Precious Metal Education

At Mark Michal Diamond Designs in Maple Grove, MN we will teach you about Platinum, White Gold, Yellow Gold, Rose Gold, Red Gold and Palladium.


Precious Metal Education


Platinum

Platinum is 35 times more rare than gold. Each year, 88 tons of platinum is crafted into jewelry, compared to 2,700 tons of gold. It requires 8 weeks and 10 tons of ore to produce a single ounce of platinum. There is just one platinum mine for every 10 gold mines, which makes platinum one of the most uncommon precious metals on earth.

Platinum jewelry is at least 90-95% pure. By comparison, 18 karat gold is 75% pure and 14 karat is 58% pure gold. Platinum is also a naturally white metal that requires no additives or rhodium plating. Platinum’s brilliant white luster makes it an ideal choice for fine jewelry because its white luster brings out the true beauty of diamonds. Also, platinum’s purity level makes it hypoallergenic and ideal for those with sensitive skin.

Platinum jewelry is a perfect choice for everyday wear. Platinum’s incredible density and weight make it more durable than other metals and provides assurance in value. Platinum holds precious stones firmly and securely. While it is the strongest of jewelry metals, it can scratch. But, platinum does not wear away and decrease its volume, unlike other metals. Over time, platinum develops a natural patina that many people prefer over the high polished appearance. This look is unique to platinum and can be simply re-polished for those who prefer the high polish.

Platinum Care

Proper care for your platinum jewelry is important to maintain its lifelong beauty and value. Platinum is strong and durable, but is subject to damage. It is wise to remove your jewelry during rugged activities. Remove your jewelry prior to washing your hands, showering, applying any lotions or makeup. To keep your platinum jewelry clean, soak it in a mild solution of soap and water and gently scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Always store your jewelry separately in a fabric-lined case or in a box with dividers or separate compartments to avoid scratches or other damage. Be sure to check any diamond settings periodically for possible damage. If you see a loose prong, or if the setting looks out of line, immediately bring it in and we will inspect and repair any damage.


 

 

Palladium

Palladium is the newest precious metal trend in jewelry and we’ve got it!

It is a platinum group metal, it has a premium white color that will not fade and does not need rhodium plating. It is nickel free, tarnish resistant and more durable than white gold. It has the look of platinum, and comparable cost to gold. Palladium alloys for jewelry manufacturing are pure, like platinum alloys used for the same. They are alloyed predominantly with other platinum group metals.

The alloys consist of 95 percent palladium and are typically alloyed with ruthenium with trace amounts of other non-allergenic metals that contribute to hardness.

Like platinum, palladium wears better than white gold. Palladium jewelry has a 15 percent greater wear resistance when compared to white gold. Palladium is comparable in weight to 14-karat gold, making it very comfortable to wear even for larger pieces.

Palladium and other platinum group metals are hypoallergenic. Many 14-karat white gold alloys contain nickel, an element which commonly causes allergic reactions. Palladium jewelry does not require rhodium plating to make it white. It is naturally bright white so it doesn't turn a yellowish color with wear.

Palladium Care

When not in use, always store your jewelry separately in a fabric-lined case or in a box with dividers or separate compartments to avoid scratches or other damage. Remove your jewelry prior to washing your hands, showering, applying any lotions or makeup. Products with abrasives and chemicals in them can dull your jewelry and speed the tarnish process. As with other precious metals, your palladium pieces will require periodic cleaning. To clean, soak your jewelry for about five minutes in a commercial jewelry cleaner or ammonia solution (one part ammonia to six parts water) and then use a soft-bristle brush to gently clean the surface and nooks and crannies. Finish by rinsing and drying.


Gold

Gold content is measured in karats, which should not be confused with the term carat, used to measure diamond weight. The higher the karat, the greater its gold content and price. The K number specifies how many parts, by weight, of pure gold is contained in 24 parts of the alloy. Therefore, the content of pure gold in the various karats is as follows:

10k = 10/24 = 41.7% pure gold

14k = 14/24 = 58.3% pure gold

18k = 18/24 = 75.0% pure gold

24k = 24/24 = 100% pure gold

 

 

What is White Gold?

White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as nickel, silver, and palladium. White gold can be 14k, 18k, or any karat. Because 14k white gold is 58.3% gold, and 18k white gold is 75% gold, white gold will naturally have a light yellowish tint. To give white gold its brilliant white luster, in the final process of manufacturing white gold is rhodium plated. Rhodium is a shiny, white metal, which is extremely hard and durable. However, over time the rhodium plating may wear away, revealing the slightly yellowish tint of the underlying metal. To keep white gold looking its best, it may require rhodium re-plating every 12 to 18 months, depending on wear.

Gold Care

Proper care for your gold jewelry is important to maintain its lifelong beauty and value. It is wise to remove your jewelry during rugged activities. Remove your jewelry prior to washing your hands, showering, applying any lotions or makeup. To keep your gold jewelry clean, soak it in a mild solution of soap and water and gently scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Always store your jewelry separately in a fabric-lined case or in a box with dividers or separate compartments to avoid scratches or other damage. Be sure to check any diamond settings periodically for possible damage. If you see a loose prong, or if the setting looks out of line, immediately bring it in and we will inspect and repair any damage.