- Metal Education
Precious metals have been used to make jewelry, eating utensils, dishes, adorn furniture, walls and other objects from the time of the Egyptians and long before. All of the time, new ancient discoveries are made of gold trinkets and gold jewelry, the metal that is most popular still today. Platinum and silver are becoming more popular in modern times, but tend to go in and out of fashion, generation to generation. All of the precious metals are the right metals for making special jewelry for consumers.
Platinum has been used for engagement rings for many decades, but hasn’t been very popular until recently. Most jewelry designers now offer the choice of platinum for engagement rings, wedding bands and for other jewelry. It is much more convenient for the consumer than gold, due to the fact that it doesn't tarnish.
Platinum is very dense and one of the hardest precious metals, which makes it a perfect choice for durable jewelry. Platinum is one of the metals that looks a lot like silver, as does palladium. The light silver color goes well with most any gem. It has been prized for its beauty and its durability by royalty and average consumers.
This precious metal was found in Colombia originally, but it is now mined all over the world. The Colombians named it Platina del Pinto, because it looked like silver. The Hope Diamond is one famous gem that is set in a platinum setting.
Gold has always been in demand, especially for jewelry. No other precious metal has caused such a fever in desire for obtaining it. People love the glitter of gold for their jewelry, and rightly so. It looks beautiful with most gemstones or without any gems at all.
Modern day gold is not solely in the color of gold. There are color choices in gold such as white, rose, red and other colors. Many jewelry pieces are made of several colors of gold intertwined in the ring, bracelet or necklace. Today, there are many choices on how to use gold in jewelry.
The price of gold can fluctuate wildly at times, depending on what is going on in the marketplace and in governments. Currently, the price is in the high range, but it could suddenly drop in price or shoot up higher without much notice.
William Hyde Wollaston is credited with discovering palladium. It has been used mainly for the making of parts for automobiles, but lately it has become popular in making jewelry. Rings in particular are made of palladium because it is light in weight and doesn’t have the allergen concerns some of the other alloys have. But, palladium is soft like gold, so it is sometimes used in thin, pounded leafs, also.
Because palladium is a soft precious metal, it is wise to store it and handle it with care. Store it in a soft cloth to keep it from getting scratched by other jewelry. You should also remove it when you’re exposing yourself to chemicals, such as beauty products and chlorine in a pool.
Palladium is very similar in characteristics as platinum, with palladium having the lowest density of the group and the lowest melting point.
Sterling silver isn't pure. It is an alloy made with 92.5% silver mixed with 7.5% copper. Pure silver is a little bit soft, so it needs to be mixed with copper to give it a tougher, more durable life as jewelry or silverware. Silver must have at least 90% silver in the alloy in order to be called silver. Many times, silver is only electro-plated onto a lesser expensive metal to give it the appearance of being solid silver, but it is actually just a finish of a thin layer of silver.
American patriot Paul Revere was one of the most famous silversmiths. He apprenticed in his father's silver shop from a young age. Long before he became a folk hero for the United States, he was well known for his silversmith skills. His silver pieces are highly sought after today, even more so than when he was running his own shop in Boston, MA.