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A Guide to Different Jewelry Metals

A Guide to Different Jewelry Metals

Everyone has a preference for what metals you like best for your jewelry. Some people stick with gold, others prefer silver, and some may even choose gold for aesthetic options. What about the finer details? Do you know the difference between 14K gold and 24K gold? What makes sterling silver distinct "sterling"? Here's a guide to some different types of metal for jewelry and which you should select.

Solid Gold Jewelry

Gold, whether yellow, white, or rose, is trendy in the jewelry industry. Historically, there has always been value and emphasis put on gold - however, it's also malleable, making it great for jewelry making. A significant benefit of gold jewelry is that it doesn't tarnish on its own, compared to sterling silver. Gold jewelry can be as old as can be, but you can always bring it back to life with a simple polish. Avoid wearing gold jewelry in swimming pools or hot tubs, as chlorines can discolor gold when it's hot. 

Gold is too delicate to be used undiluted, and this is where karat percentages come in. The lowest that can still legally be called gold is ten karats. You can tell how much gold is present based on the number of karats:

  • 24 karat gold = 100 percent gold
  • 22 karat gold = 92 percent gold
  • 18 karat gold = 75 percent gold
  • 14 karat gold = 58 percent gold
  • 10 karat gold = 41 percent gold

Gold Jewelry: Plated vs. Filled vs. Vermeil 

These different types of gold jewelry can be easily confused. People often use the terms interchangeably, even though they're different. Gold-plated jewelry is a low-end metal, such as brass or copper, electroplated with a layer of gold. It's typically less expensive than the other options yet more valuable than vermeil. Gold-filled jewelry has a thicker layer of gold over the base and can sometimes be as much as 100% more viscous, making it a good option for longer jewelry. Gold vermeil can be known as a "silver gilt". It's a higher-quality silver that's plated with a thin gold layer. Vermeil can be made with either pure or sterling silver.  

Sterling Silver Jewelry 

 Sterling silver jewelry is one of the most common metal types for jewelry, and you've probably owned a few silver pieces in your life. Pure silver is weak and difficult to shape, and if you wear pure silver as jewelry, it may stain your skin from oxidation due to the reaction of sulfur in the air and ammonia in your sweat. Sterling silver is a common swap for pure silver jewelry as it's an affordable white metal comprising 92.5% pure silver. You'll typically see a "925" on any sterling silver jewelry. 

How Can I Tell What Type of Metal My Jewelry Is?

If you purchase a vintage piece of jewelry or find something lying around and want to know what metal it is, it's pretty easy to look for specific markings. As mentioned above, silver jewelry almost always has a "925" or "sterling" stamp. Real metals, such as gold, silver, or platinum, must be stamped with a quality mark showing the percentage of metal used. For non-precious metals, you can always try using a magnet. If you are having trouble, contact Bostonian Jewelers, and we can help you figure it out. 

Work with Bostonian Jewelers 

At Bostonian Jewelers, we aim to help people find the highest quality jewelry for themselves or a loved one. We create only the finest jewelry featuring precious metals and stones. Start shopping with us today, or plan your restoration project with our experts

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What’s the Difference Between White Gold and Platinum?

What’s the Difference Between White Gold and Platinum?

White gold and platinum are two materials that frequently catch our interest when choosing fine jewelry. Both have a captivating charm and a dazzling white tint that harmonizes beautifully with various jewels. But despite their magnificent appearance, they differ fundamentally in their composition, usefulness, and price. Let's discover the mysteries of white gold and platinum in this post so that you can choose the ideal piece of jewelry with knowledge.

Composition Of White Gold

Pure gold mixed with other white metals like silver, nickel, palladium, or zinc creates the magnetic alloy known as "white gold." Its name comes from the gorgeous white appearance of alloying gold with these metals. White gold's gold content is expressed in karats, with 18K and 14K being the most popular. Compared to 18K white gold, which has 75% gold, 14K white gold has 58% gold, making it more durable due to the higher proportion of other metals.

Composition Of Platinum

On the other hand, platinum is a naturally white metal that is prized for its scarcity and purity. Due to its tremendous density and strength, it is highly coveted and is the perfect material for intricate jewelry creations. A usual designation on platinum jewelry is 950Pt or 900Pt, denoting a content of 95% or 90% platinum. Those with sensitive skin will find it a great option because of its innate toughness and hypoallergenic qualities.

Durability and Wear

Jewelry made of white gold is recognized for its durability and strength. However, because it is alloyed, it could occasionally need care to keep its brightness. The rhodium plating used to improve the whiteness of white gold can tarnish over time, necessitating re-plating to bring back its luster. Professional jewelers use this straightforward maintenance procedure to guarantee that your white gold jewelry keeps its magnificent beauty.

Since platinum is inherently white, rhodium plating is not necessary for platinum jewelry. The likelihood of scratches or damage is reduced by its inherent strength and density, which make it very resistant to wear and strain. Unlike white gold, platinum keeps its shine over time and develops a lovely patina that gives the item individuality and charm. However, platinum can be polished to restore its original sheen if desired.

Affordability and Value

One benefit of white gold over platinum is that it is less expensive. White gold typically has a lower price tag because it contains a higher proportion of less costly metals. Because of this, it's an excellent choice for people who want white metal jewelry's elegance and appeal without breaking the bank.

The rarity and purity of platinum contribute to its fantastic price. It is preferred for individuals looking for the highest quality and prestige due to its higher density and opulent appeal. Platinum may need a bigger initial investment, but because of its timeless beauty and durability, it will hold its worth over time.

Contact Bostonian Jewelers

Ultimately, your preferences, financial situation, and desired level of care will determine whether you choose platinum or white gold. While platinum exhibits an unequaled level of purity and endurance, white gold offers an attractive combination of affordability and durability. 

Whichever metal you choose, platinum and white gold are both guaranteed to dazzle with their classic elegance and bring out the best in the jewels they are set with. Therefore, whether you choose the cozy embrace of white gold or the majestic allure of platinum, your decision will make an impression. Contact Bostonian Jewelers to find the best selection of white gold and platinum jewelry.

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