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COLOR: White with cool undertones (grayish-white)
Typically 95% pure, platinum is one of the purest precious metals.
It is incredibly dense, at least 60% heavier than other precious metals.
It does not change shape and loses minimal metal for everyday wear.
Its strength and durability make it the most secure setting to hold diamonds and precious gemstones.
Gradually dulls to a patina finish ('patina' is referred to as protective oxide layers).
Platinum is about 30 times rare than gold.
Has a tendency to scratch and is difficult to polish. May not be able to remove deep scratches with regular polishing.
Maintains surface embellishments such as engraving & milgrain.
HYPO-ALLERGENIC: Yes - sensitive skin can wear platinum jewelry every day.
METAL: 24k Gold
COLOR: Distinct bright, deep yellow. Remember: Pure gold is 24k and is always yellow.
24k gold is 99.9% to 100% pure gold that is not mixed with any other metal; it is the purest form of gold.
Has the highest scratch tendency.
Jewelry is seldom made of 24k gold because it is rather soft, as well as expensive.
Also used for electronic and medical devices.
Also used for investing purposes in the form of coins or gold bars.
Karat of choice typically in Asia, and the middle east.
HYPO-ALLERGENIC: Yes - sensitive skin can wear 24k gold jewelry every day.
METAL: 18k Yellow Gold
COLOR: Rich yellow
18k gold is 75% pure gold, mixed with other metals such as silver, copper, etc., making it stronger than pure gold.
18k is the international standard for jewelry, combining purity with performance.
Has a tendency to scratch.
Karat of choice typically in Europe, South America, Asia, and the middle east.
METAL: 14k Yellow Gold
14k gold is 58.3% pure gold, mixed with other metals such as silver, copper, zinc, nickel, etc., making it stronger than 18k gold.
Provides the best combination of color, durability, and reasonable affordability.
The most common type of gold used in the USA jewelry industry.
METAL: 10k Yellow Gold
COLOR: Pale Yellow
10k gold is 41.7% pure gold, mixed with other metals such as silver, copper, zinc, nickel, etc., making it stronger than 14k gold, and also more affordable.
Does not scratch and bend easily.
Karat of choice typically in the UK.
METAL: White Gold
COLOR: White with a yellow undertone
Like yellow gold, white gold's purity is given as karats.
Is an alloy of pure gold usually mixed with nickel, silver or palladium.
White gold usually contains more nickel and zinc, while yellow gold contains more copper.
White gold is more brittle (breakable) than platinum.
METAL: Sterling Silver
COLOR: Silvery-white with a slight pink undertone
Sterling silver is typically 92% pure, blended with copper and other metals.
Being an alloy, sterling silver is stronger than pure silver.
Sterling silver is the preferred metal in the fashion jewelry industry.
Gives a lustrous appearance to coins, jewelry, and silverware.
Due to the presence of other metals such as copper, sterling silver tarnishes over time depending on the environmental conditions and level of exposure to air. Humidity is one of the worst culprits of tarnishing. So, store your sterling silver in a jewelry box, display case, or other enclosed place and include desiccate packets; these will absorb the humidity in the case and protect your jewelry. You can also store in jeweler's cloths or in polyurethane bags in order to keep the oxygen away.
Besides oxygen & moisture, the most damaging chemicals for sterling silver are chlorine and bleach.
Salt is another major risk factor for corroding sterling silver.
Perfume and hair spray can damage sterling silver. To minimize damage, it's best to apply your perfume and hair spray first, wait for it to dry before you put on your sterling silver jewelry.
Too much exposure to direct sunlight can damage the sterling silver. Store sterling silver jewelry in an area away from the sun and polish it often.
COLOR: Bright White
Palladium is pure metal.
It is easier to work with for fabrication purposes.
Is extremely malleable and tarnish-resistant, and is a popular metal for jewelry making and catalytic converters because it does not react with oxygen.
Palladium is a biologically inactive element, allowing for it to be the metal of choice for jewelry due to its relatively low probability to cause an allergic reaction.
Russia and South Africa supply about 40% of the world’s palladium.
It is more likely for people to be allergic to gold with higher nickel content; in such cases, plating gold with rhodium can be an effective short-term solution.
Alloying metals such as copper or silver contribute to the yellow color of gold.
Alloying metals such as palladium and/or nickel give the 'bleaching' effect to the gold, thus contributing to the 'whitish' color of the white gold.