Platinum is a pure, rare, and durable precious metal. Its white luster comprised of 90% or 95% purity makes it a perfect setting for diamonds, allowing the brilliance and fire to emanate. The metal does not tarnish or corrode and because of its purity is hypoallergenic for sensitive skin.
Platinum is mined in only a few places in the world. It is 30 times more rare than gold, taking approximately 10 tons of ore to yield one ounce of platinum. This rarity makes it a more exclusive choice than gold.
Platinum is a dense and durable metal making it a preferred choice for everyday wear. Although 18K white gold is used instead of platinum for some engagement rings, it is not as pure a white color as platinum because it does not naturally occur white in nature. Since it is mixed with different alloys to “bleach” out the color yellow, it cannot attain the same purity of color platinum possesses. So, 18K white gold is typically rhodium plated to make it a bright white.
Gold is a metal that does not rust, tarnish or corrode. It has been used in jewelry since ancient times and retains its popularity today.
The term karat is a measure of fineness—24 karat (24K) being pure gold. One karat equals 1/24. Thus, 14 karat goldis 14/24 (58.3%) with the balance 10/24 (41.7%) being the alloy; and 18 karat is 18/24 (75%) with the balance of 6/24 (25%) being the alloy. Alloys contribute color and hardness to the karat gold. Although formulas may vary with manufacturing, yellow gold may be mixed with silver and copper; white gold mixed with palladium, nickel, or zinc; rose gold mixed with copper and silver; and, green gold with silver, copper and zinc.
Care and Cleaning of Precious Metal Jewelry:
Gold may not oxidize, but the alloys may sometimes react to different chemicals like chlorine. It is advised that jewelry not be worn in pools, or when using harsh cleaning products. Using mild dish detergents to clean precious metal jewelry will prolong its life. Keeping the jewelry separate from each other also reduces surface scratching. Periodic professional polishing will also maintain the beauty of the jewelry
One of the world's rarest metals, palladium makes for a special wedding band that's high in quality and, relatively speaking, lower in price than other high-quality metals. With the increase in the price of gold and platinum, palladium is one of the best choices for those with a lower budget who don't want to sacrifice quality or beauty.
The metal is similar to platinum in that it's hypo-allergenic and keeps well over time. Like the love shared between a married couple, it's strong and never tarnishes over the years. It doesn't require plating or other metals for protection - it will naturally stay white without regular maintenance and care. While it's in the same group as platinum and looks very similar, it's much lighter than its sister metal which is good for pricing but might feel weird for some (and great for others).
The popularity of palladium in engagement rings has recently soared - in fact, many are questioning whether it is becoming the new platinum.
It was officially recognized as a precious metal in January 2010, and it's now a legal requirement that any palladium ring that weighs more than 1 gram is hallmarked. It's even been said that palladium is rarer than gold.