Precious Metal Guide
Precious metals have long fascinated and captivated mankind since their discovery. They have always been linked to wealth and power and are commonly used today for various purposes such as high technology, industry, investment, medicine, and jewelry. Precious metals feature some distinct characteristics and properties which have made them important in how history has been shaped. Before shopping for fine jewelry, refer to our precious metal guide to equip yourself with adequate knowledge of the different types of precious metals.
Gold is one of the most popular choices of precious metals and it comes in various carats and colors. It is known for its rich color, and its luster is stunning. When caratage is concerned, it refers to the amount of gold that is found inside the metal. Jewelry is not made with pure gold as it is way too soft to work with so it needs to be mixed with other compounds to produce a hardwearing material. The least expensive gold has the least amount of gold which is around 9 carats. At the end of the scale is the purest and most expensive gold which amounts to 24 carats.
Silver can have more than one level of fineness just like gold. However, silver jewelry is almost exclusively made from what we usually refer to as sterling silver which is comprised of 925 parts of silver to every 1,000. Fine silver, on the other hand, consists of 999 parts for every 1,000 whereas Britannia silver comprises 958 parts. The lower quality is made up of 800 parts silver. To easily identify silver from other metals, there will be a 925 stamp underneath the jewelry.
Platinum is a white precious metal that is the most expensive due to its rarity. Platinum is also a lot more durable and can endure more wear and tear when compared to gold or silver jewelry. A platinum ring is at least 30% heavier than a gold ring of the same size but it is not as shiny. Platinum is also resistant to tarnish and it does not need to be plated, thus retaining its color. The different fineness of platinum extends from 850, 900, 950 to 999. The most popular platinum fineness level is 950 so always check with the store to prevent being overcharged.
Palladium is the newest precious metal that has only achieved a hallmark in the year 2009. Originally discovered in 1803, this white, lustrous metal is rare and lustrous. This precious metal is highly similar to platinum which is resistant to tarnish and needs no plating. Even so, palladium is still much more affordable and lighter in weight. Due to these factors, palladium is often used on elaborate jewels that would be too expensive and heavy when manufactured with platinum. Palladium is also highly sought-after by wedding band makers. It still displays a similar outlook to platinum but is sold at a fraction of the price. The most common fineness for palladium is 950 but it is also available in 550 and 999 parts.