This is the second part of a multipart series on buying wedding jewelry. If you missed the first part you can catch up here: A Modern Guide to Buying Wedding Bands & Engagement Rings: Part 1 The Color of Gold
Precious Metals Part Two
Below are less commonly used precious metal that are great alternatives to gold. Each metal has properties that make it good choice for specific uses. I hope the information is helpful in helping you choose the best one that is right for yours.
2.5 Hardness level Mohs Scale
Most people don’t consider silver as an option when choosing wedding jewelry. There are a number of reasons for this, mostly myths about it’s properties and limitations. One myth is that silver is softer than gold. Another misconception is that it is not a precious metal, while it is cheaper than both platinum and gold, it is still a precious metal. Fine silver is a pure metal, silver without any copper added. At 2.5 on the Mohs scale, it is too soft for most jewelry. However it has the same hardness as pure (24k) gold.
Fine Silver is an excellent choice for ceremonial Jewish wedding bands, a continuous band of pure fine silver without end. And fine silver ceremonial wedding rings are much more affordable than 24k pure gold ceremonial wedding bands.
There are three different types or silver, fine silver, argentium, and sterling silver.
3 Hardness level Mohs Scale
Sterling silver, silver blended with copper brings the hardness up to a 3 on the mohs scale. And is the same strength as gold alloys. Yes, it’s just as durable as gold jewelry. Blackened sterling silver is an Earth friendly alternative to black gold. This too will wear off, but blackening silver again is a process you can do safely, cheaply and quickly at home. You can find out how right here on my blog: How to Care For Oxidized Metal Jewelry Or Update Your Old Sterling Jewelry You can also update your old sterling silver jewelry by oxidizing it, giving it a new life with a look.
Fine silver and sterling silver will tarnish over time. Wearing your ring will help keep it from tarnishing too quickly. Silver doesn't tarnish if it's constantly polished. When you wear it regularly, as it rubs against your skin it is polished. Another option is putting it in an airtight ziplock bag when not in use, this also will keep it from getting scratched by harder other jewelry when stored in a jewelry box. When it does tarnish, you can safely polish it without using any toxic chemicals: Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry Without Harsh Chemicals
3 to 4 Hardness level Mohs Scale
Argentium sterling is alloyed with a small amount of germanium, this produces a brighter whiter metal that looks closer to fine silver than traditional sterling and is whiter than white gold, making it an excellent choice for setting colorless stones, such as diamonds, and will help them look their best. With 93.5% pure silver, Argentium meets the legal standard for sterling silver. All Argentium is made from reclaimed silver and the sources are guaranteed by Argentium International Ltd. It can be age-hardened to make it more durable. It is also able to take a brighter, more long-lasting shine than other precious metals. It is a brighter-white than sterling silver, resists tarnish, everyday scratches and dents, and has a brilliant brighter shine.
Argentium sterling silver is an excellent alternative for those who would rather not spend as much or those who can't afford gold rings. Silver will give you a classic wedding ring style without the expensive price tag. And if you are looking to purchase a white gold ring consider Argentium instead. It’s tarnish resistant, a brighter white, and planet friendly because it is reclaimed metal and will not require plated like most white gold.
4 to 4.5 Hardness level Mohs Scale
Platinum is naturally white metal and is harder than both gold and silver. It’s white color and resistance to tarnish and corrosion make it a great choice for setting colorless stones. Unlike white gold there is not plating required, but the rhodium plating process on white gold actually makes look whiter than platinum. Pure platinum is 95 percent pure it is a good choice for people with sensitive skin. However, most platinum jewelry sold in the U.S. is 85% platinum and 15% other metals, either precious platinum group metals and/or base metals. Platinum is about 30 times rarer than gold, and the areas on Earth where it can be minded are extremely limited. Platinum is heavier than gold, approximately eleven percent denser. This can makes it feel heavy to wear. When you try on a platinum ring, feel much more heavy than a gold ring. Make sure the weight is something that you are comfortable with before you buy it.
Platinum usually cost more than gold, depending on the market. It also has a different color and luster to the metal than other white metals, so if you want to make sure the metal matches, you would have to choose both wedding band and engagement ring in platinum. Since platinum is harder than gold and silver it also has a higher melting point. This makes it more difficult for jewelry’s to do repairs. If prongs need to be replaced or fixed the stones in your ring will have to be removed and it will make the repair take longer and cost more.
The appearance of small scratches and abrasions on Platinum will be very difficult to avoid on any ring that is worn daily. The marks will begin to appear from the first day you wear it, becoming more noticeable at first against shiny finish on your new ring, producing a natural patina over time that covers the surface. This process happens with most precious metals and they can be polished again to regain their original luster.
4.75 Hardness level Mohs Scale
Palladium is strong and durable. It is low density, which means it weighs less than platinum, permitting bigger and heavier designs to be created and worn with more comfort than platinum. palladium jewelry is usually 95% pure. 950 Palladium is alloyed for use in jewelry, 5% Ruthenium in the USA. It is 12% harder than platinum and more affordable too. Both palladium and platinum do not react with the oxygen in air under normal temperatures, this makes it highly resistant to tarnishing.
Argen Jewelry: http://www.argenjewelry.com/
Argentium International Ltd.: http://www.argentiumsilver.com/