Gold, Platinum, and Silver
Pure gold, or 24-karat, is generally considered too soft for use in jewelry, so gold is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength
Eighteen-karat gold is 18/24ths, or three-quarters, pure gold. Jewelry of this fineness is marked “18k” or “750”, the European designation meaning 75 percent gold. In the United States, 14-karat gold is used most commonly for jewelry. Fourteen-karat gold is 14/22ths, or slightly more than one-half, pure gold. Jewelry of this fineness is marked “14k” or “585”, the European designation meaning of 58.5 percent gold.
Because gold is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength, it can also be made in a variety of colors. For example, yellow gold is created by alloying the metal with copper and silver. Pricing is based on four factors: caratage, weight, design, and craftsmanship. The caratage and weight tell you how much gold is in a piece, but construction and design are also crucial factors in determining price.
Platinum is one of the strongest and most enduring of metals, as its hypoallergenic, tarnish-resistant and the heaviest. In the United States, platinum jewelry contains between 85 -90% pure platinum. By comparison, 18kt gold is 75 percent pure gold and 14kt gold only 58.5 %. Jewelry with 85 percent to 95 percent pure gold is marked “850 Plat.” or 850 Pt.” or “950 Plat. or 950 Pt.
To produce a single ounce of finished platinum, a total of 10 tons of ore must be mined. Compared to an ounce of gold is produced with three tons of ore mined.
Platinum pure white luster, strength and durability are recognized and admired, bridal couples worldwide are rediscovering platinum as the metal of choice for engagement, wedding and anniversary jewelry. Because of these qualities, it offers a diamond the greatest protection. T
If your platinum jewelry does develop visible scratches, it can be re-polished by a professional jeweler.
Sterling silver is 92.5 silver, the remainder alloy. Its markings are “925”.
It’s a much less expensive alternative to Gold or Platinum. To deter tarnishing, keep a piece of chalk near your Sterling Silver.
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