One of the best things about making jewellery is the different types of metals you get to work with. What is the best type for necklaces or rings? There are many options to choose from and it will depend on your preference and the look you want to achieve.
This article is going to discuss the specific metal types of jewellery you can choose from when making a purchase.
All types of jewellery have a base metal and can have an accent color added if desired. We’ll start with the basics. If you are buying a necklace, engagement ring, watch, or bracelet, there are three things you should consider when choosing a metal type:
- The color of the metal
- The type of metal
- The purity of the metal
5 Popular Types of Metal Used
There are 5 types of metal that all fine jewellery is made from, this includes:
Rose gold is a mixture of pure gold with a high proportion of copper added.
Yellow gold is pure gold and varies by colour with 9k, 14k or 18K purity
White gold is a mixture of pure gold and white metals and plated with rhodium to give it a sparkle.
Platinum is a pure metal with no combinations or rhodium plating
Two-tone is a combination of white, yellow, or rose gold and allo
Let’s begin with the rose gold. Gold is basically yellow in nature and the color variances depend on the quality or purity of the gold. In order to make rose gold, it is yellow gold mixed with basically a higher amount of copper giving it that pinkish metallic tone. Historical fact for you; rose gold was first used in early 19th century Russia by the famed jeweller Carl Faberge when creating his infamous Faberge Eggs. It was then called Russian Gold.
Rose gold can be used for basically all types of ring settings like for a marquise type of stone. It makes for a very pretty piece when used with a stone that is set off by the rose gold. The rosy pinkish mixture of color has a nice metallic look to it but at the same time, it has a very soft, stylish appearance that’s becoming very popular these days.
Rose gold has a subtle, romantic look that translates well into elegant pieces of jewellery including beautiful engagement rings. Creations in rose gold are soft and feminine, sparkly, and look gorgeous no matter what setting you choose.
The next metal type is the classic yellow gold. The higher the purity, the more the gold will stand out. The nice thing about yellow gold is that it compliments any setting and looks great on most skin tones. This is an important point for the ladies who might be worried about their jewellery clashing with their skin tone. Yellow and rose gold warm up pale skin tones making them look rosy.
14k gold is very versatile and can be used in making many different types of designs. It is durable and is perfect for engraving a message to your loved one. So really, the sky’s the limit in terms of your preferred design. You can choose from 10k 12 K 14k or 18k for your band and settings.
Pure gold (100%) is defined as 24 karat, however, 24K is a very soft metal and not especially good for jewellery worn on the hands (rings) due to the fact that it bends easily. A better choice would be 18K (75%), 14K (58.5%), or 10K (41.6%) for rings. Necklaces or pendants can be made with 24K gold chains and accessories because there is no pressure or danger of being bumped or hit on surfaces with daily wear.
The next option is white gold. It’s very popular, probably one of the most popular choices currently because of how it looks. It has a white metallic look and shine that sparkles with exuberance. If you pair it with clear white stones or diamonds the white metal is a big compliment to the overall look. Even colored gemstones would look nice against the backdrop of a white gold band. The reflection of the metal makes the gemstones sparkle giving them depth.
With white gold, it basically has the same look because of the fact it is rhodium plated after it’s been cast. The color does not change at all regardless of the purity of the metal. In terms of white metals, in the industry, the purity is usually categorized as 900 platinum or 950 platinum. What that means is it is made from 90 % platinum (900) or 95% (950). The remainder is a mix of white alloy or other types of metal.
The beauty of platinum is that it is a white metal with nothing else mixed into it. it is naturally white metal, so no mixing or rhodium plating to achieve the white metal look. Platinum gets its name from the Spanish term platino, meaning “little silver” referring to how it shines. The term was first used in 1557 when Julius Scaliger, an Italian physician, used it when describing a metal found in Central America that was resistant to melting. It is a very high quality of precious metal and very durable for jewellery-making.
What Makes Platinum More Expensive Than Gold?
Platinum is, however, a little more expensive than white gold if you want a white metal look for jewelry. The reason it is slightly more expensive is that platinum is more rare than gold. It originally comes from mines in South Africa where long-standing labor protests have driven up the price. If you want something that is low-maintenance though, platinum may be your ideal choice.
While it is the perfect choice for a white metal look, platinum tends to be slightly softer than 14k white gold. Keep this in mind depending on the type of jewellery you are designing. It may be great for a necklace or bracelet, but not especially good for an engagement ring. Soft metals tend to bend with pressure.
The last type of metal is Two-Tone. A two-tone color basically means the combining of two colors of metal such as rose gold and white gold, or white gold and yellow gold. For example, you could have a white gold band with a rose gold setting (prongs) for colored gemstones or diamonds.
You could opt for a 14 K yellow gold band and then add a four-prong white gold seat for the jewels. Or maybe a yellow gold band and then another four-prong rose gold basket. There are many options to choose from when designing the look and appearance of your gold jewellery.
How your white gold will look depends on how much gold is in the mixture. Different types of metals have different standards of purity. Colors depend on the types of metals mixed in such as copper for rose gold.
Care & Maintenance of Your Jewellery
Gold is a solid metal and is highly resistant to corrosion; however, it does become dull with everyday wear. It’s important to keep your jewellery looking its best by keeping it clean. Routine cleanings can restore the original shine and luster of the metal.
When it comes to cleaning your precious jewellery, there are some tips you can use to clean your pieces without damaging them. Most importantly, avoid chlorine bleach and harsh chemical solvents for cleaning jewellery. These can damage the gold and ruin the look.
For the best homemade cleaning solution, use a mix of mild detergent and warm water. Gently scrub the surface of the gold with a soft-bristled jewellery brush and rinse gently under running water.
A brush helps get into those hard-to-reach areas, such as in between the prongs of a diamond ring, or the clasp of a gold watch. Polish the jewellery piece with a soft cloth. Wipe until the surface of the piece is completely dry.
It’s a good idea to invest in a professional jewellery cleaning periodically to protect the beauty and longevity of your gold. At Iyli Paroi, we offer complimentary cleaning and polishing services for every fine jewellery product we sell. Contact us to learn more about how your favourite gold jewellery can be restored to its former glory.
You should store your jewellery in a safe place when not being worn. Storing it keeps it from becoming tangles or items from scratching each other. Sharp edges can leave marks on jewellery especially wedding rings and damage the surface. Store in a soft cloth pouch or Ziploc bag.
Gold jewellery is timeless and elegant, no matter how it is designed or the colors used in the setting. Your piece will be uniquely yours and will reflect your personality and love for life.
We hope this has been useful in getting a quick summary of Choosing the Right Metal for Your Gold Jewellery
Would you like a wonderful piece of jewelry, with a diamond inset into it? If you do happen to get stuck in choosing a diamond or metal for your engagement ring, we would be delighted to help you, or contact us with your request.