Gold means timeless value. Gold has the longest and most storied history of all precious metals. It is soft enough to be worked into interesting shapes. Its warm color and scarcity gave it great value in early civilizations. As jewelry, it was gold's softness and natural beauty that made it appealing, in addition to the fact that it does not corrode or tarnish. It is so soft, in fact, that pure gold is rarely used in jewelry. It is mixed with other metals, usually copper or silver, to make a stronger gold alloy, or mixture of metals. The quantity of gold in a given alloy is expressed in karats (abbreviated as K). Pure gold is 24K; 18K gold is 75% gold and 25% other metals. In other words, each karat is equal to roughly 4.17% of the total of the alloy. As the karat weight drops, the metal becomes more durable but less yellow. Sometimes, gold that is a lower karat weight will be plated in high-karat gold to enhance the color. Keep in mind that gold plating will wear off with time, and your jewelry may need to be re-plated. When buying gold jewelry, look for a stamp with a karat mark, the manufacturer's registered trademark and the country of origin.
White gold was developed to give a different look to jewelry. It is made with similar properties as yellow gold, but it has been mixed with different metals to give it a white color: nickel, zinc or even platinum. White gold should not be confused with platinum, which is much rarer than gold and hence more valuable. The karat weight system used in white gold is the same as that used in yellow gold. 18K yellow gold and 18K white gold contain the same proportion of gold; only the remaining 25% of the alloy is different. Sometimes, white gold is plated with an even whiter metal, such as rhodium (a very rare member of the platinum family), to enhance its appearance.
Sterling Silver is a plentiful metal. Like gold, silver is too soft for use in its pure state and must be combined with other metals for durability. However, silver tends to tarnish, making it less popular in some forms of jewelry. The standard for sterling silver has remained unchanged since 1300 when Edward I of England established an early trade practice rule for silversmiths, decreeing that sterling silver must consist of 92.5% pure silver alloyed with 7.6% copper. The term "sterling" refers to the composition of the metal, never to the weight of a finished item. Jewelry made of silver parts and gold parts must carry dual designations such as "Sterling Silver and 10K gold."
Stainless Steel is a metal with many uses. Most commonly, stainless steel is seen in kitchenware, appliances, hardware, architecture, watches and jewelry. The silvery-white color of stainless steel creates a mirror finish that retains its shine and color very well, and it is resistant to tarnishing. The most popular uses for stainless steel in jewelry are watches, bracelets, rings, earring posts and body jewelry. Stainless Steel is easy to clean, and it 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 is often used for armor plating, the construction of spacecraft and aircraft parts and jewelry design. Titanium.s strength, durability and lustrous beauty make it an ideal choice for jewelry.
The name "tung sten" is Swedish and Danish for "heavy metal." Tungsten is very heavy with a steel grey to tin-white color and a lustrous finish. 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.