Jewelry Buying Guide: All about the Different Types of Jewelry Metals

The jewelry you wear can say a lot about you. Not only does it make a style statement, but it also tells other people about your personality and taste.

To pick the perfect pieces that represent you, you need to learn about the different types of jewelry metals. Keep reading to learn all about gold, sterling silver, and platinum jewelry in this jewelry buying guide.

  1. Gold Jewelry

Gold — the most beloved jewelry metal — is known for its beauty and durability. It doesn’t oxidize, tarnish, or corrode, which is why jewelry makers and consumers love it so much.

When properly cared for, gold can last for multiple lifetimes. It can also be melted down and reused in new gold pieces, which is why gold jewelry gets passed down for generations.

The biggest problem with gold is that it’s a soft metal and can wear out easily when it’s worn every day. To strengthen gold, jewelry makers mix it with other more durable metals like copper, nickel, silver, tin, iron, zinc, manganese, titanium, and cadmium.

If you’re shopping for gold jewelry, make sure you ask if the pieces you’re looking at are pure gold or gold alloy, which is a mixed gold. If you want a piece that you will wear every day and keep indefinitely, gold alloys are the way to go.

Gold alloys are still extremely valuable and beautiful. However, some of the alloyed metals can cause allergic reactions or stain your skin. Take the time to ask questions at the jeweler so you can decide which type of gold is right for you.

Gold can come in multiple looks, from yellow gold, white gold, and the most popular option right now: rose gold. You can also have pieces made from other metals coated in a thin layer of gold. This is a great option if money is tight but you still want the look and feel of gold jewelry.

  1. Sterling Silver Jewelry

Silver is another highly-prized metal type for its amazing luster. It’s also less expensive and more abundant than gold and platinum, which contributes to its popularity.

However, like pure gold, pure silver is too soft for everyday wear. To make silver more durable and long-lasting, jewelry makers alloy it with other types of jewelry metal that are harder.

The most common silver alloy is sterling silver, which is made of 92.5% silver and another metal type makes up the other 7.5%. The most common alloyed metal type is copper, which adds a hardness to silver that makes it last longer.

Silver jewelry is always stamped with a code to indicate its type. Sterling silver is stamped with 925, so when you’re shopping for sterling silver jewelry pieces, you can look for this stamp.

The biggest downside to silver is that it can tarnish, especially when it’s left out and exposed to air for long periods of time. To prevent tarnishing, store your silver jewelry in protective pouches.

If your pieces do tarnish, you can polish them at home or have them polished professionally to get them looking like new again.

  1. Platinum Jewelry

Platinum metal wasn’t used for jewelry until the 19th century when jewelry makers finally realized its incredible value. Now, it’s the most expensive, rare, and highly-coveted metal type for jewelry.

Platinum is most commonly used for engagement rings. It doesn’t tarnish and is extremely durable, which makes it appealing for everyday wear.

Even though platinum is more durable than gold and silver, it’s often still alloyed with other metals to make it harder. The most commonly used metals in platinum alloys are iridium and ruthenium.

Platinum is naturally white and doesn’t lose its luster, so it doesn’t need to be re-plated like other metal types. It’s also the heaviest metal type, which is what makes it perfect for holding diamonds and other gems in rings.

Finally, platinum is a hypoallergenic metal, which is great for anyone who has a bad reaction to gold alloys. If you want jewelry that will last forever, maintain its value, never tarnish or lose its luster, platinum is worth the investment.

Which Metal is Best for Rings?   

All three of these metal types make beautiful and long-lasting rings, so which one you choose comes down to what you’re using your ring for and your personal preference.

Again, platinum is the most common metal type for engagement rings. It’s durable and easy to care for; however, it’s also the most expensive option.

If you want a more traditional looking ring, yellow gold is the best option. Gold is also more affordable and available everywhere. It may require a little more upkeep than platinum, but it’s easy to clean.

If you want a pure white ring, sterling silver is the way to go. It’s the most affordable option, and it can be plated in platinum or gold if you want a different look. Even though it requires more maintenance to prevent tarnishing, silver is still extremely long-lasting and durable.

You can find your dream jewelry and shop for sterling silver rings online at

Choosing Between the Types of Jewelry Metals

Hopefully, this jewelry buying guide makes you feel more confident when it comes to picking out your next jewelry pieces. Now that you know more about the types of jewelry metals, you can shop with confidence and pick jewelry that is perfect for you.

While gold, sterling silver, and platinum metal all have their perks and drawbacks, they are all beautiful and valuable. You can’t go wrong with whatever choice you make, so just be sure that you consider the look, price, and care instructions that work best for you.

No matter what you choose, your jewelry will dazzle. You will get plenty of wear from it and you can even pass it down to future generations.

For more style and jewelry tips, check out the rest of the blog.

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