My Love Wedding Ring have put this metal guide together to help you learn to determine which metal - Platinum, Gold, or Silver, will be the right choice for your wedding rings, engagement rings, and other jewelry.
Platinum is the strongest and rarest of the precious metals used in making jewelry. Platinum does not tarnish and through wear develops a beautiful white metal luster making it a perfect choice for jewelry.Sources
Platinum is an extremely rare metal and until the 1800's Columbia was the only known source of Platinum. Since then Platinum has been discovered in Russia, Canada and South Africa, with almost 75% of the worlds platinum now sourced in South Africa.Value
In view of the beauty, durability and rarity of platinum it is understandable that this precious commodity has a high value. However, whilst the value of platinum is significant, the price of platinum, although high, tends to remain relatively stable.Durability
Platinum is the strongest and heaviest of all precious metals used for jewelry and because of its inherent strength it can be used in an extremely pure form, typically a purity of around 95% at which the metal has a beautiful metal white luster. In addition, platinum does not tarnish. However, although strong, platinum still can be scratched but these scratches can be polished out using specialist equipment. The strength of platinum makes it the perfect metal to hold precious gemstones securely in jewelry.History of Platinum
For almost 3000 years, platinum has been used in the making or adorning of precious objects in the Africa and South America. More recently, the 16th century Spanish Conquistadors found platinum when panning for gold in South America, although they did not fully realize what it was, believing it to be some gold which hadn't formed correctly. It took until the late 1700's before the properties of platinum were fully understood by scientists and shortly after this the metal became more widely used for jewelry and decoration as well as for laboratory tools. Platinum went on to become a favored metal with jewelers such as Cartier and Faberge and was hugely popular during in the early 1900's. However, during the Second World War, the US government declared Platinum a strategic metal and its use in jewelry production was ceased. During the 1960s platinum jewelry once again became popular and it is now, once again, a favored metal with fine jewelers.Care and Cleaning of Platinum
Although strong, platinum still can be scratched and over time these scratches can lead to a graying in the appearance of the platinum. These scratches can be polished out returning the platinum's intense bright luster. The polishing of platinum requires specialist equipment, so it is advisable to consult experienced fine jewelers, such as My Love Wedding Ring, who are able to carry out such polishing correctly. As with all jewelry it is advisable to remove your platinum jewelry before doing any rough work such as DIY or gardening. Platinum can be given a general clean at home with soapy hot water.
Throughout the ages, gold has been one of the most sought after and prized of the precious metals. It has bewitched and inspired, with wars fought over it, ships sunk for it, and alchemists have dedicated their lives to trying to create it from base metals. And who can blame them, the lustrous glowing beauty of gold cannot help but be desired. However, gold does not only look beautiful, it is a very tactile and responsive metal making it ideal for jewelers to work with. Add to that the glowing sheen which gold reflects onto a wearer and gold becomes one of the most important metals in jewelry. Not only that, but with the price of gold having increased fivefold in recent years, it is a very precious metal indeed.Sources
Gold deposits have been found throughout the world, with gold mines originally found in Ancient Egypt, Persia and India however gold deposit have also, through the ages, been mined in Africa, Britain, USA, South America, Australia, Russia and China. Whilst most gold was mined in South Africa until recently, currently the majority of gold mined in the world comes from China.Value
As well as being a beautiful lustrous material, gold is also very easy to work with making it a very valuable metal. Historically, gold has long been used as currency as well as for adornment and ornamentation. It is understandable that this precious and beautiful commodity has a high value. At the moment the value of gold is higher than ever before, second only to the price of platinum in terms of precious metals used in jewelry.Durability
Gold is a very malleable metal in its purest form and whilst this makes it a joy to work with, it also means that it is easy to damage due to its softness. Therefore pure gold, also known as 24 karat gold, is rarely used in jewelry as any knocks or scratches could deface the jewelry entirely. However, in its purest form, gold is tarnish resistant, meaning it retains its beautiful rich golden luster naturally. To strengthen gold for jewelry making, other metals having more durable properties, are mixed or alloyed with the gold, and the gold is then described in terms of karats.Gold Karats
Karats is the term used to describe the purity of gold and gold alloys with 24 karats being equivalent to pure gold. The most common gold karats used in jewelry are:
As the purity of gold in the alloy becomes lower, the gold alloy becomes harder and more durable, however the metal also can lose some of its depth of luster and also, due to the impurities may become liable to tarnish. For fine jewelry, ideally 18 karat and 14 karat gold and typically these are the gold alloys used in the jewelry made by My Love Wedding Ring.Colored Gold
However, creating gold alloys has another benefit, in that, by choosing the alloying metals carefully, the gold can be imparted with another desirable color. For example, yellow gold is alloyed with an equal mixture of silver and copper, which maintains the yellow color of the gold. However white gold can be created by using a mixture of tin, zinc, copper and nickel. Not only does this produce a beautiful white metal, but the lower price of gold means that it is a very budget friendly alternatively to platinum. The other most common gold is rose gold, a beautiful warm pink gold, which is created by alloying gold with a majority of copper and a small amount of silver.
