Metals Used to Make Jewellery
Gold won’t tarnish, rust, or corrode, and though it’s very strong, it is also the most malleable of all metals.
Pure gold is too soft to withstand the stresses of every-day wear, so it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to give it strength and durability. Karatage, indicates purity or how much of the metal in a piece of jewellery is gold. Karatage is expressed in 24ths, making 24k gold 100% gold.
The colour of gold is determined by two factors:
The type of metal alloys included in it
The percentage of each metal alloy
In jewellery at Pinns, you’ll find 18k and 14k yellow gold. 18k gold contains more precious metal than 14k gold. It is composed of 75% gold, which is alloyed with other metals to make it strong enough to withstand every- day wear. Because 14k gold is composed of only 58.3% gold, and 41.7% other metals that give it strength, its gold colour is not as rich as 18k gold. 14k gold is most commonly found in cases where strength is most important, like in earring backs and bracelet clasps.
Because 18k white gold is 75% gold, and 14k white gold is 58.3% gold, jewellery made from these metals has a slight yellow colour. To enhance the whiteness, almost all white gold is plated with rhodium, a shiny, white metal which is extremely hard. Depending on the amount of wear to a piece of jewellery, over time this rhodium plating may wear off, revealing the original metal colour. Re-plating is a simple process that can be done to restore your jewellery’s whiteness if needed.
Rose gold gets its colour from a larger proportion of copper in the metal alloy. This gives the gold a beautiful pink colour.
The platinum jewellery at Pinns is made of fine quality jewellery grade platinum. Its cool white sheen makes platinum our most popular metal of choice for settings, as it accentuates the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond. The most appealing characteristic of platinum is its durability. Each time other metals are scratched or polished, a tiny bit of metal is lost. In fact eventually, prongs of white gold and yellow gold may wear down enough that you need to have them reinforced with more metal for safety. But not with platinum. A scratch in platinum may leave a mark on the metal, but this metal is so strong that it will not readily chip or splinter. While it is the strongest of jewellery metals, it can scratch and develop a patina of wear. Many people prefer this look, unique to platinum. But if you like the shine, a jeweller can polish your jewellery to bring back the original reflective finish. In the meantime, buffing with a soft cloth can give your jewellery renewed luster. The majority of our platinum jewellery is 95 percent pure platinum combined with 5 percent iridium, palladium, ruthenium or other alloys. For guaranteed quality in platinum, look for the marks 950 Plat or Plat. Care for platinum: Soaking platinum in a mild solution of soap and warm water and gently scrubbing it with a soft-bristled brush is usually all that is required to maintain the metal's luster.
Palladium, one of the rarest metals in the world, is a member of the Platinum Group Metals. These metals are also referred to as alloys; due to their superior ability to withstand corrosion and oxidation. Palladium, which is listed on the Periodic Table of elements, is lighter in weight than its sister metal, Platinum. A naturally white metal, Palladium is hypoallergenic, will not tarnish and remains white forever. Palladium is 95% pure when used in jewellery, is extremely durable and does not require alloy metals and/or plating for protection, which ensures that it will remain white as long as you own your jewellery.