Learn all about Precious Metals

Silver

Silver Basics

Platinum

Platinum Basics

Yellow Gold

Yellow Gold

  • Gold alloyed with silver and copper.
  • It is the most frequently used type of gold there is.
  • It is malleable, ductile, and generally non-corrosive.
  • It has a high melting point and is not susceptible to compression.

White Gold

  • Gold alloyed with a large percentage of silver, or a selection of other white metals.
  • The percentage of gold naturally varies, according to the amount of other metal used.
  • It is highly reflective and not subject to tarnish.
  • The ancient term for it was Electrum.
  • It’s use predates that of Palladium and Platinum.

Back to Top

White Gold
Rose Gold

Rose Gold

  • Gold alloyed with a large percentage of silver, or a selection of other white metals.
  • The percentage of gold naturally varies, according to the amount of other metal used.

Back to Top

Gold Price

Gold pricing is based on a number of factors, including karatage, gram weight, design and craftsmanship.
The karatage and gram weight tell you how much gold is in a piece, but don’t rely on these alone to determine price. Remember, a price based solely on gram weight does not reflect the work that has gone into the piece.
Other important factors to consider are the jewelry’s construction and design. The techniques of construction can make a piece more durable and flexible for added comfort. A well-made piece in a classic design will give you years of wear and enjoyment and, if cared for properly, will last a lifetime.
Unique design, intricate details, gemstones or a special clasp may add to the price.
Gold jewelry is mainly produced by machine. Any additional hand finishing or textural interest raises the cost.
Similar looking pieces may have vastly different price tags. This is because different pieces may have specific characteristics that make them unique. So look carefully to notice any differences and similarities.
Often, it’s these small details that give you pleasure through the years that you enjoy a piece of jewelry, and ensure that your children will also enjoy it.

Back to Top

pds-gold-bar-sm
Gold Karats Explained

Gold Karats

When buying gold jewelry, always look for the karat mark. All other things being equal, the higher the karat, the more expensive the piece.
In the United States, 14-karat gold, or 583 parts pure gold, is the most common degree of fineness.
Nothing less than 10 karats can legally be marked or sold as gold jewelry in the U.S. However, lower karatages, such as 8-karat gold and 9-karat gold, are popular in other countries.
18-karat gold is 18/24ths, or three-quarters pure gold, and jewelry of this fineness is marked 18k or 750, the European designation meaning 75% gold.
Always look for the karat mark or “k” that appears on the back of the piece. By U.S. law, if a karat mark appears you should also see the manufacturer’s trademark to assure you that the karat marking is accurate. The country of origin should also appear.
In addition to the karat mark, every piece of gold jewelry should be stamped with a hallmark or trademark of its maker, and sometimes its country of origin.
These designations assure you that you are buying genuine karat gold jewelry. Heavier pieces contain more gold.
Gold Filled, also called Gold Overlay, refers to a layer of at least 10-karat gold that has been permanently bonded by heat and pressure to one or more surfaces of the support metal, then rolled or drawn to a prescribed thickness. The karat gold must be at least 1/10 of the total weight.
Gold Plate means that a layer of plating of 10-karat gold or better has been bonded to a base metal. The karat gold content may be less than 1/20, but it must be properly identified by weight in terms of total metal content.
Gold Leaf is just gold plating that’s been pounded and applied by hand.
Vermeil refers to gold plating that’s at least 15 microns thick (one micron is a millionth of an inch).

Back to Top

Caring for gold

Gold is durable, sturdy, dependable, and makes an ideal setting for your precious diamond jewellery.
However, to get a lifetime of enjoyment from your jewellery, be sure to keep it clean and safe.
Do not wear jewellery during rough work or when handling harsh chemicals.
Store it in a fabric-lined box away from other pieces to preserve it from getting scratched.
Finally, check the diamond settings periodically for any damage to the gold prongs or bezels.
If you see a loose prong, or if the setting looks out of line, bring it to a professional jeweller for repair at once.

Back to Top

Caring for Gold
Silver Basics

Silver Basics

Fine Silver in its natural state, 999/1000 pure, is too soft an element for practical jewelry. To make it workable, an alloy such as copper is added. Here are the main silver alloys:

  • Sterling Silver: A mixture of 92.5 % pure silver (925 parts) and 7.5 % metal alloy.
  • Silver Plating: Also known as silver plated or silver coated. A base metal, usually nickel silver or brass, is coated with a layer of pure silver by a process called electroplating.
  • Vermeil: Sterling silver electroplated with at least 100 millionths of an inch of karat gold
  • German Silver or Nickel Silver: A silver-white alloy consisting of copper, zinc and nickel.
  • Coin Silver: 90% (900 parts) pure silver and 10% (100 parts) metal alloy. A process of melting down coins done in the 19th century, and mostly discarded today.

Back to Top

Platinum Basics

Platinum, like gold, has a long and distinguished history. Its use began in antiquity and it has undergone a resurgence in popularity over the last 200 years.
Platinum was held in high esteem during early Egyptian times. Native people in South and Central America worked it as early as 100 B.C.
Spanish conquistadors discovered platinum artifacts among the gold they were seeking when they came to the new world. They named the curious metal “platina,” or “little silver.” They also considered it worthless, and discarded it.
Platinum didn’t reach Europe until the 18th century, but then it caught on in a big way. King Louis XVI elevated it by terming it “the metal of kings.”
For centuries, the only large amounts of platinum outside of South America were found in Russian mines. Russia used platinum coins in the 19th century. In Spain, some gold coins were faked by gold-plating platinum coins.
Nowadays, platinum is far more valuable than gold. Platinum’s initial uses were probably limited by its hardness and its very high melting point. The early forging and casting techniques made it quite a difficult metal to work with.
During the latter part of the 19th century, and the first half of the 20th, platinum was the premier metal for all-important jewelry. Platinum dominated the world of jewelry design during the Edwardian era, and the Art Deco period well into the 1930s.
It all came to an abrupt end in World War II, when platinum was declared a strategic metal and its use banned for all non-military purposes.

Back to Top

Platinum Basics