Platinum is a highly valued & expensive precious metal because of its rarity on earth. It is a very popular metal for engagement and wedding rings because of its color and strength. Platinum has a true silver-ish white color that never fades and enhances a white diamond’s sparkle & brilliance. Because of its density it is very strong and great for longevity & wear. Platinum is also one of the least reactive metals and is considered a noble metal; in this way it is a hypoallergenic. It requires little maintenance, it is corrosion resistant and doesn’t tarnish. In jewelry it is used as a 90-95% alloy.
Palladium is a rare lustrous silvery-white metal that resembles platinum. It is one of six metals in the platinum-group of metals. It is the least dense, lightest and has the lowest melting point of the family. It is also strong and does not tarnish. Palladium was discovered in 1803 and was first used in jewelry in the late 1930s. Since 2018 palladium has been increasing in cost due to relatively low supply and high demand. It used to be a good cost alternative to platinum, but now it is even more expensive making it the most expensive precious metal.
Gold has been loved for centuries, and it is prized today as highly as it was back then. Gold is the most popular for engagement rings, wedding bands and jewelry of all kinds. Of all precious metals, gold is the most malleable. This means that it can be worked for the longest amount of time without cracking. When flattened to 0.000005 inch (0.13 micrometers), gold becomes a thin foil, almost transparent to light. Gold is also the most elastic of all metals, meaning that 1 ounce (28.4 g) of pure gold can be drawn into a wire several miles (km) long. Gold is resistant to tarnish, corrosion & rust.
Pure gold is too soft so it is alloyed to give it strength & durability. Karatage is represented by a number followed by ‘k’ or ‘kt’ to indicate purity. 24k gold is the highest karat and is pure gold. It has a very rich, deep yellow-orange color, but 24k gold is also the softest gold. 18k gold is harder than 24k. Both 14k & 10k gold are duller in color than the higher karats, but they are most commonly used in commercial jewelry in the US due to their relative cost and strength. European countries do not allow the use of 14k or 12k gold in jewelry. Their measurement system is based on parts of gold per 1000. You can find out what karat the gold is by the ‘hallmark.’ It is a stamp mark on a piece of jewelry that indicates the karat and sometimes the maker.
Yellow gold is made by adding silver and copper (and a touch of zinc) to pure gold. Each formula for gold will vary depending on the percentages of the alloy. But the percentage of gold in each karat is universally the same. In 18k gold there is 75%, in 14k gold there is 58.3%, and in 10k gold there is 41.7%.
Each karat of gold is a different color. 18k is a richer, brighter yellow color than 14k because there is more yellow gold in it. An other difference to consider is that 18k is also going to be softer than 14k and less resistant to scratches and wear over time.
White gold is made by adding nickel or palladium, and silver together. Nickel is a very hard metal and because of that nickel-white gold is strong. Palladium- white gold does tend to be a little softer. Typically white gold is rhodium plated to give jewelry the cool shade of silvery white. The rhodium does wear off over time and needs to be re-plated. After a few years you will begin to see the warm white shade of the white gold shine through. You can have your jewelry re-polished or re-plated at Karenna Maraj Jewelry Collection. White gold is more affordable than platinum but it does need a little more maintenance.
Rose gold is made by adding copper to gold. The more copper the alloy has the rosier the alloy will be. 18k rose gold will have a more pink tone than 14k. Rose gold is a popular trend and gives the piece a warm and vintage look. It also does not require much maintenance.
Green gold is made with a silver alloy. It is a greenish-yellow color, and quite malleable & very easy to work with. Green gold was naturally occurring alloy founded around 860 BC. It was used for fired enamel because the enamel adhered better to this alloy of gold. It is not common in modern jewelry.
Sterling silver is the standard for excellence in silver jewelry. Is the made up of 92.5% pure silver and then usually mixed with copper for longevity and strength. Pure silver, or fine silver, is soft and malleable. Copper has been proven to work well with silver to create a harder alloy but also keep the wonderful color. The price of a silver item is mostly influenced by the labor it takes to make a piece and the skill of the laborer. The stamp for silver is .925, sterling, sterling silver or ster.
