Jewelry Metals 101

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Whether you are looking to work with gold, silver, rose gold or base metals, this post will help you make the best decision for your next project. This is a quick beginners guide to help familiarize yourself with different kinds of metals and their pros and cons!

Sterling Silver is 92.5 parts silver and 7.5 parts other metal, usually copper. This metal is soft making it versatile and easy to work with. It can be antiqued or polished creating many different looks and styles. Sterling silver does require more care than other metals because it can tarnish. It is important to store your sterling silver jewelry in protective pouches or containers. Sterling silver jewelry can last for a long time if cared for properly.

Silver filled is a layer of .925 or better silver which is mechanically bonded to a brass core. This produces a surface of sterling silver that is hundreds of times thicker than silver plating. Silver filled items look very similar to sterling silver, and can be antiqued as well.

Silver plate is a thin layer of silver and is the most inexpensive. This type of silver is most commonly used in costume jewelry.

14kt gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals, making it 58.3% gold. It is alloyed with other metals for durability, cost and color. Gold is a very popular metal as it does not tarnish like sterling silver can.

Gold filled is a layer of 14kt or better gold mechanically bonded under heat and pressure to one or more surfaces of a supporting base metal. This is a more afforadable option to 14 kt gold.

Rose gold is created by increasing the copper colored alloys found in gold and decreasing the silver colored alloys, giving it a beautiful soft pink finish.

Gunmetal plate is often black nickel plated over brass. This produces a bluish-grey color and can be a nice, darker alternative to silver.

Copper is an element that has a bright reddish-orange color. It is used a lot for wire wrapping due to its softness and malleability.

Market Price 09/28/2022 EST: 

Sterling Silver: $18.68

Gold: $1634.30

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