Differences Between Jewelry Metal Types (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 in Informational.

Last month we posted a blog discussing the popularity of platinum engagement rings. Even though platinum jewelry has many benefits, it’s still important to weigh all of your options so that you can determine what type of precious metal is the right fit for you. In the following paragraphs, I’ll lay out all the important information you need to know about the three most popular jewelry metal types: platinum, gold, and sterling silver.

Appearance: Platinum, white gold, and sterling silver are the three most common white metal jewelry options. Appearance wise, these three precious metals are very similar, however it’s important to keep in mind that gold is naturally yellow while platinum and sterling silver are naturally white. White gold, which is pure gold combined with at least one white metal, tends to tarnish and turn yellow over time. When this happens, you’ll have to re-polish and re-plate your jewelry piece. If you’re looking for a  more colorful metal choice, gold is your best option. Yellow gold looks best when paired with warm colored gemstones while the increasingly popular rose gold is perfect if you’re looking for a romantic jewelry piece that will complement all skin tones.

Durability: Platinum is the strongest and most durable between the three metals. If your ring is made out of platinum, you can be rest assured that the prongs holding your stone in place are less likely to break than if they were made with gold or sterling silver. It’s important to note that even though platinum is durable, it is not scratch resistant. If you’re looking for a metal that won’t scratch as easily as others, go for gold.

Hypoallergenic: As mentioned in one of our previous blogs, platinum is hypoallergenic, which means you never have to worry about developing an allergic reaction while wearing platinum jewelry. The most common trigger of jewelry allergies is nickel. Even though this isn’t too much of a problem for most people, those with extremely sensitive skin should try to avoid both sterling silver and gold, which both contain trace amounts of nickel.

Affordability: Not surprisingly, the most expensive type of metal between the three is platinum. This is because more of it is required to make jewelry since it is the densest of the three. Platinum is also over 90% pure whereas gold is only 58% pure gold (for 14 karat gold) or 75% pure (for 18 karat gold). If you’re looking for a less expensive option, sterling silver is the right choice for you.

There you have it. We just laid out all of the important information you need to know before choosing between the three most common types of precious metal. Click here to find out everything you need to know about Stainless Steel, titanium, tungsten, and cobalt!