When it comes to selecting fine jewelry at Hannoush Jewelers, finding that perfect metal for any setting can make all the difference.
This guide can help you make the right choice for any type of fine jewelry — no matter the occasion.
There are various types of precious metals and non-precious metals used to make jewelry.
Below are some of the most popular types of metals and precious metals used for fine jewelry accessories.
Discover more about the different style information and hardness — creating unique characteristics for each.
Yellow Gold is a mixture of pure gold and either zinc or copper metals.
The higher the carat amount the purer the gold — 24-carats being the purest. This is a popular material for engagement rings and wedding bands due to its vintage style.
Style Information: · Provides a classic gold look · Pairs great with garnet and diamond gemstones · Can be softer or easier to break depending on the purity level · Purest color of all the golds
Mohs Hardness Scale: · Yellow 18-carat gold has a hardness level of 2.8 · Yellow 14-carat gold has a hardness level of 3.5 to 4
White Gold is a form of gold with a distinct pale-white or cream color.
It’s an alloy of gold with at least one white metal — either nickel, manganese, or palladium, which typically makes up approximately 10% of the alloy. These other metals help increase the durability of white gold jewelry.
Style Information: · Pairs well with colorless diamonds · Cheaper alternative to platinum · The ratio of gold to nickel is nine-to-one
Mohs Hardness Scale: · White 18-carat gold has a hardness level of 2.8 · White 14-carat gold has a hardness level of 3.5 to 4
Rose Gold has a rose-like tint from the gold, copper, and silver alloys that composes the alloy material.
Also known as “pink gold” and “red gold,” it was historically very popular in Russia and earned the nickname “Russian Gold.”
Rose gold does not tarnish, but like any gold jewelry, it will need to be cleaned and polished regularly.
Style Information: · Highest carat measurement of 22-carat is known as “crown gold” · Pairs great with colored stones · More affordable than other metals because copper alloy costs less · Popular for both men’s and women’s rings
Mohs Hardness Scale: · Rose 18-carat gold has a hardness level of 2.75 · Rose 14-carat gold has a hardness level of 3 to 4
Platinum is the most valuable of precious metals and is rarer than gold. This causes platinum jewelry to be more expensive but is a more durable metal when compared to other metals.
Due to the white color, platinum will not cast any tinting on the gemstones used in the piece. It can often be confused for white gold because the materials are nearly identical.
Style Information · Can be an alternative to silver, white gold, or palladium · One of the least reactive metals · Hypoallergenic · One of the more popular styles for men’s and women’s rings
H4: Mohs Hardness Scale · Platinum has a hardness level of 4 to 4.5
Palladium is a beautiful silvery-white metal that almost resembles platinum or white gold.
It has become more valuable in recent years and is used in a pure form of jewelry. It is mostly combined with gold to form white gold alloys.
Due to the near-white coloring, it will not cast any tinting on the gemstones used in the piece.
· Less expensive alternative to platinum, silver, or white gold jewelry · Does not tarnish under normal conditions · Gaining in popularity for engagement and wedding ring styles
Mohs Hardness Scale · Palladium has a hardness level of 4.75
Silver is one of the cornerstones of precious metals and has long been used in jewelry, currency, and investment bullion.
It is extremely malleable, meaning it can be bent out of shape without breaking or cracking, and pairs beautifully with most stones.
The most common silver alloy is sterling silver which consists of 92.5% silver. Other metals make up the other 7.5% to help increase the hardness.
Style Information · Silver has been used as early as 3,000 B.C. · Very affordable · Can tarnish easily but will never rust
Mohs Hardness Scale · Silver has a hardness level of 2.5 to 3
Cobalt is a silver-gray metal that is highly magnetic. It is primarily used as an alloy compound in men’s wedding bands that are wear-resistant.
Cobalt jewelry can retain its color forever and will not require routine maintenance when compared to other metals.
Style Information · Hypoallergenic and doesn't contain alloys that can harm the skin · The most commonly in wedding bands due to its scratch-resistance · High-luster that will not fade over time and won’t lose color
Mohs Hardness Scale · Cobalt has a hardness level of 5
Tungsten has the highest boiling point and strongest tensile strength, which means it is nearly impossible to scratch, but it will shatter under extreme force.
Its natural steel-gray color gives it a subdued look but can be plated with other colors to give it a more distinguished look.
· Hypoallergenic for those with an allergy to gold or other metals · Similar weight to gold and platinum, but is more affordable · It is the heaviest of all elements known to play a biological role
Mohs Hardness Scale · Tungsten has a hardness level of 7.5 · Tungsten carbide has a hardness level of 8.5 to 9
Titanium is an extremely versatile metal that is resistant to most types of corrosion.
The value of this metal comes from its strength-to-density ratio, which is the highest among any metallic elements.
Titanium is also three times stronger than steel, and unlike gold jewelry, it is resistant to scratches and corrosion. This makes it the perfect choice when it comes to wedding bands or other jewelry.
Style Information · A popular choice for men’s or women’s wedding bands · Very durable, making it difficult to bend or scratch · Can have engravings inside the ring
Mohs Hardness Scale · Titanium has a hardness level of 6