How Jewelry Metals Are Made
Fine jewelry at Anueva is made to stand the test of time. Creating durable and well-made pieces goes beyond our scrupulous stone sourcing standards. In addition to using ethical gems, all pieces are hand-carved and use 100% post-consumer recycled metals. While many metals are available to jewelers, Anueva only uses precious metals such as gold and platinum. These tokens of recycled precious metal serve as a peaceful reminder to conserve and appreciate the beauty of nature. As you prepare to create your own dream ring or shop our ready-to-ship collection, equip yourself with the knowledge of different metal types to inform your selection.
Fine jewelry is set in noble metals. Noble metals are metallic chemical elements that resist corrosion to moisture in the air and are not easily affected by acids. Included in this group are gold, platinum, silver, rhodium, palladium, osmium, ruthenium, and osmium. The natural properties of noble metals — gold, silver, and platinum in particular — are found worldwide, have deep cultural and historical significance, and are malleable. Malleability refers to its ability to be shaped, hammered, melted, mixed, or forged, which is why they are a feasible and functional choice for jewelry-makers.
Pure Gold has long been desired throughout history. Its bright yellow color can be polished to enhance its luster; when taken care of properly, gold can last a lifetime (and beyond). Its workability and resistance to tarnishing is one reason why many jewelers create with gold.
Because gold is quite soft, pure gold can wear out easily and take on scratches and dents. To increase its hardness, it is often combined with another metal. When two or more metals and non-metallic elements are mixed together, it is referred to as an alloy. Gold is commonly alloyed with silver, copper, nickel, iron, cadmium, and more.
Once an alloy is created, the purity of the gold composition is denoted by its karat (K) number. 24K gold is pure gold; this however is rarely used in jewelry as it's too soft. Anueva Jewelry creates jewelry with 14K or 18K gold. 18-karat gold is an alloy mixture that contains 75% gold and 14-karat gold contains 58.33% gold.
Colored Gold | ROSE GOLD & WHITE GOLD
In addition to 14K and 18K yellow gold jewelry, Anueva Jewelry also crafts with rose gold and white gold. Selecting a colored gold can further add character to your ring or better match your skin tones.
When alloyed, the color of gold may change; this is why rose gold, white gold, and other gold colors (red, blue, green, purple, etc.) exist. Yellow gold is made by combining gold with silver and copper. When only mixed with copper, rose gold is produced. The amount of copper added directly relates to the shade of pink. Less copper creates a lighter pink while more copper can produce a dark pink or even reddish color. Finally, the third most common type of colored gold is white gold. This is a product of gold with nickel, copper, tin, platinum, or manganese.
*Please note that the alloy composition formulas are not exact and may vary depending on desired metal hue and jewelry metal chemical composition.
Along with 14K and 18K yellow, rose, and white gold, Anueva Jewelry also uses Platinum. Platinum is a heavy, dense, malleable metal. It’s white in color and has blue undertones. While it does show some scratches and may dull over time, it can be polished back to its original brilliance. Unlike gold, when polishing platinum, the molecules are rearranged and the weight is not affected. Every time gold is polished, a thin layer is removed therefore reducing its weight over time. For this reason, platinum is a great choice for fine jewelry.
The Difference Between White Gold and Platinum
White gold and platinum are the two most popular white metals used to create jewelry, and to the naked eye, they are hard to distinguish from one another. If white gold and platinum both look similar in appearance, what exactly is the difference?
Firstly, as we learned earlier, white gold is not a pure metal; it is an alloy of yellow gold and other metals such as nickel and zinc to produce the white color. Over time, the brightness of the white can wear down and may need to be replated. Platinum, unlike white gold, is not alloyed with any other metals. It is a pure metal that is naturally a bright white color. Additionally, it is rarer than gold, and 40-50% more dense, therefore making it more expensive. Density contributes to the price point because more metal is required to create a piece.
Factors to Take into Consideration
One factor to take into consideration when deciding between white gold and platinum is their durability. If you plan to wear your jewelry daily, such as an engagement ring or a wedding band, durability directly correlates to the lifespan of your jewelry. While both white gold and platinum are fantastic choices for engagement rings and wedding bands, they are not equally durable.
Since white gold is alloyed with other metals that increase its hardness, it is quite durable and not easily susceptible to scratches and dents. Platinum, on the other hand, is more malleable than white gold and may dull over time and take on scratches easier. It requires routine polishing to maintain its bright white luster. Even so, platinum is a very popular option. Its purity and rarity make it an elegant and beautiful choice. Finally, another reason why platinum may beat out white gold is because it is hypoallergenic. If you're prone to skin sensitivities or are allergic to certain types of metal, platinum is a great option.
In the end, while considering factors such as durability, metal care, and rarity should be considered, it all comes down to personal preference. As long as you love it, there is no wrong choice! Ready to discover your dream ring? Shop ready-to-made pieces or hop over to another blog and learn how to bring your very own vision to life with our "Build Your Own" ring process.