Precious Metal Guide for Jewelry

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Precious metal guide for jewelry: Tips for selection, care and storage

Pieces of jewelry are not only fashion accessories, but often also valuable mementos and investments. When choosing jewelry, the precious metal used plays a crucial role. Precious metals are durable, valuable and can come in a variety of colors and alloys. When buying a piece of jewelry, whether for yourself or for your partner, the question arises as to which precious metal is the right one. Especially with engagement rings, the fear is great that you choose the wrong one and end up not liking the ring or the material is not the right one for everyday wear.In this precious metal guide for jewelry, we will introduce you to the most common precious metals, give you tips on care and storage, and help you choose the right precious metal for your jewelry. Learn all about the pros and cons of platinum, silver, and the different types of gold.

Platinum - Luxurious and durable

The most expensive and exclusive material for jewelry is platinum. Platinum is 30 times rarer than gold and is also correspondingly valuable. It is the hardest and most durable of all precious metals and is therefore very suitable for jewelry. Platinum is heavier and denser than gold and is often used in its pure form (Platinum 950), which means it is 95% platinum. It is known for its durability and excellent resistance to scratching and discoloration. However, working with platinum is demanding and takes longer than other precious metals. This is due in part to the hardness of the material, as platinum only melts at 1772 degrees. But that's precisely why platinum jewelry is so durable and suitable for everyday wear. It also requires less care than other precious metals, as it can neither fade nor change color. While even platinum jewelry is not 100% resistant to scratches and cracks, because the precious metal is solid and untreated, the shade of scratches is identical to the rest of the material. Smaller cracks can also be easily polished away.

Platinum is a particularly popular choice for diamond jewelry. With its rich and uniform white color, it does an excellent job of bringing out the brilliance of diamonds.

Platinum jewelry can be cleaned with mild soapy water and a soft brush. It is also advisable to store platinum jewelry separately to prevent scratches. Platinum does not oxidize and retains its color and luster over time, making it a popular choice for engagement rings and other high-end jewelry.

Gold - Classic and diverse

Gold is probably the best known precious metal for jewelry and has been prized for its beauty and lasting value for thousands of years. Gold is a very soft metal in its pure form and is therefore often alloyed with other metals to increase its hardness and durability. The purity of gold is measured in karats, with 24 karats being the purest gold.

For jewelry, 14 karat or 18 karat gold is usually used. 14 karat gold contains 58.5% gold and is harder than 18 karat gold, which contains 75% gold. Yellow gold is the classic gold color for jewelry, while white gold and rose gold are created by alloying with other metals and each have their characteristic colors.

Gold jewelry should be cleaned regularly to maintain its luster. To do this, use lukewarm water and a mild detergent. Avoid contact with chemicals and store gold jewelry separately to avoid scratches.

  • White gold
    White gold is a slightly cheaper alternative to platinum with a similar shade of white. It is a gold alloy, which means that materials that have a discoloring effect, such as palladium, silver or even manganese, are added to the gold, which is actually yellow in color. This creates the elegant, silvery shimmering color and also material properties such as the degree of hardness can be improved in this way.
    Since it is actually impossible to completely remove the original yellow tone of the gold, jewelry made of white gold is additionally plated with rhodium. That is, they are "dipped" in rhodium to encase them in an outer layer. This layer is then also white or silver and very hard. Nevertheless, the material is not safe from damage by external influences, so this process must be repeated every few years. Just like platinum, white gold is excellent for processing into diamond jewelry, as the silvery-white color perfectly sets off the diamond and allows it to shine. 
  • Yellow gold
    Yellow gold is the natural form of gold and is especially popular for processing into classic jewelry. The pure gold receives an alloy of red copper and greenish silver, which helps to maintain the typical warm yellow color. In addition, the components of the alloy also cause the gold to harden, as pure fine gold is too soft for jewelry production.
    Yellow gold, or gold in general, should be protected from aggressive substances such as chlorine or other chemicals, as these can change its appearance.
  • Rose gold
    Rose gold is a modern gold alloy that has become increasingly popular, especially in recent years. Copper and silver are mixed with the yellow gold, whereby the copper provides the reddish color, while the silver can soften it again. Rose gold can neither rust nor tarnish and is just as strong as yellow gold. However, the color is less common than the classic yellow-gold hue or the silver/white of platinum or white gold. Therefore, even though rose gold suits many skin types, it is still not as easy to combine as the other precious metals.

