Precious Metals

A precious metal is a rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical element of high economic value. Chemically, the precious metals are less reactive than most elements, have high lustre, are softer or more ductile, and have higher melting points than other metals.

Historically, precious metals were important as currency but are now regarded mainly as investment and industrial commodities. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium each have an ISO 4217 currency code.

Historically, precious metals have commanded much higher prices than common industrial metals

Platinum

It takes 10 tons of mined ore to produce a single ounce of platinum compared to 3 tons of ore to produce one ounce of gold. Platinum jewellery is either 90% or 95% pure, which makes it hypo-allergenic and allows people with allergies to other metals to still wear beautiful jewellery. Platinum is also one of the world strongest and most enduring metals. Although it can show wear and tear from day to day wear, it can be easily polished by your jeweller.

Gold

Gold in its pure form is rarely used for jewellery purposes due to the fact that 24 karat gold does not wear well. Gold, therefore, is alloyed with other metals to make it harder and better able to stand up to usage. Gold is also alloyed for other reasons:

– To produce gold’s of various colours, including white, rose, and now green and chocolate.
– To produce a variety of price points. Common gold alloys in Canada include 10K, 14K and 18K.

Sterling Silver

Silver is rarely used in the jewellery industry in its pure form because it is simply too soft and would not wear well. The Canadian Precious Metals Marking Act decrees that sterling silver must be 92.5% pure; the other 7.5% consists of base metals. This has been the standard alloy since English Sterling Silver was formulated about 1200 AD.

Sterling Silver usually tarnishes. This is a natural process as it reacts with the sulphur in the air. There are several products available on the market which will quickly bring the brilliant lustre back to your silver. Today, many companies will actually plate their Sterling Silver with a substance called Rhodium. Not only does Rhodium make the Sterling Silver very white, it also prevents the metal from tarnishing. Ask us about Rhodium plating and proper cleaning methods

Tungsten Carbide

The world’s hardest metallic substance possesses a unique dark grey colour. Items made of this high-tech metal will retain a polish longer than any other metal due to its ability to resist scratching. Tungsten Carbide is approximately ten times harder that 18kt gold and four times harder than titanium.

Tungsten bands/rings often are inlaid with platinum, 22K gold, or 18K gold sections. These inlaid sections may show wear but small scratches may be polished out when submitted to the original manufacturer.

Titanium

Titanium processes extraordinary characteristics – it is extremely strong (3 times stronger than steel!) yet 42% lighter than steel. It is chemically inert to all weather and body temperatures and is slow to conduct heat.

Titanium’s amazing strength, resilience, relative lightness, and biological and chemical inertness (corrosion free) makes it ideal for designers of everything from cutlery to artificial joints, eyeglass frames and beautiful jewellery.

Titanium is most commonly encountered in sporty matte finishes. In jewellery, other titanium finishes include polishes, satin or brushed matte, frost or anodized. Colourful finishes, in almost every colour of the rainbow, may be created though anodizing. Titanium is highly dent and bend resistant and scratches can be easily polished. Currently titanium rings are specifically made to the clients ring size as titanium rings cannot be sized.

 

 


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