With care silver can last for a lifetime. We recommend taking off your silver jewelry when using cleaning solutions with bleach or ammonia or when swimming in a pool with chlorine because these chemicals can damage silver. Also store your silver out of light and moisture when not in use to prevent tarnish. Tarnish is most easily removed when it first becomes visible. Wearing your silver jewelry is the best way to prevent tarnish from building up, because the oils from your skin keep the silver polished. We sell cleaning solutions and polishing cloths at Karenna Maraj Jewelry Collection. Or we are happy to professionally polish your silver jewelry for you to keep it bright and sparkling.
Ceramic rings are made of a hi-tech aerospace material. This permanently polished jewelry is lightweight, colorfast, and heat resistant. Ceramic rings can’t be re-sized, but can be removed from the finger with a ring cracker. The rings we sell come in pink, white and black options. Ceramic can’t be combined directly with other metals, nor can it be set with diamonds or stones. During the manufacturing process a precious metal inlay can be added with a pressure technique.
Cobalt is made from a durable, bio-friendly material that is used in hip replacements. It is four times harder than platinum while at the same time, less dense. It is also more scratch resistant than titanium but not as resistant as tungsten. Cobalt jewelry is extremely scratch, chip and corrosion-resistant, and it is hypoallergenic. This is a good choice for people with sensitive skin or an active lifestyle. Diamonds can be set into cobalt and you can also combine other precious metals with cobalt for inlay or application. This durable metal stays white without re-plating, and it can be removed from the finger with an electric ring cutter.
Our stainless steel bands are made from surgical steel, the highest grade given. It is corrosion & tarnish free, and a scratch resistant metal. Stainless steel can be removed from a finger with an electric ring cutter. Diamonds can be added to this metal and other precious metals can be added with a soft flame and silver solder. We sell plain stainless steel bands along with gold overlay bands and even specialty Damascus Steel bands.
Titanium is a very durable metal, strong but light weight, and corrosion resistant. Our jewelry is made from 99.9% pure surgical implant quality titanium. Titanium is 60% denser than aluminum, more than twice as strong and it is a silvery color. The production process of titanium is energy intensive and expensive. Titanium rings can’t be resized. High technology machinery can pressure-inlay precious metals strips into titanium and weld a seamless closure of the precious band. You can also set diamonds in titanium. It does have a metal fatigue limit when worked too much. Scratches can be polished out with a regular jeweler’s polish and wheel. While titanium rings cannot be cut off, they can be safely removed in case of an emergency. The most common method of removal from a finger is by using a pair of vice grips. The vice grips apply enough pressure that the tungsten ring fractures safely.
Tungsten is very strong, hypoallergenic, scratch resistant and tarnish-free metal with a substantial weight. This metal always looks permanently polished. Tungsten rings are forged together at 2,552 degrees Fahrenheit to form rings that are virtually indestructible. It can be removed from a finger with a ring cracker. However, they can be affected by harsh chemicals, like chlorine and other cleaning products. Tungsten can’t be resized. It is a good ring for someone with an active lifestyle. We offer tungsten ring in polished & satin silvery grey, black PVD stain finish, and with carbon fiber inlay.
The term gold filled does not refer to an alloy. It means that a layer of gold has been adhered to a brass core with heat and pressure. Single-clad refers to gold only added to one side, while double-clad refers to gold added to both sides. Gold filled is 5% gold by weight. Most gold filled is either 12k or 14k. It is labeled as: 12/20 or 14/20 gold filled or GF, and 14k or 12k gold filled or GF. It is a long lasting product because the gold layer is quite thick, and it usually doesn’t tarnish. If one is allergic to gold then they will most likely be allergic to gold filled; but for those without a gold allergy, gold filled is a great reasonable priced option to solid gold.
Gold/Silver Plated or Gold/Silver Colored
Gold Plated jewelry is the best option for those who are jewelry obsessed but have a budget. It gives the impression of luxury while not breaking the bank every time you see a cute, trendy piece of jewelry. Gold or silver plating is a thin layer of gold/silver applied to a base, usually copper, brass or a mix of base white metals. The plating does not compose any measurable proportion of the product’s total weight, usually it is estimated to be 0.05% or less of the metal product. Plating wears off quickly with repeated wear, water, heat, perfume, hair spray, body oils & lotions and rubbing against skin. Once the gold/silver plating is removed you can see the metal underneath and it tends to look aged and dirty. New plating can be added depending on the piece of jewelry. To get a nice, new, even finish all of the old plating should be removed and it should be thoroughly cleaned. Visit Karenna Maraj Jewelry in Belmont’s Cushing Square to find out more about re-plating jewelry.