Platinum is one of the strongest metals used in jewellery. Its white sheen is a favorable characteristic desired by many. Although platinum is extremely durable, it is not known for its ability to hold a polish. Over time, platinum is distinguished by a pewter-like appearance.
All our platinum pieces are 95% pure mixed with a composition of 5% iridium or palladium. Platinum is noticeably heavier than gold. With regards to price, a platinum ring will typically go for 2 to 2.5 times more than the same ring made in gold. Platinum is hypoallergenic because the metal purity is so high. For people who experience allergic reactions when wearing gold jewellery (this results from a reaction to the alloys mixed with the gold, not the actual gold itself), platinum is a practical alternative.
Gold is truly a precious metal. It won’t tarnish, rust or corrode over time. However, pure gold (listed as 24 karat gold) is too soft to be used in jewellery. Therefore gold is mixed with other alloys such as silver or copper to ensure strength.
‘Karat’ is a term used to express the purity of the gold in a product. Pure gold is 24 karats, which mean 24 parts out of 24 are gold. 18 karat gold means 18 parts of 24 are gold while the rest is an alloy and so forth. The common mixtures used in jewelry in North America are 10 karat, 14 karat and 18 karat gold. 20 karat or 22 karat gold is more common in other parts of the world such as India. In Britain, 9 karat gold is common although rarely found elsewhere.
Colours of Gold
Gold in its pure and natural state is yellow. When gold is mixed with an alloy however, this can alter the colour of the finished gold piece.
White gold typically is a result of an alloy of gold mixed with white metals such as silver and nickel. Rose or pink gold results when gold is mixed with a large amount of copper.
With regards to white gold, it should be noted that true white gold always has a slight yellowish tint because of its gold content and is not truly white as in the case with platinum or palladium. White gold jewellery is therefore plated with a precious white metal known as rhodium to ensure a bright white appearance. Over time this rhodium plating will wear away. When this occurs, it is recommended that the piece be re-plated to restore the original white appearance. We provide free rhodium-plating on all our engagement rings for the first 5 years.
In terms of pricing, the purity of the gold or karat is the determining factor. Colour has no effect on the price.
Palladium is a relatively new metal to arrive on the jewellery scene. It has some similarities to platinum in that it is very white, therefore not requiring rhodium plating, and is hypoallergenic. This is all available at a cost that is similar to that of white gold. It is also lighter in weight relative to platinum which may appeal to some as well. Talk to one of our consultants to find out if palladium is a good choice for your ring.
Tungsten carbide represents the strongest modern metal available today for use in rings. It’s virtually indestructible which allows it to hold its polish indefinitely. You will not find a more durable ring than those made of tungsten carbide. Tungsten is over 10 times stronger than 18k White gold and nearly 4 times stronger than titanium. Polishing tungsten carbide is only achieved using diamonds! All our tungsten carbide rings come with a lifetime guarantee against scratching.
Titanium has the highest strength to weight ratio of any metal. It is silver-greyish in colour and very lightweight. As well, titanium is hypoallergenic. For those that have an active lifestyle and are sensitive to weight on their fingers, titanium can be an ideal alternative to other traditional jewellery metals. Its relatively inexpensive cost is another feature that increases its appeal for many.
Cobalt has a natural silvery white colour, which makes this metal a striking choice for men’s rings and wedding bands. It has the look and feel of white gold at a fraction of the cost.