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Guide to Precious Metals

  • GOLD

Gold being coveted for its luster and beauty, is the traditional metal for wedding rings and everyday jewelry and has long been prized as a monetary standard.  

Gold jewelry is pure gold blended with other alloys.  The composition of the rest of the alloy varies a little but generally yellow gold is blended with silver, copper, and zinc.  Rose gold has a greater proportion of copper to give it a rosy hue.

White gold is alloyed with palladium or nickel and silver, copper, and zinc and is sometimes plated with rhodium, a platinum group metal, to brighten the white color.  18K gold is 75% pure gold and 14K gold is 58.5% gold.



Platinum and palladium are both 95% pure and hypoallergenic. For both platinum and palladium, the other 5% of the alloy is composed of other platinum group metals: ruthenium or iridium or a combination of the two, which varies from design to design.



Silver or sterling silver describe a product that contains 92.5% silver. Silver products sometimes may be marked 925 which means that 925 parts per thousand are pure silver.

Silver is the softest and the least expensive of the fine metals. Since it scratches easily, it is best used for jewelry that is not worn daily. Since it is inexpensive, silver allows you to have many pieces you can switch out.