Choosing The Right Metal For You
There are several factors you should consider when deciding on a metal for your jewelry.
Intrinsic Value: This is the basic worth of the metal. All metal prices fluctuate daily (sometimes several times a day) according to the laws of supply and demand. The more rare and precious a metal is, the more limited it is in availability. Rarity can drive demand, making a rare metal, like platinum or gold, more likely to maintain its intrinsic value over time.
Life Span: Not only a metal's ability to withstand daily wear and tear, the life span of a metal is judged in a practical manner. For instance, certain metals, like platinum and gold, are durable and changeable. Other metals, like tungsten, while highly durable metal, is not a precious metal.
Hypoallergenicity: Metals that are hypoallergenic minimize the possibility of an allergic reaction by minimizing potentially irritating substances. Metals, such as nickel or bronze, may be added to gold or silver to make them stronger. Purer metals, like platinum and titanium, tend to be hypoallergenic, posing little risk of potential irritation.
Strength: All metals will scratch and even occasionally dent. However, some metals, like titanium and tungsten, are scratch resistant.
Restoration Factor: Can the metal be re‐conditioned to make your jewelry look like new? Some metals can be easily restored; others, while durable and strong, may not take as well to a reconditioning process.
Rarity: The rarer the metal, the more expensive it will be. Therefore, items made of platinum and gold will generally be more expensive than other metals.
Heft: The weight of the item is important to many people. Some people appreciate the weighty feel of their jewelry, while others prefer to feel like they are wearing nothing at all. Platinum is the densest and heaviest metal available in jewelry, being 40% heavier than gold. Titanium and stainless steel are some of the lightest.