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A Guide to the Precious Metals Used in Jewelry

Any piece of high-quality jewelry that is built to last will include one or more types of precious metal. Precious metals are unique because they don’t rust or erode over time. Gold, silver, and platinum are among the most common precious metals used for high-end jewelry pieces. Each metal has its own unique qualities to consider depending on your style and what you are looking to create in a custom piece of jewelry. Let’s take a closer look at what makes each of the precious metals truly remarkable! 


Gold was first used in jewelry because of its extraordinary beauty and how easy it is to work with. Gold is a very soft metal, so it’s easy to bend and mold to make custom jewelry of all shapes and sizes. Typically, gold is put into an alloy mixture with silver or copper so it’s more durable for daily wear. When shopping for gold jewelry, there will be a karat value listed. For example, pure gold, the most expensive, is 24 karats. However, 24k is actually rarely used in jewelry due to its soft characteristics. Most people prefer 14k or 18k gold, as it’s more durable. 


Silver jewelry is probably the most commonly used metal. It is popular because it offers a gorgeous luster without the yellow tones found in gold. Silver is naturally quite soft too, so it is commonly mixed into a copper alloy. The price of silver jewelry does not vary as much as the price of gold jewelry because silver is not rated by karats. There is standard silver, which is mixed into the alloy, and sterling silver. Sterling silver is more pure than just silver jewelry pieces, however it is still mixed with some copper for durability.


Platinum metals include the other 6 precious metals in the world. Platinum metals are over 30 times rarer than gold, so it is no surprise that platinum jewelry pieces come with a staggering price tag. Platinum is extremely durable, scratch-resistant, and has a natural luster that is truly breathtaking. Platinum has an appearance similar to silver, with more of white shift. Platinum jewelry is harder to find than gold or silver, but a high-quality piece should last a lifetime. Platinum jewelry quality is measured by a manufacturer stamp that is placed on a finished product. A stamp that reads “pt1000” is pure platinum. Stamps with lower numbers are platinum mixed with another metal, such as nickel or iridium.

Contact Date & Time

Interested in creating your own unique custom piece of jewelry or engagement ring? Our team at Date & Time can help to determine which precious metal is right for your piece. Stop in today to browse some of our jewelry pieces, and set up a consultation with one of our expert jewelers. We look forward to helping you find or create just the perfect piece of jewelry! 

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