pure silver gift items for wedding
People wanting good quality jewelry are often torn between gold, white gold and platinum. What is the difference? Is one metal better for a ring than another? Is there a difference in cost?
Gold is the traditional metal for engagement and wedding rings. It is the most cost effective because it is a more easily extracted metal which is relatively easy to use in jewelry, but white gold is synthesized as a combination of yellow gold and copper, silver, zinc and other alloys. It is often plated with rhodium to strengthen it and give it a silver color. Because white gold uses a base of yellow gold, most of its properties are similar to yellow gold. Platinum is a naturally occurring white metal but being rarer than gold and requiring very small amounts of alloys to produce finished jewelry it remains the most expensive of the precious metals found in finished jewelry.
Customers searching for the perfect piece of jewelry should take into account several things. Of course cost is often the determining issue. Platinum is the most expensive of the three options because of its rarity. It is 35 times more rare than gold, and it takes tons of ore to get a single ounce of pure platinum. Surprisingly, white gold is often more expensive than yellow gold because of the cost of fabricating it. Appearance is another important factor when choosing a metal for jewelry. Platinum has a white appearance. Yellow gold is, of course, yellow. White gold has a white appearance, but with time it may begin to discolor and lose its shiny white appearance as the rhodium plating begins to wear away. It is recommended to periodically re-plate the white gold jewelry in order to maintain its white appearance. White gold usually requires more upkeep and maintenance than platinum. Typically, white gold is 75% gold and 25% other alloys.
Another factor to consider is the hardness of the metal. Platinum is harder than gold; scratches simply displace the metal but don’t remove it. When gold is scratched, metal may be removed. Gold is measured in karats. Pure gold, which is 24 karats, is not good for jewelry because it is too soft. Rings made with high-karat gold would bend with wear. Scratches on white gold may reveal the underlying yellow base and give the jewelry a yellowish cast. Still, hardness is not always an asset. A ring “head” that will hold a stone must be hard, but also flexible; this makes alloys important. Plus, platinum is much more difficult to size than the softer gold.
None of the metals will tarnish, but platinum develops a rich patina with age.
Though platinum is hypoallergenic, some people will develop a sensitivity to it. Gold seldom produces allergic reactions.
The three metals, gold, white gold and platinum, all produce beautiful and high-quality jewelry. The consumer must decide which to use based on his or her budget, esoteric considerations, and other preferences. Because buying quality jewelry is an investment which often appreciates in time, and may be passed along from generation to generation, the purchase should be made with the same care one would use in selecting stocks or fine art. A reputable jeweler can assist the buyer to achieve the perfect result.