Whether you’re a jeweler, a customer, or a soon-to-be customer it is important to be educated on not only the jewelry that you’re wearing but also the jewelry that you’d be purchasing so that you can be an informed consumer. There is a lot of miss information about types of metals out there so this article will go through the 6 types of metal for making jewelry and give you just some things that will be helpful.
10 karat gold is 42 percent gold and 58 percent metal alloys and 14 karat gold which is 58 percent gold and 42 percent metal alloys. Even 18 karat gold is 75% gold and 25% metal alloys. The reason why you need those metal alloys is for durability. Pure gold is very pliable and you would never be able to wear it for jewelry because it would bend and change shape or even break so we need the metal alloys in our gold. So keep in mind that even when you think you’re wearing “the real thing” you’re really wearing the real thing mixed with some metal alloys.
Sterling silver is also an alloy, it has to start with pure silver so it’s 92.5 percent pure silver and it is usually mixed with copper. This is because sterling silver of itself is also very pliable so you need to have some alloy in there in order for it to keep its shape and its form. Sterling silver is still more expensive than silver plated.
Rhodium is a very expensive silver colored metal with the brightness of sterling silver but without the tarnishing effects of sterling silver. In the high-fashion world, they will use rhodium because it’s tarnish resistant whether it’s rhodium plated or actual full-fledged rhodium. So it gives you that silver look but it’s not silver. The great thing about rhodium is that it’s tarnish resistant and I love that about rhodium as a metal I think that’s really handy to know.
Palladium is a silver metal with a hardness second to rhodium but with a cost slightly higher than gold. It can also be called platinum. Platinum is also a darker and deeper shade of silver as well so it has a different look. Platinum is what most jewelers will use on the prong settings of centerpiece stones because they need the hardness. The center stone on your wedding sets for example are going to take a lot of beatings so you need those prongs to really be strong. So platinum typically works very well for those prong settings.
Most post earrings are made of surgical steel but not a lot of people really know what it is. It is a non tarnishing hypo allergenic metal alloy made up of iron and chromium. This is why for most people, surgical steel works very well when it is going into their ears.
This is a steel alloy with chromium that is highly resistant to stain, rust, or corrosion. Stainless steel is very durable and it can be worn a long time.
Don’t be afraid of educating yourself on the types of metals that are out there. If you are a customer reading this all you have to do is ask your jeweler what metal is used in a particular piece that appears in their catalog and they will be happy to get that information to you. More info in this site: https://www.kitco.com/market/.