Precious Metals Guide
Precious Metals Guide
The term “precious metals” refers to the hard materials used in jewelry. There is nothing inherent in precious metals, save their desirability. Some are pure while others are alloys, that is, they are mixed with other metals to combine their attributes. They can inspire the heart and incite passion, evoking the image of luxury, beauty, and glamor. At Michael Agnello Jewelers, we offer a great variety of luxury jewelry styles forged in all kinds of precious metals. From engagement rings to necklaces, you can find something spectacular in almost every shade.
Sterling silver is an affordable and elegant precious metal. Balancing strength and beauty, this metal is commonly used in fashion jewelry. Due to its lesser value, it is not often used in engagement rings, which are meant to signify long-lasting commitment and love. Most sterling silver is prone to tarnishing, wherein the enchanting hue is obscured by natural corrosion.
While most simply refer to this metal as “silver,” the truth of its makeup is a little more complicated. Sterling silver is actually an alloy, a combination of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other elements. These other elements vary depending on the creator’s wishes, but copper usually plays a major role. Sometimes, metals like zinc and platinum are added to prevent tarnishing. The reason why pure silver isn’t used in jewelry is that it’s too weak and brittle.
Sterling silver was first invented as early as the 12th century in Germany and was initially used as coinage. Today, it is also used in silverware and musical instruments.
This legendary precious metal has become an icon, representing wealth, luxury, and glamor. For thousands of years, people have been attracted to gold’s rich color and natural luster. Yellow gold jewelry has been used as ceremonial religious objects, regal status symbols, and much more. Besides its hue and shine, gold is prized for its resistance to acids and conductivity. Its high demand and rarity make this material valuable.
While gold is naturally yellow, the term “yellow gold” is used to distinguish it from white and rose gold. Since gold is inherently soft and malleable, other metals are often added to reinforce it. Doing so also makes this expensive material more affordable. Some prefer higher quality gold, which has a deeper hue, while others would rather have a more cost-effective piece.
This is measured by karats, not to be confused with carats (used for diamonds). For people with allergies, it is particularly important to wear jewelry forged in high-karat gold as lower-quality pieces have metals like nickel and chrome that are more likely to cause allergic reactions.
The sophisticated beauty of white gold cannot be overstated. It has an eye-catchingly bright aesthetic that is adept at accentuating colorful gemstones, high-quality diamonds, and other precious metals. While white gold is a relatively new invention, it has a unique, timeless quality. Its color may be similar to silver, but white gold is much more durable, scratch resistant, and valuable.
It is an alloy of pure gold and at least one white metal like nickel, palladium, or silver. Rhodium plating is almost always used to ensure uniform color, as well as provide a lustrous shine. While there are many positives about white gold, the one negative is that it requires more maintenance than other alloys. The rhodium plating can wear off over time, leading to the gold’s yellow color peaking through. Luckily, jewelers can “redip” the piece in rhodium to keep it shining bright.
This pink metal has a spectacularly romantic hue. Every rose gold piece instantly has a bold and feminine aesthetic, especially when accompanied by brilliant diamonds and other gemstones. The metal also looks fantastic in dress watches with the rich tones of brown leather complementing it perfectly. Rose gold has a striking glamor when paired with white gold as well.
Also known as pink gold, rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper. While a lot of yellow gold uses copper for strength, this alloy has a much higher amount and, thus, takes on the metal’s reddish hue. It is often associated with a regal aesthetic; 22k rose gold is even called “crown gold.” The high amount of copper makes it hypoallergenic for most people.
This bright, lustrous, gray metal is the most valuable precious metal on our list. Used primarily in engagement rings and wedding bands, platinum is strong and beautiful. It is timeless and vibrant, evoking a fashionable aesthetic. While similar to white gold and sterling silver, it is naturally brighter than both.
This luxurious metal is, unlike gold and silver, almost entirely pure. Platinum is a naturally stable and strong element, making it suitable for jewelry despite not being reinforced by other metals. It is considered a noble metal, meaning it is highly resistant to corrosion and other chemical reactions. Platinum is very rare and, since it serves many purposes beyond jewelry, it is in high demand. This combination makes platinum quite expensive.
In addition to its appearance and value, it possesses other qualities that make it desirable. Since its radiant beauty is inherent, it doesn’t need to be redipped like white gold. It won’t tarnish or fade either; although it can develop a patina if worn often. Note that, while it is robust compared to other precious metals, it can still be scratched, so you should still take care with these items.
Find Your Favorite Precious Metal Jewelry at Michael Agnello Jewelers
For the best jewelry in St. Clair Shores, visit Michael Agnello Jewelers. Our wide selection of wedding bands, fashion rings, earrings, bracelets, and beyond ensures that you and your loved ones will discover the perfect piece. Whether it’s a gift for you or yourself, find it here. We also provide many professional services to further the longevity of your favorite accessories. Our expert team can work with you to create your own jewelry with assistance from our goldsmiths. Reserve an appointment with one of our team members today to best browse our selection. Call (586) 294-7730 or email Info@MichaelAgnelloJewelers.com to learn more.