Precious metals are rare, naturally occurring, and are high in value. The three that we primarily use in our jewelry designs are gold, platinum and sterling silver.
Pure gold, or 24-karat, is generally too soft for use in most jewelry, so gold is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength. In the United States, 14-karat gold is the most common jewelry alloy. The chart below explains the different levels so that you can make an educated purchase.
Quality Marks on Karat Gold Jewelry
|Percent Pure Gold
Pure, rare, eternal – these qualities set platinum apart. Platinum’s strength surpasses both gold and silver and assures your most precious diamonds and gemstones will be protected and secured. Platinum is one of the strongest, most enduring and densest metals. In fact, a piece of jewelry containing 90-percent pure platinum weighs 60 percent more than a 14-karat gold piece of similar size.
Platinum jewelry also has a high level of purity that makes it naturally hypoallergenic and, thus, the perfect choice for people with sensitive skin. In the United States, platinum jewelry generally contains 85- to 95-percent pure platinum. By comparison, 14-karat gold is only 58.3-percent pure gold.
Platinum’s durability makes it ideal for wearing every day, as it sustains very little metal loss over a lifetime of wear. Over time, platinum jewelry will develop a natural “patina,” which can be returned to a bright, white shine with a simple repolishing. This makes it an ideal choice for bridal jewelry.
Sterling Silver is a favorite metal for creative and innovative designers due to its affordability and malleability. It is a naturally soft metal and is alloyed with other metals, most commonly copper, to increase its strength and durability. While sterling jewelry can tarnish or darken in color, it will never rust. And the bright reflective luster of sterling is restored with regular polishing and cleaning.
Unfortunately silver does tarnish when exposed to oxygen, which leaves a dark, black buildup. To combat this, you can store silver jewelry in an airtight ziplock bag. We also offer rhodium plated sterling silver that takes for longer to tarnish.