Platinum is one of the rarest precious metals. The two main sources of platinum in the world are South Africa and Russia. One of the reasons it is so rare is that it requires ten tons of ore to produce one ounce of metal. It is heavier and more durable than gold and is naturally white in colour. It is an ideal metal for jewellery as it is hypo-allergenic, tarnish resistant and has a rich white lustre. If scratched, platinum does not lose any of its metal nor does not wear away over time. This makes platinum ideal to use for claws when setting loose diamonds.Like all fine jewellery platinum does lose its lustre over time and develops a natural patina. Many people prefer this ‘matte’ look however its original shine can be restored with polishing by a jeweller. Platinum is more difficult to polish and repair than gold.At home you can clean your platinum jewellery with a mild soap solution, warm water and a soft-bristled toothbrush followed by a buff with a soft cloth to renew its lustre.In the past platinum has always been a lot more expensive than gold however today with the increase in the price of gold this has evened out, making platinum a very popular choice for diamond jewellery and especially engagement rings.
From the beginning of time man has desired gold worldwide. Not only is it a beautiful metal but it is also portable and valuable, its value fluctuates with market conditions and presently it is at an all time high. Gold was used as currency in Crete and it is thought the Egyptians discovered gold around 3,000 BC. Since then it has been a symbol of wealth as well as being used for decorative purposes and adornment. The Romans were the first to add gems to gold jewellery.Because pure gold is soft it is usually alloyed with other metals to increase its strength. Gold is measured by the proportion of gold in an alloy, and the measurement is best known as a carat. Most quality jewellery is made using 18 carat gold, which means there is 18 parts of pure gold to 6 parts of alloy material. Pure gold which is 24 carat is considered too soft to make rings or other pieces of jewellery for every day wear. Gold is made into various colours to cater for a range of customer preferences. The most popular gold colours are:White GoldWhite gold is an alloy of gold with at least one white metal added, usually nickel or palladium. Since this alloy is never truly white, it is almost always plated with rhodium, a shiny, white metal which is also extremely hard. Wear and tear on jewellery will cause the rhodium plating to wear off, revealing the original metal colour. This is easily remedied by having your jewellery re-plated to bring back the whiteness and make it look new again.Yellow GoldThe natural colour of gold. It is used to create jewellery as it is the most malleable and ductile pure metal known. It is dense, soft, shiny, and does not tarnish, rust, or corrode. For jewellery it is measured in karats.Rose GoldAlso known as pink gold. It gets its pink colour due to a higher percentage of copper in the metal alloy.
Jewellery is traditionally made from sterling silver and can sometimes be plated with rhodium to give it a brighter appearance. Silver is a much more affordable alternative to gold (though still valuable) and is used to make jewellery with less precious stones.
Titanium is a non-corrosive metal often used in men's wedding rings because they are light, comfortable, durable and affordable as they are priced lower than gold or platinum wedding rings. Titanium has a darker appearance when compared to white gold or platinum. Some titanium rings have white or yellow gold inserts and the addition of diamonds. Titanium is virtually maintenance free. It is important to choose the correct size because resizing is not possible unless it is a plain band. A titanium ring can be cut and removed if required.
Palladium is a soft silver-white metal that resembles platinum. Palladium is hypo-allergenic and nickel free. Palladium is a less expensive metal than platinum, and also requires more skill to work with than white gold.