Precious Metals 101

Precious Metals 101

Precious metals hold a timeless allure, captivating hearts and minds with their luster and elegance. But amidst the myriad options, navigating the world of gold, silver, platinum, and beyond can be daunting. From understanding their properties to unraveling their significance in jewelry and beyond, join us as we delve into the essentials, empowering you to make informed choices and appreciate the beauty of these shimmering treasures



This is an extraordinary and rare precious metal. It has unmatched chemical and physical properties. Gold is the most non-reactive of all metals and does not oxidize under ordinary conditions. Gold’s purity is measured in karats, not to be confused with the gemstone weight measurement, carat. The purity of gold determines its value. Pure gold, 24k, is very soft and pliable so it is usually mixed with alloys of different types to enhance its durability and strength as well as giving it color. 24K gold has a deep yellow color and a rich luster. Lesser karats are alloyed with other metals such as silver, copper, nickel and zinc.

24 karat gold – 24k – 100% purity

18 karat gold – 18k – 75% purity – also sometimes marked 750

14 karat gold – 14k – 58.5 % purity – also sometimes marked 585

10 karat gold – 10k – 41.7% purity – also sometimes marked 417

  • YELLOW GOLD is pure gold alloyed with a mixture of metals to maintain the timeless color of gold. Depending on the karat, the color of yellow gold may vary from a soft yellow to a bright rich yellow.
  • WHITE GOLD is pure gold alloyed with a mixture of white metals like silver or nickel. Due to the presence of nickel, white gold tends to be harder than yellow gold.
  • PINK OR ROSE GOLD is pure gold alloyed primarily with copper. Depending on the amount of copper blended with the pure gold, pink gold’s hue can range from a light pink to a deep rose color.
  • GOLD can also be customized in a wide array of colors such as green, purple or black. Pricing of gold is based on the karat ratio, gold weight and the ever-fluctuating gold market. Other factors in the price of finished jewelry include design and craftsmanship. Gold is a versatile and valuable metal that has been used in jewelry for thousands of years.



An extremely rare metal; due to its rarity it is a more expensive metal. It is strong and dense, however despite its strength, platinum is a very flexible and workable metal making it an excellent metal for jewelry. It is harder than gold and very durable and because of its density; a platinum ring will feel heavier than a gold ring. It has a beautiful white luster and is the purest of all the precious metals used for fine jewelry. Platinum requires very little alloy, it is 90% to 95% pure, largely hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant. Its purity makes it a more expensive choice for jewelry; a platinum ring will be approximately twice the price of an identical 18k gold ring. Platinum is an extremely long wearing metal that stays very white. It is a great choice for a piece that you want to last a lifetime.



Has been used in jewelry for thousands of years; it is a soft metal with a lustrous white color. It is harder than gold and much more plentiful but still too soft in its natural state to be used in jewelry without mixing with a harder metal. Sterling silver is a mixture of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper; it is one of the most familiar and used forms of silver alloys. It will tarnish but it is the brightest reflector of any metal (except liquid mercury) and can be polished to a sheen that even platinum cannot achieve. Silver is an affordable metal that continues to be one of the best jewelry sellers especially in light of the rising precious metals market.

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