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There are several metals used in the creation of fine jewellery. By knowing information about the different metals, their benefits compared with each other and their unique qualities you will be able to make a better and more informed decision about purchasing your jewellery.
The metal types commonly used to make jewellery include Gold, Platinum, Titanium, Silver and Stainless Steel.
Below you will find information about each of these metal types, together with information about which metals are best for particular types of jewellery.

The karat is the gold content of the metal. The karat measures the proportion of pure gold mixed with other metal alloy to make up the final metal.
The karat of gold is represented in many countries by the abbreviation kt or K.
The higher the proportion of gold used in the final metal, the more valuable the metal will be. So all other things being the same, an 18K ring will be more expensive than a 14K ring and a 14K ring will be more expensive than a 10K ring.
·         10K gold contains 41.7% pure gold (417 parts per thousand parts).
·         14K gold contains 58.5% pure gold (585 parts per thousand parts).
·         18K gold contains 75% pure gold (750 parts per thousand parts).
The remainder of the metals is made up of a combination of alloys, different metals, which can help to give the metal its unique appearance, such as a different color.
Jewellery is normally stamped with a marking to show the type of gold.
·         For 10K gold the stamp will normally be the number 417, 10kt, or 10K.
·         For 14K gold the stamp will normally be the number 585, 14kt, or 14K.
·         For 18K gold the stamp will normally be the number 750, 18kt, or 18K.
The stamps only indicate the karat of metal. They do not indicate the color of the metal. So for example an 18K yellow gold ring would have a stamp of 750, as would an 18K white gold ring.
10K, 14K and 18K gold are each relatively hard and durable metal and are suitable for use in all types of fine jewellery. Gold is also suitable to be used in jewellery that is worn on an everyday basis.
When choosing jewellery, particularly rings, many people consider the hardness and durability of gold to be used in their ring.
Metal hardness is measured by what is called the Vickers scale where harder metals receive a higher Vickers score than less hard metals. 18K is harder, but the difference is so slight that in practical terms 10K and 18K are much the same in terms of hardness.
There is another difference that should be considered when comparing 10K and 18K. 10K is more difficult to bend and is a little more “springy” and therefore a fine 10K ring may be less likely to bend out of shape than a fine 18K ring. However, if the ring is of a good sturdy construction neither metal will be likely to bend out of shape.
In practical terms, 18K generally holds up to everyday wear better than 10K and tends to look better than 10K as it ages over the years. This is one of the reasons why 18K is normally preferred for ladies engagement rings rather than 10K.

Is White Gold the same as Platinum?
The answer to this question is no. White gold and Platinum have their own properties, which make them unique. The following White Gold information and Platinum information will enable you to determine whether White Gold or Platinum is best for your needs.

White Gold
White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as silver and palladium. White gold can be 18K, 14K, 10K or any karat. For example, 18K yellow gold is made by mixing 75% gold (750 parts per thousand) with 25% (250 parts per thousand) other metals such as copper and zinc. 18K white gold is made by mixing 75% gold with 25% other metals such as silver and palladium. So the amount of gold is the same but the alloy is different.

When white gold rings are new they are coated with another white metal called Rhodium. Rhodium is a metal very similar to Platinum and Rhodium shares many of the properties of Platinum including its white color.
Rhodium Plating is used to make white gold look whiter. The natural color of white gold is actually a light grey colour. Rhodium is very white and very hard, but it does wear away eventually. To keep a white gold ring looking its best it should be re-rhodium plated approximately each 12 to 18 months.

Platinum is a white metal, but unlike gold it is used in jewellery in almost its pure form. Platinum is extremely long wearing and is very white, so it does not need to be Rhodium plated like white gold.
Platinum is very dense (heavy), so a Platinum ring will feel heavier than an 18K gold ring.

Is the color of White Gold different to Platinum?
The answer to this question depends on whether the white gold jewelry item is in its natural color or whether it has been Rhodium Plated.
If a white gold item has been Rhodium Plated (note: most white gold rings are Rhodium Plated) then the colour difference will not really be noticeable at all. There is essentially no difference in the metal color.

Titanium is a natural element, which has a silver-greyish-white color. Titanium is the hardest natural metal in the world. It is very strong; three times the strength of steel and much stronger than gold, silver and platinum and yet is very light weight. Pure titanium is also 100% hypoallergenic, which means that it is safe for anyone to wear as it will not react to your skin.
Titanium provides several unique factors that make it a good metal for jewellery. It is very strong, more dent, bend and scratch resistant than gold, silver and platinum, is lightweight and importantly offers an exotic array of colors which other metals simply do not.
One factor to consider with titanium is that titanium cannot be soldered, which means that titanium rings cannot normally be resized.
Titanium is popular in earrings and bracelets for both ladies and men.

Sterling silver is a white-grey colored metal, which is less expensive than gold, platinum and titanium.
Silver is a softer metal than gold, titanium and platinum and does not have hardness that the other metals do.
Silver is a popular metal for use in jewellery such as earrings, pendants, bracelets, necklaces and dress rings. It is best used for jewellery that will not be worn every day for an extended period. For that reason it is usually not recommend to be chosen for ladies and men's wedding rings, and is not suitable for ladies engagement rings.
Silver is also more prone to oxidation, sometimes causing the silver to turn black. Silver jewellery can easily be made to look like new again if you use silver jewellery cleaner (available from most department stores).

Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a metal not traditionally used in fine jewellery, though its popularity in dress jewellery is increasing.
Stainless steel is a relatively hard and durable metal. It is particularly popular in men's bracelets, necklaces and men's dress rings.
The range of stainless steel jewellery is generally more restricted than for other metals.
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