Platinum (symbol PL) was accepted as a precious metal after only the second half of the 19th century and has a deep luster and a rich, white color. It is rarer and heavier than all other precious metals and is considered to be more valuable than gold. Platinum is often used to set the most valuable gems to produce the finest jewelry. Platinum is one of the most popular metals of choice for ring settings, because the strength and color of platinum enhances the brilliance and depth of diamonds and precious stones.
Because of its density and weight, you can feel the difference between platinum and other precious metals when comparing different types of jewelry. Platinum is usually marked with the following symbols: PL, PT, PLAT, 950 or PT950.
Since platinum is the purest metal, it rarely causes an allergic reaction. In the US and abroad, there is an increased interest in platinum jewelry, with wedding rings being the strongest selling category. The platinum group of metals (PGM), is comprised of six closely related metals: Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium, Ruthenium, Iridium and Osmium.
Gold was among the first metals to be mined because it commonly occurred in its native form; not combined with other elements, and because it was beautiful and imperishable, and because exquisite objects could be made from it. Artisans of ancient civilizations used gold lavishly in decorating tombs and temples, and gold objects made more than 5,000 years ago have been found in Egypt.
Particularly noteworthy are the gold items discovered by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in 1922 in the tomb of Tutankhamun. This young pharaoh ruled Egypt in 14th century B.C., and an exhibit of some of these items, called "Treasures of Tutankhamun," attracted more than 6 million visitors in six cities during a tour of the United States from 1977-1979.
The graves of nobles at the ancient Citadel of Mycenae near Nauplion, Greece, discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876, yielded a great variety of gold figurines, masks, cups, diadems, and jewelry, plus hundreds of decorated beads and buttons. These elegant works of art were created by skilled craftsmen more than 3,500 years ago.
Pure (100%) gold is too soft, and is usually mixed with other metal alloys (silver, copper, nickel and zinc) to make it stronger and more durable for jewelry.
The karat indicates the amount of pure gold in the metal. The higher the karat, the higher the percentage of pure gold in the metal.
Percentage of Pure Gold by Karatage.
Why is 18k gold more valuable than 14k gold?
18k gold contains a higher (75%) percentage of pure gold than 14k gold (58.3%).
What kind of markings can be found on gold jewelry?
You should see a marking such as '14k' or '18k' to indicate the karat, and you may sometimes also see the manufacturers registered trademark or the country of origin.
What is the difference between yellow, white, & rose gold?
Pure gold (which is always yellow) is too soft for making jewelry. The metal alloys that are mixed with pure gold for strength can also modify the resulting color to produce different shades of yellow, white, and pink gold. White gold was originally developed to imitate platinum, and usually contains 25% nickel and zinc.
What other factors determine the value of a gold jewelry piece?
There are many other factors that determine the value of a gold jewelry piece:
• Weight - gold is sold by weight - grams(gr) or pennyweights(pwt), the heavier the piece, the higher the gold content, therefore it is more expensive.
• Design - designer jewelry is more expensive, especially if it is a one of a kind piece.
• Finish - special finishes to the metal such as matte, or sand-blasted finish add to the cost of the gold jewelry piece.
How do I care for my gold jewelry?
You could take good care of your jewelry by following a few simple steps:
Avoid contact with soap, perfume, cosmetics and hairspray.
Take chains and bracelets off at night, and store them flat to prevent them from breaking.
Use a gentle soft cloth to polish gold jewelry after wearing.
Silver has been known and used for thousands of years and was believed to have magical properties which could promote healing and bring good luck. In ancient times, silver was used for jewelry, ornaments, utensils, and as a substance that could be bartered for other goods and services. This belief that silver had an underlying "value" led eventually to its use as the basis for monetary systems such as that of the Roman Empire and as a means of paying for international trade.
Silver is the most reflective and affordable of the precious metals. Its lower price permits bold, innovative looks. Sterling silver jewelry is often fashioned by top designers and can range in price from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Sterling silver is the standard of quality for jewelry containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.
Common Silver Marks :
• General - Sterling Silver
• American - 925
• European - 935
• French - 800
• Russian - 88 or 84