Jewelry is not only a fashion accessory to reset one’s style statement but also a piece of priceless adornment cherished for its sentimental value. Jewelry in various forms has been around for centuries but with the rise of civilization and advancement in technology jewelry materials have also improved, leading to modern jewelry designs in the contemporary era. But what constitutes the primary part of any type of jewelry are the jewelry metals.
Types of Metal Jewelry
In the list of metals suitable for jewelry, only a few are popular and cherished. In this article, we have compiled a list of various types of jewelry metals along with their features to make your next jewelry purchase more interesting. So stay tuned till the end of this blog and do yourself a favor by investing in only those metals for jewelry that suit your skin, budget and preference the most.
It is one of the most coveted metals for jewelry since ancient times. Preferred for its rich color and non-corrosive nature, this precious metal has the perfect luster to give off a vintage look and feel to those who are into antique jewelry. Pick ruby rings or sapphire earrings in yellow gold for a traditional vintage look.
Since pure gold is too soft for jewelry making, it is combined with zinc, silver, copper, etc. to provide the required hardness to the metal. The purity of yellow gold, like other gold variants, is expressed in karats, a unit which moves in fraction of 24. So, 24k gold is 100% pure gold whereas 18k gold has 75% gold, and 14k gold has 58.33% gold. So, even though pure yellow gold is hypoallergenic, alloy metals may cause skin irritation to some people.
Who says gold is only yellow in color? Pure gold when alloyed with silver, nickel or palladium forms white gold. If you are looking for a stylish emerald pendant or diamond bracelet at a lower cost than platinum then opt for white gold jewelry. The composition gives tinted brown and pale yellow or pale rose color to the metal which is then plated with rhodium to give the metal its desirable white finish.
However, this plating fades gradually and needs to be redone from time to time to maintain the shine of the jewelry. Similarly, due to the inclusion of nickel, wearing a piece of jewelry made of white gold may cause skin irritation, making white gold a non-hypoallergenic metal.
Pure gold in yellow color can be given a rose-like tint by combining pure gold and copper to form what we call rose gold. Unlike white gold which requires rhodium plating, rose gold and yellow gold maintain their aesthetic appearance with regular polishing. However, while a rosy tinge looks attractive on all skin tones, the presence of copper may cause skin irritation making rose gold a non-hypoallergenic metal.
Rose gold is also known as red gold or pink gold depending upon its copper concentration. It has become a hot choice for wedding bands and engagement rings in the 21st century among both traditional as well as modern brides. Imagine alexandrite jewelry in rose gold, what a spectacular sight it would be to have color-shifting alexandrites paired with rose gold.
In terms of durability, beauty and skin sensitivity, white-hued platinum is the most viable and popular precious metal. It is many times more durable than gold and hence the most reliable jewelry option that can stand the test of time. If you are looking for scratch-resistant and corrosion-free metal jewelry to wear everyday then platinum stands out in the crowd.
Platinum does not tarnish over time and can be polished on a regular basis to keep it lustrous. Moreover, most platinum jewelry contains almost 95% platinum which makes it an ultimate hypoallergenic metal. However, all these qualities in platinum command the highest price in the market among all metals used for making jewelry. It means a diamond ring in platinum will cost much more than a diamond ring in white gold.
Are you into white metal jewelry but looking for an affordable option compared to platinum? Silver provides you with the perfect blend of white sheen and malleability for carving intricate designs inspired by the vintage era. But if you want to wear silver jewelry on an everyday basis then you need to switch to sterling silver.
It is a hypoallergenic silver alloy that does not corrode, thanks to its chemical composition which consists of over 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper or zinc. However, sterling silver gets tarnished easily, i.e., it turns black from the exposure to hydrogen sulfide in the atmosphere. So to keep your sterling silver jewelry shining and bright, make sure to clean or polish it regularly.
Stainless steel has a charismatic resemblance to platinum making the former an affordable choice for chains, bracelets and rings. There are several reasons why you would love to wear stainless steel jewelry, for instance, it is durable, corrosion-free, does not tarnish and is apt for those with sensitive skin. A layer of chromium protects stainless steel from corrosion because of which it does not change color with passing time.
Moreover, when you are wearing stainless steel, you don’t need to be afraid of the metal getting scratched or losing its shine. It means there’s no need to polish stainless steel as we do with gold, silver and platinum jewelry. And guess what, the pristine white finish of stainless steel jewelry can be paired with pale formal as well as colorful casual attire.
Titanium’s lightweightness, strength and classic black hues have made it a popular metal choice among men. Since pure titanium is brittle, it is alloyed with other metals to make it suitable for jewelry. When it comes to selecting wedding rings for men the choices are often limited but titanium gives the perfect durability and comfort along with a contemporary look to men’s wedding bands.
Titanium is hypoallergenic and to corrosion resistant. It is not affected by changing weather conditions and its color does not fade over time. If you are looking for an affordable alternative to platinum or gold, titanium will be your best mate. However, remember that the hardness of titanium will make ring resizing impossible.
Looking for a robust metal for jewelry? Tungsten promises resistance to scratches and enviable durability, making it a great choice for everyday jewelry. A piece of jewelry made of tungsten weighs more than titanium but it will be your companion in the long run due to the former being many times harder than the latter.
For the purpose of jewelry, 85% of tungsten is alloyed with 15% nickel. The alloy is hypoallergenic even though it has nickel which is not. Moreover, tungsten is quite affordable and various color options are available when the natural gray color is plated white, gold or even black. However, just like titanium, tungsten rings can’t be resized which is a major issue to be considered.
Craving for a white metal with a silvery shine that will remain as it is for life? Palladium is one of the members belonging to the group of platinum metals. It weighs less but is stronger than platinum. What makes palladium a better option than platinum and white gold is that palladium costs less than both of them. Additionally, palladium is a hypoallergenic metal and suitable for everyday wear.
Its outstanding resistance to weathering and corrosion makes tantalum a wonderful metal to be worn every day. Tantalum can instantly attract anyone with its dark hue and distinctive appeal, making the metal a strong contender for contemporary jewelry. Compare it with platinum and tantalum will turn out to be more durable and denser, a perfect recipe for affordable wedding bands with scratch resistance and hypoallergenic features.
Factors Influencing Jewelry Metal Selection
Now that you are acquainted with various metal types, make your selection easier by considering the following factors. Take a close look at each to curate the best metal for your ultimate piece of jewelry.
- Durability: If you are purchasing metal jewelry then its durability and hardness should be taken into account before anything else since you are going to buy something to last for generations, let alone a few years. For instance, you may invest in platinum which is more durable and scratch-resistant than gold.
- Weight: Certain metals are heavier to carry which also makes them more expensive. As such, consult your jeweler for guidance on which metals would make your jewelry-wearing experience more comfortable as well as budget-friendly.
- Color: In general, white metals go well with cool skin tones while yellow metals suit warm skin tones the best. However, the best way to find your ultimate pick is to try each piece out and see how well it complements your skin tone.
- Sensitivity to Skin: The metal you are going to wear every day must be hypoallergenic so that it does not cause allergic reactions. For instance, yellow gold, platinum, titanium and tungsten are hypoallergenic, hence the best choice for people with sensitive skin.
Looking for the best metal for your jewelry? GemsNY has got you covered with exquisite pieces of gemstone jewelry in platinum, white gold, rose gold and yellow gold. Our gemstone and jewelry section promises to treat you with our best picks in metal jewelry featuring sapphire rings, ruby pendants, alexandrite earrings, and emerald bracelets. Shop for metal jewelry for men and women including men’s metal rings in platinum and gold. Make your jewelry purchase experience more personal by consulting our experts.