Buying precious metals can be an art, as you have to take into consideration factors like price, purity, aspect, durability, versatility and a variety of other aspects. It can be confusing, especially if you are looking for a particular piece of jewellery and you do not know where to start from! This is why it is essential to have basic knowledge regarding the most popular precious metals at the moment – only this way you can make the best choice. Here you will find a brief guide that will offer you a closer look at precious metals like gold, platinum, silver or palladium.
Considered to be the world’s oldest precious metal, gold comes in a variety of colors. Although gold is widely known for its warm yellowish tone, it can have various other tones that range from rose and purple to grey, white and even black, depending on the metallic alloy it is mixed with.
The most important factor you need to pay attention to when shopping for gold jewellery is certainly the number of karats, which ranges from 10 to 24 kt where 10 is the least pure and 24 being around 99% pure gold. In other words, the karats express the purity of the gold. The two most popular tones of gold are white (alloyed with palladium, zinc, silver or nickel) and yellow (alloyed with copper or silver).
Silver is another popular choice in terms of jewellery, as it is durable and very affordable. It is malleable and alloyed with various other metals like nickel or zinc in order to reinforce its durability and strength. When shopping for silver jewellery, you must pay attention to the silver markings which can be found on all pieces of silver jewellery and aim to indicate the purity of the metal. The pricing is another good indicator, as silver is considerably more affordable compared to platinum or gold.
Considered the most expensive precious metal at the moment, platinum can be easily recognized after its silvery-white, dense and luscious aspect. It is extremely durable and practical, unlike gold or silver which can easily wear or scratch. It is hypoallergenic, it is resistant to corrosion and it can withstand the test of time. What makes platinum so expensive is the fact that it is very dense and extremely rare, which adds value to the metal’s worth. Generally speaking, platinum is mixed with metals like palladium or iridium, two metals that aim to strengthen this precious metal even more.
Palladium is somehow similar to platinum in terms of qualities and aspect – it is a rare and pure metal that is usually mixed with gold in order to create white gold. It has a very high level of purity, it is not as dense as platinum and it is very durable and versatile, thus allowing craftsmen and jewelers to create complex designs and jewellery using this precious metal. Palladium maintains its lustrous silver-white color over the years, and it does not require plating – moreover, it comes with a reasonable price tag as well!
Rachel is passionate about precious metals and works for a mining company specialising in ““.