Silver - Affordable and graceful

The main advantage of silver is its comparatively affordable price. In addition, the silver color also complements a sparkling diamond excellently. Silver is also a very soft precious metal, which makes it all the easier for the jeweler to work with, allowing for more design freedom when creating jewelry. However, of all the precious metals, silver also comes with the most disadvantages. Silver is a soft metal and can get scratched and tarnish over time. For this reason, sterling silver, which is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, is often used to increase its hardness and durability. Sunlight and oxygen can cause the silver to oxidize or rust, and even the PH of the skin can affect it. This can cause the silver jewelry to turn black. In addition, allergic reactions occur more frequently with silver than with the other precious metals. For this reason, many jewelry manufacturers now recommend using platinum or one of the gold types for fine jewelry.

Silver jewelry should be cleaned regularly to prevent oxidation and discoloration. Use a silver polish or mild detergent for this purpose. Silver jewelry should also be stored separately to prevent scratches.

Palladium - Modern and inexpensive

Palladium is a relatively new precious metal in the jewelry industry, but is quickly gaining popularity. Palladium belongs to the platinum group of metals and is similar to platinum in many properties. However, it is lighter and less expensive than platinum, making it a more affordable option for jewelry.

Palladium is often used in its pure form (palladium 950), which means it is 95% palladium. It is known for its hardness, resistance to scratching and oxidation, and bright, silvery-white luster. Palladium jewelry can be cleaned with mild soapy water and a soft brush, and should be stored separately to avoid scratches.

Titanium - Strong and light

Titanium is a precious metal known for its hardness, lightness and resistance to corrosion. It is a particularly good material for jewelry worn in everyday life, such as wedding rings or bracelets. Titanium is hypoallergenic and is often used for jewelry that is intended to be suitable for people with sensitive skin.

Titanium jewelry can be cleaned with mild soapy water, and it is important to avoid abrasive cleaners to prevent scratches. Titanium jewelry is durable and resistant to discoloration, oxidation, and corrosion, making it a popular choice for jewelry that must withstand daily challenges.

Storage of precious metal jewelry

Proper storage of precious metal jewelry is important to avoid scratches, discoloration and oxidation. Here are some tips for storing precious metal jewelry:

  • Store separately: Store precious metal jewelry separately to avoid scratches. Precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum or palladium can scratch each other when they are in close contact. It is therefore advisable to store jewelry pieces individually in soft jewelry pouches, jewelry boxes or jewelry compartments.
  • Avoid moisture and chemicals: precious metals can be sensitive to moisture and chemical substances. It is therefore important to protect jewelry from water, perfume, hairspray, detergents and other chemicals. Remove your jewelry before showering, bathing, or doing household chores.
  • Cleaning Before Storing: Before storing precious metal jewelry, it is advisable to clean it thoroughly to remove dirt and debris. To do this, use a mild detergent and lukewarm water, and dry the jewelry thoroughly before storing it.
  • Handle with care: Precious metal jewelry can be delicate despite its hardness. Avoid handling jewelry roughly and do not subject it to strong impact or pressure. Also, do not store jewelry in places where it can be easily dropped or damaged.
  • Regular inspections: Regularly inspect your precious metal jewelry for scratches, discoloration or loose stones. The sooner you identify any problems, the easier and less expensive it often is to fix them.


When choosing precious metal jewelry, it's important to know the different characteristics of the various precious metals in order to make the right choice for your needs. Gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and titanium are popular options for high-end jewelry, each with their own unique characteristics and advantages and disadvantages. So if you're wondering which precious metal to choose for your next piece of jewelry, you're definitely making a very good decision with platinum. It is the most robust and durable precious metal, but also the most expensive. If you have a smaller budget, gold is a very good alternative. It is also very high quality, but requires a bit more care and attention to handle. Which type of gold depends entirely on personal taste, of course, with white gold and yellow gold tending to be less complicated than rose gold. Silver, on the other hand, tends to be less advisable if you want a piece of jewelry that is as durable and sturdy as possible. It is also important to follow proper cleaning and storage methods to maintain the beauty and longevity of your precious metal jewelry.

We hope this precious metal guide has helped you in the selection and care of your jewelry. Remember, it is always wise to seek advice from a professional jeweler or jewelry expert to ensure you are making the right choices for your jewelry. Invest in high-quality precious metals and care for your jewelry carefully to ensure that it retains its beauty and value for many years to come.



Image: Adobe Stock | 99616494

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