Types of Precious Metal
What metal would you like to use? We work in the following metals: platinum or palladium; yellow, white or rose gold.
Platinum is the rarest of the metals, which makes it considerably more expensive than pure gold. Only 85 tons of platinum are mined annually compared to 1500 tons of gold. Platinum has to be refined for five months before it can be used in jewelry.
Platinum is the purest metal and the only metal that is truly hypoallergenic. The stamp will read either PT, 950 or PLAT. Small amounts of ruthenium and iridium(both metals from the platinum family) are typically added to platinum.
Platinum is the strongest metal. It has a very high resistance to heat and weighs 60% more than gold. It is extremely resistant to wear because it is so dense. Platinum scratches just the same as other precious metals, but the scratches do not represent material loss.
Major platinum deposits are in both the Soviet Union and South Africa. Famous jewelry companies such as Faberge, Cartier and Tiffany gave platinum its place in fine jewelry. One of the reasons that it was popularized in jewelry is so designers could make fine, delicate jewelry that was still very durable.
Although gold is not nearly as rare as platinum, it is equally as desirable. Gold is much less expensive than platinum, but like platinum, it does not rust, tarnish or corrode. It takes seventeen tons of gold ore to extract one ounce of pure gold. It then takes three weeks to refine the metal to be used in jewelry.
In its purest form, gold is too soft to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. So, alloys are added to make gold more durable. Pure gold is 24 Karat, or twenty-four parts gold. It will be stamped 999. 14 Karat gold is fourteen parts gold and ten parts of another alloy (usually silver, zinc or nickel), or 58% pure gold. The stamp will read 14k or 585. 18 Karat gold is eighteen parts gold and six parts of another alloy, or 75% pure gold. The stamp will read 18k or 750.
Gold is naturally yellow, but you can find it in white, rose and green. Different colors are achieved by adding different alloys. For example, white gold is made by adding nickel and zinc and rose gold is made by adding copper. Adding silver makes gold with a slight greenish tint.