A list of some of the precious metals used in jewelry making.
- White Gold – This is an alloy of gold and silver or palladium. Nickel used to be used instead of silver or palladium, but nickel can cause skin reactions with some people. All high quality white gold does not use nickel for this reason. As white gold is a light gray color, it is sometimes plated with rhodium to give it more of a white coloring.
- Titanium – Titanium is the hardest metal in the world. It is 3 timers stronger than steel, much stronger than gold or silver, but very light in weight. Titanium makes very durable jewelry, and has a silver-white color. Titanium rings can not be resized, for the metal can not be soldered.
- Stainless Steel – A metal that is being used more and more for jewelry because of its hardness, durability and low cost. It is an alloy of steel and chromium, which gives it increased resistance to rust.
- Platinum – Platinum is used in its purest form, up to 95% for making jewelry. It is very heavy and dense. A platinum ring will feel heavier than an equivalent sized gold ring. It is very long wearing, and is much more expensive than gold. A platinum ring will be twice as expensive as an 18k gold ring of the same size. Because of its high cost, platinum is most often used for rings only.
- Silver – Perhaps the most common metal used for jewelry. Pure silver is far too soft for jewelry, so it is most commonly alloyed with copper for added strength and durability to make sterling silver.
- Tungsten carbide – A very hard, durable and strong metal that is also very heavy. It is highly scratch resistant. Only the hardest of materials like diamonds, rubies and ceramics can scratch it. It is similar in appearance to platinum or sterling silver, and is most often used for wedding rings for men.