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Today there is a wide range of metals available, and it can be quite confusing. Here is brief recap of your choices and to help you choose the right metal for you.
Platinum is an ideal choice to set your diamond due to it’s strength and durability. It is the only pure white metal and enhances the brilliance of a diamond perfectly. It’s tag line is Pure, Rare and Eternal.
When scratched, platinum does not lose any metal, which makes it unique. It does, however, develop a soft patina over time.
Most platinum jewellery is 95% pure, combined with 5% iridium, palladium, ruthenium or other alloys. Platinum is hypoallergenic.
For more information about platinum, please see www.platinumguild.com.
Gold has been a traditional choice for jewellery for many years. Although quite strong, gold is malleable making it ideal for jewellery fabrication.
Gold is naturally yellow in color. Pure gold is too soft for daily wear so it is alloyed with other metals such as silver and zinc to strengthen it. Karat is the term which denotes the purity of the metal.
24 karat = 100% gold
18 karat = 75% gold
14 karat = 58.3% gold
In order to create white gold, alloys are added. Because white gold has a tinge of yellow, jewellery is then plated with rhodium (part of the platinum group of metals) for a brilliant, lustrous shine. The plating will wear off eventually and will need to be re-plated.
To create rose gold, copper alloys are added. The subtle pink metal is gaining rapidly in popularity.
Gold can be pitted by harsh chemicals such as chlorine or other cleaning products. It is recommended that you remove your gold jewellery while utilizing such chemicals.
Silver is another metal with a rich history. As with gold, silver in it’s pure form is too soft for wear, and alloys are added. Sterling Silver is made from 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, resulting in a white, durable metal.
Silver is stamped Sterling, Sterling Silver, Ster, or .925.
To minimize scratching and tarnishing, store your silver jewellery in a soft, cloth pouch or lined jewellery box. There many polishing cloths and fluids available to effectively clean silver.
Again, do not expose your silver to harsh chemicals or other cleaning products.
Palladium is part of the platinum group of metals. As with Platinum, Palladium withstands corrosion and oxidation.
Palladium is less dense and therefore lighter than Platinum.
Similar to Platinum, it is a pure white metal and is hypoallergenic.
Tungsten Carbide is a relatively new metal used for Gents wedding bands primarily.
It is created with 80% Tungsten and 20% Carbon, and can contain nickel.
Tungsten Carbide comes is several colors including gray and white.
Do not expose your tungsten band to harsh chemicals or other cleaning products.
Durability is moderate, and it can shatter when dropped on a hard surface.
Cobalt & Black Cobalt is rapidly gaining in popularity due to its durability, lack of nickel and is hypoallergenic.
Cobalt is made from three natural elements – Cobalt, Molybdenum, and Chromium.
Black Cobalt is coated with a black diamond infused coating which is extremely durable and scratch resistant.
An ideal choice for mechanics because of its low conductivity of electricity.
Titanium & Black Titanium is also a newcomer to the metals game and is commonly used for Gents wedding bands. It has a distinct grayish color.
The bands are 99% pure, nickel free, and hypoallergenic.
Titanium’s most marked feature is that it is very light weight and ideal for active lifestyles. Many men are comfortable with the metal as it is used extensively in cycling, backpacking equipment, etc.
Do not expose your titanium band to harsh chemicals or other cleaning products.
Although a great value, titanium does not have the scratch resistant hardness of Cobalt, and they are not sizeable in the future.