GO FOR GOLD… OR PLATINUM?
A few things you should know about precious metals before you go shopping.
It’s that time of the year when we just can’t help thinking about all things shiny and nice. Yes, friends, believe it or not, the festive season is so upon us that we thought we smelled pumpkin spice. (Oh, wait, we did just walk past a Starbucks.) In a few more days, surely, you will be hearing “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” as you comb the shops for gifts. And almost inevitably, you will find yourself wondering about jewellery and wandering into a happy place full of diamonds and gold. We have, several weeks ago, already talked about everything a girl should know about diamonds. So, we figured there’s no better time than now to offer a few extra precious tips on choosing the right precious metal for your upcoming Christmas present.
First of all, what are considered “precious metals”?
Since it’s fine jewellery we’re talking about, you should be looking for 18k gold and platinum.
What’s the difference between white gold and platinum?
First, one needs to understand the difference between gold and platinum. The benefit of gold is the possibility of colour — such as rose, yellow, white and even black. White gold, unlike platinum, is not a pure metal. It’s an alloy that contains varying amounts of gold, which is always yellow, and is usually mixed with another metal, such as palladium, to lighten its colour and add strength and durability. White gold is, thus, relatively more malleable, which means it won’t crack as platinum, a dense metal, might. It is also cheaper to maintain when it comes to servicing and polishing. You might also want to note that the white in white gold will fade back to yellow over time.
What does the “k” in 18k gold stand for?
“K” stands for karat, which is the measure of the purity and quality of gold. Typically, for fine jewellery, we only use 18k gold because 24k gold (which is pure gold) is too soft for modern-setting styles.
Which is the best metal to choose when shopping for wedding bands?
Either 18k gold or platinum bands. It’s up to individual preference when it comes down to it.
Does it matter what precious metal is used for engagement rings or other jewellery with gemstones?
Personal preference aside, the colour of the band has an important role to play in bringing out the colour of a coloured gemstone — the way, say, your lipstick could bring out the colour of your eyes. An exquisite light-green diamond, for example, would look a lot less ordinary set in rose gold than in white. In fact, you’d be amazed how quickly it’d go from pedestrian to patrician just by switching up the colour of the gold.
Is there a difference in the maintenance of different precious metals?
Besides the regular polishing of the the metals at the jeweller, you don’t really have to clean or wipe gold at home. Just be mindful that metal will scratch, and the best way to maintain your precious metal jewellery is be aware of what your jewellery comes into contact with.
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Images: The Canary Diamond Co