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Precious Metals Education

Precious metals are naturally occurring metals of high value, the most valuable of which is rhodium, followed by platinum. Iconic Jewelry offers jewelry in three precious metals: platinum, gold, and silver.

Platinum

Platinum is the most expensive metal used to form jewelry. Dense and durable, platinum make a secure metal for settings. It also keeps its light color without needing to be recoated. Over time, platinum does develop a natural patina, which gives it a softer, less shiny look. To maintain the white, high-polish look of new platinum, jewelry should be professionally buffed by a jeweler once or twice a year.

Gold

With a rich and long history, gold’s popularity endures today. Gold jewelry is both durable and resistant to tarnish. Though available in three colors, gold’s natural color is yellow.

Because pure gold is too soft for daily wear, it is almost always mixed with other metals to produce more durable gold alloys. The type and percentage of other metals used determine the gold’s color and price.

The proportion of pure gold is indicated in ‘karats’ (K or kt). The karat system divides gold composition into 24 parts, meaning 100% pure gold is 24-karat gold, 18-karat gold is 75% pure gold, and so on.

  • Yellow Gold

A mixture of pure gold, silver, and copper give yellow gold its warm hue. The higher the proportion of pure gold, the more yellow the gold appears. One advantage of yellow gold alloy is that its color does not fade over time.

  • White Gold

A popular choice for diamond jewelry, white gold provides the beautiful color of platinum at a slightly more affordable price. Pure gold is combined with metals such as silver and palladium to produce a white color.

White gold is usually plated with rhodium to give it a more dazzling white finish. Prior to plating, white gold retains a slightly yellow hue. This is the reason white gold jewelry appears to “yellow” over time; it is simply the rhodium-plating wearing down. Periodic re-plating can restore white gold jewelry to its original white color.

 

  • Rose Gold

Rose gold’s mixture of pure gold and copper give it a peachy pink hue. Sometimes called red or pink gold, rose gold first rose to popularity in 19th century Russia.

Silver

Iconic Jewelry’s silver products are made from sterling silver, the finest quality of silver. In its pure form, silver is very soft and malleable, making it unsuitable for jewelry. Sterling silver’s composition of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals (usually copper) makes it much more durable. Silver does tarnish over time, but with proper care can be kept lustrous.

 

Metal Durability Details Care
Platinum
  • Very dense and durable
  • Strongest metal for settings
  • Somewhat prone to scratching
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Most expensive of all jewelry metals
  • Heavier than other metals
  • Clean in warm water using a mild detergent. Rub gently with a soft cloth or brush. Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • Take to a jeweler for professional cleaning 1-2 times a year.
White Gold
  • Very durable
  • Most scratch resistant precious metal
  • Requires periodic rhodium re-plating to maintain white color
  • Closest alternative to platinum in look, durability and feel
  • Clean in warm water using a mild detergent. Rub gently with a soft cloth or brush. Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • Keep away from harsh chemicals, including household products.
Yellow Gold
  • Most scratch resistant precious metal
  • No re-plating required
  • Gold color least likely to cause allergic reaction
  • Clean in warm water using a mild detergent. Rub gently with a soft cloth or brush. Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • Keep away from harsh chemicals, including household products.
Rose Gold
  • Most scratch resistant precious metal
  • No re-plating required
  • Most durable gold alloy due to copper content
  • Clean in warm water using a mild detergent. Rub gently with a soft cloth or brush. Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • Keep away from harsh chemicals, including household products.
Silver
  • Less durable thanother metals
  • Tarnishes over time
  • Most affordable precious metal
  • Wearing silver jewelry is the best way to prevent tarnishing.
  • Regularly polish with a soft, lint-free cloth to minimize tarnishing.
  • Clean in warm water using a mild detergent. Rub gently with a soft cloth. Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • Keep away from harsh chemicals, including household products.
  • Pieces with more severe tarnish should be professionally cleaned.

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