The three metal categories you need to know about. Being in the jewelry industry is not as easy as you would think. Especially in the Engagement Ring section. When someone buys an Engagement Ring, they have specific needs in regards to the specific ring. It could become difficult because sometimes it doesn’t matter how you try to advice your client that the ring would be for example, too thin and would break easily if not taken off properly or handled properly for that matter.

As jewelers, we try to advice client’s about proper caring for their Engagement ring while still giving to hem what they want. But at the end of the day, all the information we try to give gets forgotten once they have the ring, who could blame them, it an exciting time to get engaged and planning a wedding.

Is this blog we are going to give a few terms and their meanings you need to know about Engagement Rings.

metal gold
Gold in its natural form


Metals most often used in jewelry is – Gold, Platinum and Silver. These are called precious metals, and they are appealing, whether they are used alone, with a gemstone or with other metals. (Palladium – which shares the same properties of Platinum, is also considered by many as a precious metal. )

The physical properties of these precious metals make them ideal for jewelry/ Engagement Rings.

These Precious Metals‘ allure, rarity, workability, and durability make them excellent for use in jewelry. Precious metals are expensive because they’re rare and difficult to extract from the earth.

metals like copper and nickel


These metals are considered base metalscopper, zinc, tin, nickel, lead, and iron.
These Base Metals are commonly used in Engagement Rings with Precious metals.
They get heated up and mixed together for example to get Rose gold, The precious metal, Gold and the base metal, Copper gets mixed to get the Pinkish colour we all adore.
Base Metals is sometimes used to make the jewelry stronger or give the item a certain colour.

Metal Alloys


An Alloy is a mixture of two or more metals.
There are a few reasons why we use alloyed metals, such as to get a specific colour Metal such as Rose Gold, or to make a metal stronger. This is just two reasons of so many.

9k Yellow Gold37.5% Gold (Au), 42.50% Silver (Ag), 20% Copper (Cu)
18k Yellow Gold75% Gold (Au), 15% Copper (Cu), 10% Silver (Ag)
9k White Gold37.5%Gold (Au), 62.5% Silver (Ag)
18k White Gold75% Gold (Au), 25% Palladium/Platinum
9k Rose Gold37.5% Gold (Au), 20% Silver (Ag), 42.5% Copper (Cu)
18k Rose Gold75% Gold (Au), 9.2% Silver (Ag), 22.2% Copper (Cu)
PLATINUM92% PLAT, 8% Tungsten
Metal Alloys commonly used in the jewelry industry.


Many modern jewelry designs are made of alternative metals such as
tungsten, titanium, niobium, and stainless steel.
Tungsten for one is very popular these days for making rings. The metal is blended with carbon and a bonding metal, usually cobalt, to form tungsten carbide. Because Tungsten is extremely hard, Tungsten Carbide takes and retains a high polish. It’s dark grey and highly resistant to scratching. Tungsten Carbide is about 75% as dense as Gold and Platinum and 50% denser than Silver. While Tungsten has good heft, it is not easy to work with.

Pure Titanium or a Titanium alloy is sometimes used. This metal is lightweight but very strong. It has a silver greyish colour, also often polished or brushed. Although it has only half the heft of silver, it’s still a good metal. Titanium resist scratching about as well as 14k Gold. Pure Titanium is hypoallergenic meaning it will not cause skin reactions or skin discolorations, it’s mostly used in body piercings.

When titanium is mixed with small amount of aluminum and vanadium, it increases titanium’s durability and scratch resistance.

Niobium is easy to work with but Niobium can not be soldered, it’s joined with tiny rivets and screws. Niobium’s workability is compared to silver’s.
Niobium is easy to colour, basically, anything that can be made with Gold, Silver or Platinum can be made with Niobium. Niobium is also hypoallergenic and is often used in body piercings.

Although Niobium is almost as dense as silver, it does not have the heft of Gold or Platinum, but it feels more substantial than titanium. Niobium is much harder than scratch than any other Precious metal and much harder to dent than Silver and Platinum, not only this but, Niobium is also extremely resistant to corrosion.

Niobium, Tungsten and titanium can be heated or anodized to produce brilliant colours.
Anodizing : an electrochemical process that results in a protective or decorative coating on metal.
Anodizing niobium colours include navy blue, light Blue, Yellow, Rose, Bronze, Pink, Magenta, Midnight Blue, and various greens. These colours is so vivid that many people think it’s enamel.

Stainless steel is an alloy. It is composition varies with it’s purpose, but to be called stainless steel it must be at least 10.5% chromium. The presence of chromium creates an invincible surface fil that resist oxidation. Most Stainless steel alloys are strong and ductile, and all are corrosion resistant.
Stainless Steel alloy used to make jewelry is composed of iron, chromium and Nickel. It’s more Scratch resistant than ant of the three precious metals, but exceed only silver in it’s resistance to denting. Stainless steel takes a high polish.

This Post was first published on https://ralphjacobs.co.za/4-metal-facts/


Ralph Jacobshttps://ralphjacobs.co.za
Ralph Jacobs Design, Custom Design Jewellery and Manufacturing for more information please visit our website https://ralphjacobs.co.za
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