What are Precious Metals?
Precious metals are rare, valuable materials that are hard, shiny, and malleable. They have been used in jewelry and other accessories for centuries, as well as forming the backbone of many economies throughout history. Besides being beautiful, there are few physical properties that unify them. Here are a few of the ways precious metals are used in jewelry.
The original precious metal, yellow gold, is a true classic. Its rich hue has inspired humans for millennia, and has even been considered sacred in many cultures. There are plenty of gold alloys available for jewelry but yellow gold is more loyal to its natural color. That does not mean yellow gold jewelry is pure, however. Gold is a notoriously soft element; it can even be stretched. As such, it is often combined with copper and other metals to be more durable and accessible.
White gold has a bright, silvery hue that evokes a regal sophistication. It lends its light to radiant diamonds and makes colorful gemstones more pronounced. This color is created through the addition of elements like nickel to a gold alloy. Rhodium-plating is often used as well, which brings out a more brilliant and beautiful shine. It is more durable and of higher quality than silver, but white gold must be occasionally redipped by a jeweler to maintain its luster.
Rose gold is characterized by a magnificent pink shade. It evokes a clear and prominent feminine energy that can’t be found anywhere else. This alloy is often used in vintage jewelry, where it looks exquisite in more regal settings. Many designers pair diamond pave and other brilliant accents for an even more bold display. Rose gold is the result of the addition of copper to a yellow gold alloy, making it hypoallergenic.
Along with gold, iron, and copper, silver is one of the first metals used by humans. Too soft and weak to make jewelry with, it could only be used as currency. With the creation of sterling silver, this elegant precious metal quickly became a mainstay of any well-rounded jewelry collection, as it is far more durable and workable while retaining its luxurious color. When mixed with copper, sterling silver is great for sensitive skin.
Platinum is luxurious and fashionable while also being the most valuable precious metal. Unlike other precious metals, platinum is hard by itself, so it does not need to be alloyed with other metals to be workable. This combined with its rarity is why platinum jewelry is more expensive than other metals. It is naturally brighter than white gold with the added bonus that it never has to be redipped. While platinum has a reputation for durability, be aware that it is not immune to scratches, but still more low-maintenance than other precious metals.
Find a Variety of Precious Metal Jewelry at Long Jewelers
Discover a world of luxury at Long Jewelers. Our Virginia Beach jewelry store offers a wide range of gold, silver, and platinum jewelry made by several designer brands. If you do not find what you are looking for, why not design your own jewelry? Our talented team of goldsmiths is ready and eager to help. Contact us today to learn more.