METALS USED IN JEWELLERY
There are many types of metal used in jewellery. Among the most commonly used are Sterling Silver, Gold, Platinum and white gold.
Gold is the most popular metal choice in making jewellery. It is very popular in rings, ear rings, necklaces, pendants and bracelets. The carat in gold refers to the gold content of the metal. It measures the proportion of gold mixed with other alloy metal. Carat is represented by kt or by ct in some countries. The higher the proportion of gold the costlier it gets.
- 10K contains 41.6% pure gold. (416 parts per 1000 parts)
- 14K contains 58.5% pure gold. (585 parts per 1000 parts)
- 18K contains 75% pure gold. (750 parts per 1000 parts)
Gold is also available in in different colors. The most popular is yellow gold followed by white gold and rose gold. Jewellery is also made using different combination of gold colors. The jewellery made with such combination is called two-tone, three-tone or multi colored gold. The metal used in alloy mix determines the color of gold.
Yellow gold is made by mixture of pure gold with other metals such as zinc and copper.
Rose gold is made by mixture of pure gold with alloys including copper. The copper provides reddish color
White gold is made by mixture of pure gold with metals like silver and palladium.
Platinum is the rarest and sturdiest of all jewelry metals. The purity of this metal makes it naturally hypo allergenic which is good for people with sensitive skin. As a result of the density of this metal makes it the most secure metal for setting gems in. It also has a naturally white color therefore it will not need plating or fade. Over time there will be natural wear and tear such as patina or minor scratches. The best way to clean platinum is warm soapy water and a soft brush.