Jan 31, 2012

The Different Jewellery Metals

A diamond ring isn’t only about the diamond. The metal in which the band is made is also influences the beauty, brightness and price of a ring. Do you know your jewellery metals? Here’s a little information about the most common ones.


Gold is probably the most popular jewellery metal. More expensive (but also more beautiful) than silver, gold is a soft metal that comes in a variety of colors (yellow, white, pink, lime, red and bronze) and carats. Pure gold is never used because it is too soft, but there are different purity levels that affect the price. The other metals mixed in with the gold determine the color.


Silver, like gold, is also too soft to be used in its pure form. Sterling silver alloy, the typical silver, is about 92.5% pure. Silver tarnishes quickly; it requires frequent maintenance and the addition of other metals to improve its strength, luster and tarnish. Silver doesn’t do particularly well in humid climates. However, a lot of people have come to appreciate the vintage look of old silver and are actually looking for a tarnished look. Silver is a good choice for casual jewellery.


Titanium is probably the strongest common metal used in jewellery-making. It is very strong and will resist scuffing and tarnish, and also very light. Its brightness and strength has made titanium an increasingly popular choice for long-wear jewellery, like wedding bands or watches. However, the titanium-making process is expensive and time-consuming, which makes titanium more expensive than gold or silver.


While not as strong as titanium (and much heavier), platinum is still stronger than silver or gold. It goes really well with diamonds because of its white color. Platinum purity ranges between 80% and 100%, but anything above 95% is considered “platinum”. It’s a rarer metal that can add a lot to the cost of a ring or piece of jewellery. It will never fade and requires less maintenance than gold or silver.

5.Stainless steel

Some people consider stainless steel silver’s “poor cousin”, but it’s still a popular metal. Without nickel, it’s a hypoallergenic metal that’s great for casual, everyday pieces. You won’t see much precious stones set in stainless steel, but a lot of designers are using it to produce high-end accessories. It’s especially popular for men’s rings and bracelets.


No, we’re not talking about the tungsten that used to be put in old lightbulbs. Tungsten jewellery is usually a mix of tungsten and carbon, and the only thing that can scratch it is a diamond. Because of its weight, it’s only used for men’s rings, and typically they are wedding bands. But, you will never need to get it polished!


If budget is not a concern, then rhodium is for you. Rhodium costs about 10 times its equivalent in 24 -arat gold. To give you an idea: there are only 3 tons of rhodium extracted in the world each year. It has a beautiful white color that also goes well with diamonds. Nowadays you can also find rhodium-plated gold or silver rings for a much more affordable price.

How about adding a nice piece of jewellery to your Valentine’s Day flowers? You don’t even have to pay that much, since a few metals like silver and stainless steel are quite affordable. Which is your favourite metal?

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