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Precious Metals Used to Craft Jewelry

Sterling silver, gold, platinum and more precious metals

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When it comes to precious metals, it seems like most of us have a color preference -- either yellow or white. That sounds like a narrow choice, but it isn't really, because there are multiple jewelry metals to choose from, especially in the white category.

Is Gold Your Favorite Metal?

Gold Bracelet from Pompeii
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Gold jewelry never goes out of style. Gold can be worked into nearly any shape, from tiny strands that do not break easily to very thin sheets -- one ounce of gold can even be hammered into an ultra thin sheet that's ten feet square. Gold can be manipulated nearly any way a jewelry artisan desires, but the purity of gold in our jewelry differs, and it's important to understand the variations before you buy.

Changing the Color of Gold

Irish Claddagh Ring with Rose Gold Heart
Heavenly Treasures
Have you ever been confused by the terms white gold, green gold, and rose gold? All real gold is yellow, isn't it, so how do other colors fit in -- are they imitations? The short answer is no, they are alloys, new metals that are created by combining two or more different metals. We'll explain how those new colors are created.

Photo: Irish Claddagh Ring with Rose Gold: Buy Direct

Facts About Platinum

diamond skull
Photo by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd / Getty Images
Platinum's natural white luster provides a rich backdrop for diamonds, but it's a metal that's just as elegant when used all by itself to create a piece of jewelry, either as a simple polished item or in a design with engraved motifs -- and even if you'd like to create a diamond encrusted skull like the one shown ere.

There are many reasons to choose platinum for your fine jewelry.

Sterling Silver Buying Advice and Care

Video: How to Polish Silver
Jonathon Stewart
Silver has been used to make jewelry since ancient times, but the exploration of continents in the western hemisphere uncovered more productive silver mines than Europeans had ever seen. More silver has been mined and used since the late 1700's than in all prior centuries combined. Sterling silver is a popular form of the metal that's both beautiful and affordable. Learn a few sterling silver basics before you buy jewelry.

Best Metals for New Body Piercings

Best Body Jewelry Metals for Unhealed Piercings
Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images
Not all metals are a good choice for new body piercings, and some can create problems during the healing process. Let's talk about the good and the bad.

Why Did My Skin Turn Green?

Has gold or other jewelry ever left greenish or black marks on your skin? It's happened to most of us, and even though some people are allergic to certain materials, most staining isn't caused by an allergy -- it's a reaction between our skin and the metals used in jewelry. We'll explain which metals are the most likely culprits.
Related Video
How to Polish Silver Jewelry

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