History of Gold
For almost 3000 years, Gold has been used in the making or adorning of precious objects in the Africa, the Middle East and South America mainly for creating artwork or adornments. However, through time, gold became a currency and eventually was used to form coins and bullion as well as jewelry, ornaments and artwork. Through time, a gold standard became accepted whereby a country was limited to issuing only the amount of currency equal to the amount of gold it held in reserve although by the end of the 20th century, other currencies could also be held as a reserve instead of gold. To this day however, gold is still a very prized material for jewelry.Care and Cleaning of Gold
Lower karats of gold are more robust than higher karats of gold, however whatever the karat, gold can be scratched or dented and damaged. These scratches can be polished out but it is better to avoid damaging your jewelry in the first place. Ideally, any gold jewelry should be removed before doing any rough work such as DIY or gardening.
Gold can also be damaged and tainted by harsh chemicals and in particular, chlorine can cause gold to weaken and break, therefore it is also advisable to remove jewelry before swimming or carrying out domestic cleaning.
Through time, lower karat gold alloys can become tarnished and therefore will require to be polished using a soft jewelry cleaning cloth. Ideally after each wear you should clean your jewelry using such a cloth to remove the accumulated dirt before you put it back in your jewelry box. All My Love Wedding Ring jewelry is supplied with a super-hi-microfibre jewelry cleaner cloth to help you do just this.
Gold can be given a general clean at home with soapy hot water and it is advised that it is checked and cleaned yearly by an experienced jeweler to ensure it is kept in tip top condition.
Silver has a long history of being a popular and valuable precious metal having been mined in Europe as long ago as 4000BC. These days Peru, Mexico, US, Canada and Australia are the main sources of mined silver. Whilst not as valuable as platinum or gold, the bright clean shine of silver has always made it a desirable metal.
Silver is a very malleable metal in its purest form and whilst this makes it a joy to work with, it also means that it is easy to damage. This malleability means silver is suited to creating vessels and utensil, their value enhanced by the antimicrobial properties of silver. However, these days, silver jewelry is more popular, and more valuable than ever before. As pure silver is easily damaged, for jewelry, silver is typically alloyed with copper and nickel to create sterling silver which is 92.5% pure.Care and Cleaning of Silver
Sterling silver can be scratched or dented and damaged. These scratches can be polished out but it is better to avoid damaging your jewelry in the first place. Ideally, any silver jewelry should be removed before doing any rough work such as DIY or gardening.
Silver can also be damaged, tainted and stained by harsh chemicals therefore it is also advisable to remove jewelry before swimming or carrying out domestic cleaning.
Through time, sterling silver can become tarnished as, over time, the copper and nickel within the react to moisture and air which, over time, can cause silver to lose its appearance. Therefore sterling silver jewelry will need to be polished regularly using a soft jewelry cleaning cloth. Ideally, after each wear, you should clean your jewelry using such a cloth to remove the accumulated dirt before you put it back in your jewelry box. All My Love Wedding Ring jewelry is supplied with a super-hi-microfibre jewelry cleaner cloth to help you do just this.
Silver jewelry can be given a general clean at home with soapy hot water to remove grit and grime. A silver cleaning cloth can be used to remove light tarnish. It is also advised that silver jewelry is checked and cleaned yearly by an experienced jeweler to ensure it is kept in tip top condition.