The Ultimate Guide to Metals
Platinum is one of the strongest naturally occurring metals on earth. It is silver with a brilliant white sheen, and this colour never fades or changes. It never needs re-plating, and any scratches or patina can be buffed out with a soft cloth. It is perhaps the lowest maintenance metal available.
Because it is so strong and durable, platinum prongs are also the safest and most secure setting for your diamond or other gemstone. Platinum is almost completely pure, and as a result, is hypoallergenic–absolutely perfect for those with allergies or those that tend to react to other metals. Platinum will last for decades upon decades, and all the only care required is a warm, mildly soapy rinse and a quick scrub with a soft brush. Ideal for those with busy lives or that don’t want to worry about metal maintenance.
Platinum is ranked at 4-4.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, where diamonds are ranked 10, as the hardest mineral on earth.
Gold, Gold, Gold
Gold is the most malleable of the precious metals. It is a symbol of old-world romance, a nod to its rich history and heritage. It is naturally yellow, and is resistant to rust, tarnishing, and corrosion.
We work in 18k,14k, and 10k gold. Pure gold is too soft to be worn everyday—it would bend and warp. Therefore, pure gold is mixed with other metals to ensure its strength and durability.
18k gold is 75% pure gold that is alloyed with other metals.
14k gold is 58.5% gold and similarly is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength and durability.
10k gold is less than 50% gold and more than 50% alloyed metals. The implications of having a greater amount of alloyed metals in your gold is that it will tarnish more easily.
A quick trick to remember the difference between kinds of gold is just to recall that the higher the number, the softer the metal, because it is more pure.
Colour of Gold
The colour of gold is determined by the kinds of metal alloys included in the gold and their percentages.
Yellow gold generally accrues its glow from a very specific combination of reddish copper and greenish silver alloys.
White gold is alloyed with metals that are naturally white and then is plated with an extremely tough element called Rhodium. Over time, rhodium can wear away and your ring may need to be re-plated. However, plating is a very simple process that most jewellers can tend to.
Rose gold, similar to yellow gold, uses the reddish hue of copper alloy among other metals to give it its rich blush colour.
Gold is ranked 2.5-3 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, where diamonds are ranked 10 as the hardest minerals on earth.