tends to tarnish, which are two big reasons we don’t recommend sterling silver for holding a precious diamond or colored gemstone for an engagement ring or more expensive piece. However, it is a very affordable alternative to white gold or platinum.
Alternative metals are often a choice for men’s wedding bands or widely used as a back-up band to the traditional gold or platinum. We’re also seeing some alternative metals, such as stainless steel in fashion jewelry. Most alternative metals are less expensive than their precious counterparts. Thinking about this as an alternative (excuse the pun)? Here’s what you should know.
Tungsten carbide is unique and strong in design and a forged metal that will last a lifetime. It is created from an alloy of 80% tungsten and 20% carbon alloy with other metals.
Cobalt is four times harder than platinum, while at the same time, far less dense. Because of its natural hardness, it resists scratches, chips and corrosion. Cobalt is also hypoallergenic, so it’s a great choice for men with sensitive skin and an active lifestyle. Many men choose platinum and have a second cobalt band for their wardrobe.
Titanium is extremely lightweight, yet strong, and has a silvery white metal color. It is 45% lighter in weight than platinum. It is also hypoallergenic and commonly used in men’s fashion jewelry.
Stainless steel is a metal that is easy to clean, highly durable and resistant to scratches and corrosion. It has a beautiful silvery-white color and retains that shine and color very well. It is most commonly used in men’s jewelry and watches.