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 be 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.
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.
Damascus steel, that has its own somewhat mythical origin story, rooted in the Near East. It can be traced back to India to around 500 AD. These steels have an attractive surface pattern composed of swirling patterns of light-etched regions on a nearly black background. The pattern-welded steels are produced by forge welding alternating sheets of high and low-carbon steels. This composite is then folded and forge welded together, and the fold/forge cycle is repeated until a large number of layers are obtained.
Titanium is a unique and strong metal with incredible value for men’s wedding bands. With a solid foundation in the engineering and aerospace industries, titanium has a proven track record as an enduring metal.
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.
Made from a highly durable alloy, cobalt is four times harder than platinum while at the same time, less dense. Because of its natural hardness, cobalt jewelry is extremely scratch, chip, and corrosion-resistant. Its lower density and natural malleability allow for strong, dynamic designs with less weight. Cobalt is also hypoallergenic, making it an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin or an active lifestyle.
Number 73 on the periodic table of elements, Tantalum is truly a rare earth metal. A rich slate bluish-gray in color, Tantalum rings are manufactured with the metal in its purest form, making them completely hypo-allergenic, resistant to breakage and the most precious of contemporary metals.