The Metals of Fine Jewelry
Although many different metals are commonly used in manufacturing fine jewelry today, the precious metal family includes platinum, gold, and palladium. These precious metals are best known for their inherent value and durability.
Platinum is a naturally white, hypoallergenic metal that reigns supreme because it maintains its density for generations.
Gold is a soft, naturally yellow metal that is hardened when it is mixed with alloys. Gold can be tinted and treated to appear different colors such as black, pink, red, and—most commonly—white. As time passes, it is important to rhodium plate white gold to help it maintain its white finish.
Palladium has similar characteristics to platinum, in that it is also naturally white and is hypoallergenic. The primary difference between palladium and platinum is that palladium is far less dense. For that reason, it is generally not recommended as a setting for diamonds. In the jewelry industry, palladium is most commonly used for creating men’s wedding bands.