There are a variety of metal choices available for jewelry. Whether you like the allure of platinum or the range of options available in classic gold, you can select from a number of stylish pieces, some even combining two metals. Today, alternative metals like sterling silver, titanium, and stainless steel give you additional options in appearance, strength, price, and more. Each metal has its own qualities, so base your choice on the ones that you value most.
Platinum is usually 95% pure and does not tarnish or lose its rich white luster. Platinum is the heaviest of all the precious metals. Its purity makes it hypoallergenic and perfect for people who are sensitive to the alloys used in gold. Platinum is also known for its strength and pliability; just one gram of platinum can be drawn into a fine wire over one mile long.
Pure 24 karat gold is rarely used in jewelry because it is too soft for frequent wear. Gold is mixed with alloys like copper, silver, nickel, and zinc to create different colors, strength, and durability. Gold's purity is measured in karats which is determined by how many parts out of 24 are gold and how many are alloy. For example, 18kt gold contains 18/24 gold and 6/24 alloy, while 14kt gold contains 14/24 gold and 10/24 alloy. Gold is traditionally seen in yellow and white colors, but can also be available in rose or green on occasion.
Sterling silver is usually 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. Silver is much more plentiful than platinum or gold and is much less expensive. It takes on a higher polish than any other metal, but it does tarnish. The tarnish can be removed, but silver requires more care than other metals. Some sterling silver has a rhodium plating to minimize tarnishing.
Tantalum is a rare, hard, blue-gray, lustrous metal that is highly corrosion-resistant. The chemical inertness of Tantalum makes it a valuable substance and a substitute for platinum. Combining the rugged look of an industrial metal with the workability of gold, contemporary rings made of tantalum blur the lines between classic and cutting edge. Our Tantalum rings are manufactured with the metal in its purest form, making them completely hypo-allergenic, resistant to breakage, and ultimately the most precious of all contemporary metals.
Titanium is a light, strong, and corrosion-resistant metal. Titanium offers you seven times the strength of platinum at about 1/3 of the weight. It is one of the hardest natural metals on earth and is also hypoallergenic. When ordering titanium rings, be extra sure about your ring size. The biggest drawback of titanium rings is that they cannot be sized by traditional ring sizing methods. However, at Kingston Fine Jewelry our wedding bands come with a lifetime guarantee which includes size exchanges.
Stainless steel is a low cost alternative to traditional metals. It is naturally hypoallergenic and will not rust or tarnish. Stainless Steel will not break or bend under normal usage and is stronger than any other alloy.
Damascus Steel derives from an ancient sword-making technique from the Middle East. Our suppliers alternate two types of Stainless Steel, twist them together by hand, and fold them into a circle. Thus, each piece of jewelry is unique.
Cobalt Chrome has great strength with a similar look to platinum and a similar weight to gold. Because of its temperature stability, cobalt alloys are often used in engine turbines and surgical implants.
Zirconium is very resistant to decay and heat. While most commonly mined from South Africa and Australia, zirconium has also been found in meteorites and moon rocks. It is naturally a silver grey color with a darker oxidized layer.
Meteorite pieces often contain varied rock and metal pieces from outer space. They have grooved latticed patterns that formed as the meteors cooled over millions of years on the Earth’s surface. Because of this, each ring made from this metal will be different.
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