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Metal Information
Post On:2013-09-23 15:09:16

Sterling Silver

Pure and fine silver is very soft and malleable so mixed with copper to improve hardness and durability without affecting its color. The mix of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper then called sterling silver. Sterling silver marks include “sterling”, “sterling silver”, “ster”, .925. A 925 Stamp on metal is a common indication of sterling silver.
 
The value of silver jewelry is based on the skill of the craftsman and intricacy of the design rather than on the actual metal.
 

Platinum Plated

The biggest appeal is its durability. Each time the other metals are scratched or polished, a tiny bit of the metal is lost. Eventually gold prongs may war down enough that they need to be reinforced. This is not the case with platinum. A scratch on the platinum may leave a mark but it will not readily chip or splinter. Therefore, loose diamonds are sometimes set in platinum prongs (no matter what metal the ring is made of).
 
Platinum can be made up of 95% pure platinum and 5 per cent iridium, palladium, ruthenium or other alloys. For guaranteed quality in platinum, look for the marks 950 Plat or Plat.
 

Rhodium Plated

Rhodium is the most tarnish resistant and most expensive member of the Platinum metal group. Rhodium-plating jewelry virtually eliminates the need for frequent cleaning and polishing; increases surface hardness against incidental scratching and abrasion; and adds an expensive platinum look. However, Rhodium plating is inevitably added significant cost since Rhodium is one of the most expensive metals and is typically few times more expensive than Platinum.
 
Stainless steel
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox, is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 11% chromium content by mass. Stainless steel does not stain, corrode, or rust as easily as ordinary steel (it stains less, but it is not stain-proof). It is also called corrosion-resistant steel or CRES when the alloy type and grade are not detailed, particularly in the aviation industry. There are different grades and surface finishes of stainless steel to suit the environment to which the material will be subjected in its lifetime.
 
361L stainless steel is commonly used in jewelry and surgical instruments for being easy to clean and sterilize, strong and hypoallergenic.  Also, stainless steel allows high polish to create the most brilliant mirror surface and have splendid reflections to create a luxurious high fashion look.  It can be re-finished by any jeweler and will not oxidize or turn black.
 

Gold

Gold, element Au, was one of the first known metals. The gold standard defines the world's currency system, whereby money represents a value in gold.
 
Gold won’t tarnish, rust or corrode, is very strong and also the most malleable among precious metals. Pure gold is alloyed with silver, copper, nickel and zinc to give it strength and durability.
 
24 karat = 100% gold
Too soft for jewelry
22 karat = 91.7% gold
Very soft — not recommended for jewelry
18 karat = 75.0% gold
Recommended for fine jewelry
14 karat = 58.3% gold
Recommended for jewelry
12 karat = 50.0% gold
Not acceptable for jewelry
10 karat = 41.7% gold
The legal karat limit considered as real gold in the United States
 
The color of gold is determined by two factors-the type and percentage of metal it is alloyed with.
 

Yellow Gold

The higher the karat the richer the yellow color. In 18k gold jewelry, 14k gold is commonly found in the earring backs and bracelet clasps as it is stronger.

White Gold

As 18k and 14k yellow gold have a high percentage of gold they have a slight yellow tint. To enhance the whiteness, almost all white gold is plated with rhodium, a shiny, white metal which is extremely hard. Over time this rhodium plating may wear off, revealing the original metal color. Re-plating with rhodium is a simple process.

Rose Gold

The fancy pink color is from a large proportion of copper in the alloy.

Gold Vermeil

Gold vermeil is a combination of sterling silver, gold, and other precious metals. It is commonly used as a component in jewelry. A typical example is sterling silver coated with 14 carat (58%) gold. To be considered vermeil, the gold must also be at least 10 carat (42%) and be at least 2.5 micrometres thick. Sterling silver covered with another metal cannot be called vermeil.
 
Gold vermeil is not only much more affordable than pure gold but also hypoallergenic due to its primary composition of sterling silver. Its increasing popularity and demand has offer a wide array of choices in gold vermeil jewelry.

Gold plating

Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver, by chemical or electrochemical means.
 
In the manufacture of jewelry, gold plating of silver is often used. A gold-plated silver article is usually a silver substrate with layers of copper, nickel, and gold deposited on top of it.  Copper plating on silver slows gradual fading and tarnishing of surface and usually plated with another layer of nickel.
 

Pewter

Pewter is a malleable metal alloy, commonly consists of 85 and 99 percent tin and other metals such as copper, antimony and lead.  Copper and antimony are usually hardeners. Depending on the mixture of metals, it may have a low melting point around 170–230 °C. Pewter is often used for decorative objects, such as figurines, models, replica coins, pendants and so on.
 
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