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Metal Education

MetalEducation

A GUIDE TO JEWELRY Metals

A free informational reference guide to types of jewelry metal.

  • GOLD
  • SILVER
  • PLATINUM
  • PALLADIUM
  • ALTERNATIVE METALS

GOLD

Gold, an enduring element found naturally in a distinct yellow color, has an extraordinary heritage with unique qualities. The precious metal is resistant to rust, tarnish, and corrosion. Although gold is very strong, it's also the most malleable of all precious metals. Pure gold is too soft for everyday wear, so it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to give it strength and durability. Common colored gold alloys include the distinctive Rose Gold created by the addition of copper. Alloys containing palladium or nickel are also important in commercial jewelry as these produce White Gold alloys.

SILVER

Relatively soft, very malleable. Pure silver, also called fine silver, is commonly combined with other metals to produce a more durable product. The most popular of these alloys is sterling silver, which consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. Although any metal can make up the 7.5 percent non-silver portion of sterling, centuries of experimentation have shown copper to be its best companion, improving the metal's hardness and durability without affecting its beautiful color.

PLATINUM

This metal will last forever, making it the ultimate symbol for true, enduring, and everlasting love. Platinum is durable. Its density makes it the most secure setting for your diamond or precious gemstone. All our platinum rings are crafted with platinum prongs for setting loose diamonds. We also offer upgrades on a white gold setting to platinum prongs. Because platinum is a naturally white metal, re-plating is unnecessary; it will always hold its beauty.

PALLADIUM

Palladium is a rare precious metal, treasured for its brilliant silver-white surface that can be polished to a high mirror-like shine. Palladium wedding rings are extremely durable and resistant to tarnishing, extreme heat, and exposure to many types of chemicals. The strength of palladium makes it a preferred metal, along with platinum, for use in ring settings.

TUNGSTEN

Tarnish-resistant with a substantial feel in weight. Tungsten is nearly impossible to scratch or wear down, so even the most delicate details are well-defined and polished after years of wear. Four times harder than titanium, tungsten retains its polish longer than almost any other metal. A practical and attractive metal for anyone who works actively with their hands.

COBALT

A bright white metal that is highly scratch resistant. Made from a highly durable alloy, cobalt is four times harder than platinum while at the same time, less dense. Because of its natural hardness, cobalt jewelry is extremely scratch, chip, and corrosion-resistant. It's lower density and natural malleability allows for strong, dynamic designs with less weight. Cobalt is also hypoallergenic, making it an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin or an active lifestyle.

TANTALUM

Tantalum is a rare earth metal that is slightly darker in color than platinum. Tantalum features the same dense durability and benefits you’d expect with other fine quality designer rings. Tantalum is extremely malleable—characteristics that set it apart from other contemporary metals. In its natural state, tantalum is gray with a bluish tint. However, a special (patent pending) ceramic glaze is applied to it when used as jewelry to give the metal a matte black look and make its scratch-resistance better.

TITANIUM

Natural titanium is grayish in color and, when alloyed with specific metals to increase its strength, it ends up being a great choice for wedding bands. The light weight of titanium and the grayish color is appealing to many people. It has incredible strength and hypoallergenic properties. The color of naturally gray titanium wedding bands can be permanently changed to a rich and luxurious black.

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