TYPES OF METAL
Platinum is a popular metal for jewelry, famous for being extremely durable. It’s shiny and beautiful, but it is also a metal that will last for generations. Platinum is rarer and heavier than gold, therefore more expensive. The bright whiteness of the metal makes it perfect for showing off diamonds and other gemstones. That is why it is considered as a top choice for engagement rings, wedding bands and other fine jewelry. Its density makes it the most secure setting for your diamond or precious gemstone.
When used in jewelry, it is usually is mixed with other similar metals, known as the platinum group metals: iridium, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium and osmium. However, for a piece of jewelry to be labeled as "platinum" it must have a minimum level of purity of at least 90% pure platinum. Platinum is heavier than gold and don’t have a tendency to tarnish or oxidize. Over time, platinum jewelry will develop a natural “patina,” which can be returned to a bright, white shine with a simple re-polishing.
Platinum jewelry has a high level of purity that makes it naturally hypoallergenic and, thus, the perfect choice for people with sensitive skin.
As of today, silver is considered a precious metal among other popular metals, often used in every day jewelry as being the most affordable of all.
Pure silver is too soft to be used in jewelry making, so it's mixed with copper or other metal to create sterling silver, which makes it more durable. Sterling silver must contain at least 92.5% pure silver, which is why it's stamped as .925. While sterling silver is harder than pure silver, it can still be scratched fairly easily.
Sterling silver can range from bright white to grayish white, and can have a matte or shiny finish. Sterling silver can be plated with gold to change its color.
Sterling silver jewelry is often electroplated with karat gold. When the thickness of the karat gold plating is at least 100 millionths of an inch thick, it is referred to as “vermeil,” pronounced “vermay.” Vermeil jewelry is an affordable alternative to jewelry made completely with karat gold. Items meeting this definition may be stamped with standard sterling markings or with the word “vermeil.”
A traditional choice for all types of jewelry, gold is the most easily worked of all metals because it is naturally very soft and malleable.
However, to create jewelry designs that are strong and durable, pure gold is alloyed with other metals such as copper and zinc, which strengthen it and gives it its color. Gold jewelry is consistently considered timeless and elegant.
At Brightcut we use 18K (75% of pure gold) and 14K (58.8% of pure gold) yellow, rose and white gold.
Gold is naturally yellow in color, however, since pure gold is very soft, it is usually alloyed with silver or copper to bring out its natural warmth.
To create the white‐silver color, the gold combined with palladium and silver or with nickel, copper and zinc. White gold also can be coated with platinum or rhodium to improve whiteness and add durability and shine. White gold jewelry will occasionally need to be re‐dipped after the coating wears away.
To create the rosy-pink color of rose gold, pure gold is combined with more copper. The more copper added to the alloy, the rosier the gold will become. Rose gold does not need to be dipped or coated as the color is pure through.
In addition to the big three – platinum, gold and silver – there is a plethora of lightweight, modern‐looking and durable metals that have become popular for jewelry and wedding bands. Alternative or modern metals are especially popular with men, who appreciate their lightweight feel and extreme durability.
Stainless steel is a metal with many uses. Most commonly, stainless steel is seen in kitchenware, appliances and hardware, stainless steel is also used to make watches and jewelry. Stainless steel is a silvery‐white color with a mirror finish that retains its shine and color very well and resists tarnishing. The most popular uses for stainless steel in jewelry are watches, bracelets, rings, earring posts and body jewelry since it is easy to clean, keeps a mirror shine and is strong enough for daily wear.
Titanium is versatile, lightweight and strong, with a silvery‐white metallic color. This metal is as strong as steel but is 45% lighter in weight, and is similar to platinum in its resistance to tarnishing. This metal has many uses ranging from armor plating, spacecraft and aircraft parts, to jewelry design. Titanium's strength, durability, and lustrous beauty make it an ideal choice for jewelry, especially for rings and bracelets that are subject to daily wear.
The name of this metal is derived from the Swedish words "tung sten" meaning "heavy stone." Tungsten is very heavy with a steel gray to tin‐white color and a lustrous finish. This metal has the highest melting point, and the most tensile strength of all metals. Due to the hardness of this metal, the shine is not apt to fade as with other metals that must be polished. Tungsten also has natural hypoallergenic properties that make it perfect for use in jewelry making.
Ceramic carbide is a relatively new in the jewelry arena. Ceramic carbide is a man‐made product – not the ceramic found in stoneware or pottery. Industrial ceramic carbide is extremely durable and nearly impossible to scratch. It also doesn’t tarnish, oxidize or darken over time. Ceramic carbide is also a material that people with metal allergies and sensitive skin can enjoy since it is completely hypoallergenic.
Ceramic jewelry is available in a range of colors, including white, black, pastels and bold hues. It is often combined with metals and precious stones.