Precious Metal Education

Precious Metals Current Pricing Information

Platinum

The most appealing characteristic of platinum is its durability. Each time other metals are scratched or polished, a tiny bit of metal is lost. In fact eventually, prongs of white gold and yellow gold may wear down enough that you need to have them reinforced with more metal for safety.

A scratch in platinum may leave a mark on the metal, but this metal is so strong that it will not readily chip or splinter. For that reason, we set all loose diamonds in safe, secure, platinum prongs.

While it is the strongest of jewelry metals, it can scratch and develop a patina of wear. Many people prefer this look, unique to platinum. But if you like the shine, a jeweler can polish your jewelry to bring back the original reflective finish. In the mean time, buffing with a soft cloth can give your jewelry renewed luster.

The majority of our platinum jewelry is 95 percent pure platinum combined with 5 percent iridium, palladium, ruthenium or other alloys. For guaranteed quality in platinum, look for the marks 950 Plat or Plat.

Care

Soaking platinum in a mild solution of soap and warm water and gently scrubbing it with a soft-bristled brush is usually all that is required to maintain the metal's luster.

Gold Metal Education

Gold won't tarnish, rust, or corrode, and though it's very strong, it is also the most malleable of all metals.

Pure gold is too soft to withstand the stresses of every-day wear, so it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to give it strength and durability. Karatage, noted by a number followed by "k" indicates purity, or how much of the metal in a piece of jewelry is gold. Karatage is expressed in 24ths, making 24k gold 100% gold.

Yellow Gold

In jewelry at SalmaJewelry, you'll find 18k and 14k yellow gold. 18k gold contains more precious metal than 14k gold. It is composed of 75% gold, which is alloyed with other metals to make it strong enough to withstand every-day wear. Because 14k gold is composed of only 58.3% gold, and 41.7% other metals that give it strength, its gold color is not as rich as 18k gold. 14k gold is most commonly found in cases where strength is most important, like in earring backs and bracelet clasps.

White Gold

Because 18k white gold is 75% gold, and 14k white gold is 58.3% gold, jewelry made from these metals has a slight yellow color. To enhance the whiteness, almost all white gold is plated with rhodium, a shiny, white metal which is extremely hard. Depending on the amount of wear to a piece of jewelry, over time this rhodium plating may wear off, revealing the original metal color. Re-plating is a simple process that can be done to restore your jewelry's whiteness if needed.

Rose Gold

Rose gold gets its color from a larger proportion of copper in the metal alloy. This gives the gold a beautiful pink color.

The price of gold jewelry is dependent upon the purity of the gold used or karat weight, as well as the design and construction of the piece of jewelry.

Keep your gold jewelry away from harsh chemicals such as chlorine and cleaning fluids. This will reduce daily abrasions and prolong gold's luster. To clean gold jewelry, use a solution of warm water and detergent-free soap and wash gold gently with a soft-bristled brush (a dull tooth brush works well). Store gold pieces separately in soft cloth bags or original boxes to protect them from the exposure to harsh daily elements.

Silver Education

Pure silver, also called fine silver, is relatively soft, very malleable, and easily damaged so it is commonly combined with other metals to produce a more durable product. The most popular of these alloys is sterling silver, which consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper.

Although any metal can make up the 7.5 percent non-silver portion of sterling, centuries of experimentation have shown copper to be its best companion, improving the metal's hardness and durability without affecting its beautiful color.

The small amount of copper added to sterling has very little effect on the metal's value. Instead, the price of the silver item is affected by the labor involved in making the item, the skill of the craftsperson, and the intricacy of the design.

Because pure silver is so soft, it should only be used when malleability is required, such as in handcrafted jewelry featuring weaving and other intricate designs.

Sterling silver is most often used for jewelry and household accessories because of its combination of beauty and durability.

With proper care, your fine quality silver will last a lifetime. To minimize scratches and other damage, store your silver jewelry either in a cloth pouch or in a separate compartment in your jewelry box. Avoid exposing your silver to household chemicals when cleaning with bleach or ammonia, or when swimming in chlorinated water, as these chemicals can damage silver.

Care should also be taken to prevent silver tarnish build-up, a dulling that naturally occurs when silver reacts with sulfur or hydrogen sulfide in the ambient air. To clean your silver, use polishes formulated specifically to remove tarnish. You can find fine silver polishes, solutions, or cloths appropriate to remove tarnish at most hardware stores or specialty craft stores. Tarnish is most easily removed when it first becomes visible.

Although wearing your silver jewelry often is the best way to prevent tarnish from building up, regular cleanings of all your silver items will prevent tarnish and keep your silver bright and sparkling.

How to Clean Gold Jewelry

Things You'll Need:

Soft Toothbrush

mild dish detergent

soft polishing cloth

1 Mix a squeeze of mild dish detergent with warm water in a bowl.

2 Put the gold item into the soap mixture and let sit for a few minutes.

3 Use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the jewelry.

4 Remove item from soapy water, rinse it and dry thoroughly with a soft polishing cloth.

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