Metals

A quick comparison.

Choosing the right metal for your fine jewelry is more than a matter of color preference. Different metals have different properties and characteristics. It’s best to consider your lifestyle, your budget, and any possible skin sensitivity issues when choosing the metal for your jewelry. Jeffrey Mann Fine Jewelers works in gold, platinum, palladium and tungsten carbide as well as stainless steel. To find out what metal is best for you, speak with one of our experts.

Gold

Gold is unquestionably a very popular choice for fine jewelry, but there are many different types of gold from which to choose. “Pure” gold – gold not mixed with other metals to increase its hardness – is called 24 karat (24K) gold. The karat quality marking tells you what proportion of gold is mixed with the other (alloy) metals.  For example, 14-karat (14K) jewelry contains 14 parts of gold, mixed with 10 parts of an alloy metal. White gold is made by adding palladium or nickel to gold, and then routinely plated with rhodium to give it a crisp white color.

gold
platinum

Platinum

Platinum has become increasingly popular, in particular for engagement and bridal rings. Platinum is naturally white, more durable, and heavier than gold; but it is at the top of the price range for precious metals. Like gold, platinum is mixed with other metals. However, the quality markings for platinum are based on parts per thousand. For example, the marking “900 Platinum” means that 900 parts out of 1000 are pure platinum; in other words, the item is 90% platinum and 10% other metals. The abbreviations for platinum — Plat. or Pt. — also can be used in marking jewelry.

Palladium

Like platinum, palladium is a naturally white and very durable precious metal. Its use in jewelry making dates back to 1939, when designers discovered its beauty and strength. Palladium comes from the same family of precious metals as platinum, and shares its strength, but it is lighter in weight. Those allergic to some other metals appreciate palladium’s purity – unlike gold, it does not have to be mixed with nickel (which can cause allergic reactions) to appear white.

diana wedding band
artcarved wedding band

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is made of a steel alloy that contains chromium. It is an extremely durable, affordable metal which doesn’t corrode or rust. However, it can still be scratched or stained. See the jewelry care section of this website for tips on how to best care for stainless steel jewelry.

Tungsten Carbide

Tungsten carbide has become a popular material in the bridal jewelry industry.  It is ten times harder than 18k gold and highly resistant to scratching which makes this perfect for an engagement or bridal ring. Even with this extreme hardness it can occasionally be shattered or scratched under certain circumstances.
artcarved wedding band

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