Jewelry Materials and Precious Metals

In the realm of jewelry, there are a variety of metals to choose from. There are several types of metals that are included in a full list, including precious metals (noble metals) such as gold and silver as well as some non-precious metals (base metals) such as copper, tungsten, iron, titanium, zinc and nickel.

It is critical to understand the materials that are used to construct a piece of jewelry in order to make informed judgments. It is quite unusual to come across a piece of jewelry that is composed entirely of pure metal. What is marketed as “gold jewelry” is actually a blend of pure gold and other metals sold as jewelry.

For example, 18k gold jewelry is composed of 75 percent pure gold and 25 percent additional metals such as palladium, silver, and copper, depending on the purity of the gold. “Sterling silver” is another example of this. Typically, 7.5 percent copper is added to the mixture, which contains 92.5 percent pure silver.

Jewelry Materials

What are Precious Metals?

There is a distinct distinction between precious metals and non-precious metals when it comes to jewelry. Precious metals are distinguished by the following features in general:

  • Because the metal is only mildly reactive, it is usual to discover it in its pure condition in nature.
  • High economic value
  • Shiny
  • Ductile
  • Uncommon in the sense of having a restricted supply

Gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium, and silver are all included in this group. These are the precious metals that are most commonly seen in jewelry. However, there are other precious metals, such as iridium, osmium, and ruthenium, that are as valuable. These final three have more industrial uses than they do in the jewelry business.

precious metals

Some Metals that are used to make Jewelry!

1. Gold

Gold is a noble metal with low reactivity, and it is perhaps the metal most associated with beautiful jewelry and fine art. As a result, polished gold does not tarnish quickly and does not often induce allergic reactions. The hue of pure gold is a brilliant yellow. Unfortunately, pure gold is extremely brittle and prone to bending and sinking, necessitating the use of additional metals to harden it.

Different combinations result in a variety of qualities, particularly in terms of color. A diamond jewelry will never be made entirely of pure gold because it would lose its form if it were. Jewelry made of 18k gold is composed of 75% pure gold and 25% additional metals. In addition to gold, silver, copper, and palladium can be used depending on the hue that one wishes to obtain.

Some jewelry retailers, particularly those that specialize in white gold, also include nickel into their gold alloys. Nickel is not used in my jewelry because it is known to cause allergies in a large number of people. In addition, I recommend that you avoid purchasing jewelry that contains a high concentration of nickel.


2. Platinum

Platinum has traditionally been used for jewelry that incorporates a large number of diamonds. The following are the primary characteristics of platinum:

  • When diamonds are set in platinum, their brightness is enhanced by the inherent white shine of the metal.
  • Platinum is also more durable than gold, which allows it to keep gemstones with more security. Even gold jewelry will occasionally have the stone set with platinum in order to increase the durability of the platinum piece of jewelry.
  • Platinum is also a dense metal, which makes platinum jewelry appear to be heavier.

There are frequently jewelers that solely work with platinum, and they are known as platinum specialists. However, because platinum is no longer fashionable in the same way it once was, there are fewer and fewer jewelers who are knowledgeable about it.

Platinum, like gold, is not utilized in its purest form because of its high melting point. In most cases, a piece of jewelry will be made of 95 percent pure platinum. Copper, cobalt, or a noble metal like as iridium, ruthenium, or palladium can be used as the other metals in the alloy.

When platinum is scratched, it exhibits a unique property that is worth mentioning. When you scrape most metals, a little portion of the metal is scraped away with the scraping motion. Due to the extreme hardness of platinum, when you scrape it, the scratched part transfers to another section of the component. It becomes somewhat grey in hue as time passes, giving it the appearance of being an old piece. It is one of the many enchantments of this precious metal.

precious metal platinum

3. Palladium

Palladium jewelry is possible to create, although it is quite rare. Palladium is most commonly used in what is referred to as “white gold” jewelry.

Pure gold has a natural golden hue to it. It is possible to get a white hue by combining pure gold and palladium in equal parts. Typically, 18k white gold is an alloy of 75 percent pure gold, with approximately 16 percent pure palladium and 9 percent pure silver added for color and shine.

4. Rhodium

Because rhodium has a high sheen, it is used to bathe precious metals such as gold, platinum, and silver. This plating process leaves a thin layer of rhodium on the item, which allows it to retain its dazzling appearance.

Unfortunately, the rhodium plating is quite superficial and will fade away over time. Because rhodium is a difficult metal to carve, it is unusual to come across pure rhodium jewelry.

5. Silver

Silver is the noble metal that appears in the most jewelry, and it is the most common. Silver is commonly available in three different formulations: 950 silver, sterling silver, and 900 silver. The phrase 950 indicates that the gem has 95 percent pure silver and 5 percent additional metals, such as copper, in its composition.

Sterling silver is synonymous with 925 which is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. 900 silver, on the other hand, is 90 percent pure silver and 10 percent copper. The silver has a rather bright lustre when it has been freshly and thoroughly polished.

In contrast to the other noble metals, however, this metal is more reactive than the others. Because of a reaction between silver and sulphur in the air, the silver loses its lustre and changes color. Silver tarnishing, on the other hand, may be avoided with proper care.

6. Titanium

Titanium, which is similar in color to tungsten, is a harder metal than gold and silver, and it has a higher melting point. The most significant difference between titanium and tungsten is that titanium is significantly lighter and less hard. In addition, titanium does not fracture as easily as tungsten does. Tungsten and titanium are less expensive metals to use as substitutes for precious metals.

precious metal titanium

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