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The Metal Masquerade: A Guide to the Different Types of Jewelry Metals

The Metal Masquerade: A Guide to the Different Types of Jewelry Metals

When it comes to jewelry, there are a lot of different metals to choose from. But with so many options, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. That's why we've put together this guide to the different types of jewelry metals, so you can make an informed decision.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is the most common type of silver used in jewelry. It's made up of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. This makes sterling silver strong and durable, while still maintaining its beautiful silver color.

Sterling silver is also relatively affordable, making it a popular choice for everyday jewelry. However, it's important to note that sterling silver can tarnish over time. This is because silver is a reactive metal that can react with sulfur in the air. To prevent tarnishing, you can polish your sterling silver jewelry regularly.

Fine Silver

Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver. It's a much purer form of silver than sterling silver, and it doesn't tarnish as easily. However, fine silver is also softer than sterling silver, so it's not as durable.

Fine silver is often used in jewelry that is not meant to be worn every day. It's also a popular choice for making silver coins and other objects.

Karats of Gold

Gold is another popular metal used in jewelry. The karat of gold refers to the purity of the gold. 24 karat gold is pure gold, but it's too soft to be used in jewelry. Most jewelry is made with 14 karat or 18 karat gold.

14 karat gold is 58.5% gold and 41.5% other metals, usually copper or silver. It's a good balance of durability and purity.

18 karat gold is 75% gold and 25% other metals. It's a more pure form of gold than 14 karat gold, but it's also softer.

To calculate the meaning of a specific karat, take the number of karats and divide by 24. That will tell you the percentage of actual gold in a piece of jewelry. 

Gold Plated and Gold Filled

Gold plated jewelry is made by electroplating a thin layer of gold onto a base metal, such as brass or copper. The thickness of the gold plating is usually measured in microns, and a typical gold plated piece will have a gold plating of 1-2 microns.

Gold plated jewelry is relatively affordable, but it's not as durable as gold filled jewelry. The gold plating can wear off over time, especially if the jewelry is worn frequently or exposed to harsh chemicals.

Gold filled jewelry is made by bonding a layer of solid gold to a base metal. The thickness of the gold layer in gold filled jewelry is typically 1/20th of the total thickness of the jewelry, which is about 100 times thicker than gold plating.

Gold filled jewelry is more durable than gold plated jewelry, and it's also more expensive. However, gold filled jewelry is still a good value for the price, and it's a good option for people who want the look of gold without the high price tag.

So, which metal is right for you?

It depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you're looking for a durable and affordable option, sterling silver is a good choice. If you're looking for a pure and beautiful metal, 14 karat and 18 karat gold is a good option. And if you're looking for a more affordable way to get the look of gold, gold filled jewelry is a great option.

No matter what type of metal you choose, make sure to take care of it properly to keep it looking its best for years to come.

Here are some tips for taking care of your jewelry:

  • Avoid wearing your jewelry in the hot tub or while swimming.
  • Remove your jewelry before applying lotions, perfumes, or other chemicals.
  • Polish your jewelry regularly with a soft cloth.
  • Store your jewelry in a jewelry box or other safe place when you're not wearing it.

With a little care, your jewelry will last for years to come.

Now, go forth and accessorize

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