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There are a variety of metals choices available for jewelry. Whether you like the allure of platinum or the range of options with the classic gold, you will find a number of stylish pieces, sometimes even combining the two metals. Today, alternative metals like sterling silver, titanium, and stainless steel give you additional options in look, strength, price, etc. Each choice has its own qualities, so base your choice on the ones that you value most.
Platinum is generally 95% pure and does not tarnish or lose its rich white luster. Platinum is the heaviest of all the precious metals weighing approximately twice as much as karat gold. Its purity makes it hypoallergenic, 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 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 give different colors, strength, and durability. Gold's purity is measured in karats, which indicate out of 24 parts how many parts are gold. 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.
Part of the platinum group, this silver-white metal is a naturally white, hypoallergenic, yet less expensive alternative to platinum. Though it closely resembles platinum, it is less dense and has the lowest melting point of the platinum group metals. Over time palladium loses its silver-white luster and can begin to look more gray colored. More commonly used for plain wedding rings, like men's bands.
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 much higher polish than any other metal, but it does tarnish. The tarnish can be removed, but silver requires much more care than other 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 the hardest natural metal on earth and therefore offers more scratch resistance than gold or silver. In addition, titanium 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.
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.
Tungsten is a Swedish word which literally means "heavy stone." Tungsten is the most scratch resistant industrial metal option. Due to its dense nature it is also very heavy and brittle, and therefore not sizeable. Unless coated or color treated it is often referred to as, "dark gun metal gray". Tungsten carbide is also often used in tooling and grinding.
Rings crafted of Serinium™ glow with beauty that will endure for a lifetime. Known as The Precious Contemporary Metal™, Serinium is a beautiful, bright white, ultra-hard metal that is perfect for both men’s and women's bands. Forged at extreme temperatures and pressures, this high-tech alloy will never oxidize, tarnish, change shape or change color. Serinium™ is also the safest contemporary metal — despite its hardness, a Serinium™ ring can easily be removed in an emergency. Exclusively provided by Jewelry Innovations.
Caramic rings are a lightweight alternative to tungsten, vitalium, or serinium, because of their hardness. They are very scratch resistant.