Gold, Silver and Platinum: Learn All about our Precious Metals
Elements that are scarce and chemically inert are known as precious metals. They have a high economic value since they are scarce in nature. Jewellerry, industrial processes, and investment vehicles all frequently use precious metals.
The four main precious metals are palladium, platinum, silver, and gold. The qualities of the finished product can be enhanced by combining common alloying elements with the primary precious metals, depending on the application. Non-precious metal jewellery and accessories can also include other interesting components.
Here at Cooksongold we use the the highest quality alloys for our castings including Silver, Platinum and 9 or 18ct Red, Yellow and White Gold. These three metals have remained very popular overtime and have a timeless fashion where they are used heavily in modern fashion
Did you know that all our gold casting alloys (excluding Fairtrade) contain 100% recycled gold, as certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council Chain of Custody. In addition, our Sterling Silver is also certified 100% recycled.
Gold has long been prized for its beauty, but it also has physical qualities that have fascinated people. Many jewellery designers and producers prefer gold to other metals because it never tarnishes and has excellent workability. In actuality, a thread made of one ounce of gold might extend more than 50 kilometres in length. That amount can also be rolled up into a sheet that is 100 square feet in size. Gold is a treasured metal for both designers and consumers because, with appropriate care, it may last forever. It doesn’t oxidise or corrode, and the only things that can harm it are a few uncommon acids or hot chlorine bleach.
According to recent research, gold is thought to have its origins billions of years ago in the remote reaches of the universe. In the early days of Earth, it arrived as dust. Gold has undergone numerous changes, and the jewelry-grade metal may do so in the future. By melting down old gold items and reconstructing the gold into new pieces, gold can be recycled. For instance, broken jewellery and old coins can be melted down and utilised to create brand-new gold jewellery.
Gold has many attractive qualities, but it does have one big flaw: softness. This implies that it degrades quickly. (This characteristic is different from hardness measures used in gemology and mineralogy as a measure of scratch resistance.) But when gold is combined with other metals, stronger, more resilient gold alloys are produced that are better suited for jewellery application. Although some jewellery designers do utilise pure gold, most individuals don’t wear pure gold jewellery frequently because it easily dents and shows wear.
Silver, copper, nickel, iron, zinc, tin, manganese, cadmium, and titanium are metals that are frequently alloyed with gold for jewelry-making. Alloying not only improves the strength of gold, but also some of its other characteristics. For instance, certain gold alloys might discolour clothing or trigger allergic reactions. These reactions are not brought on by the gold itself. Instead, it is the alloyed metals.
People have valued silver more than gold at various points in history. Silver has a long history of use as an exchange medium and in jewellery, in addition to numerous more novel applications. These now include, to mention a few, photography, batteries, auto glass defoggers, and magnetic strips.
Silver is one of the most often used jewellery metals due to a number of features. Its most striking visual characteristic is its shine. Additionally, compared to gold or platinum, silver is more affordable and more plentiful. However, silver is more challenging to deal with than gold due to how effectively metal transmits heat. Because of this, beginning jewellery makers frequently learn how to solder silver. Controlling the heat on gold becomes simpler as they master their soldering technique on this highly conductive metal.
Pure silver is delicate and susceptible to damage, just like gold. In order to increase the durability of silver, jewellery producers frequently alloy it with harder metals. With silver alloys, they can create stunning, durable pieces that are ideal for everyday wear.
Silver Jewellery Use
Jewellery makers inscribe a code for the alloy used on pieces of silver. For instance, the numbers 925 and 958 denote sterling silver and Britannia silver, respectively. When purchasing silver jewellery, pay close attention to the piece to look for this code.
Other silver jewellery metals are deserving of notice, even though jewellers prefer sterling silver to any other alloy for silver jewellery.
Platinum possesses unmatched holding strength and durability while being more expensive and rare than gold. No tarnish occurs. With regard to engagement and wedding rings in particular, these characteristics make it one of the most sought-after, premium jewellery metals.
Catalytic converters are just one example of the numerous industrial uses for platinum. In actuality, this is the utilisation of half of the platinum mined in the United States and a quarter of the platinum mined globally. Platinum is another weighting material used by the US Bureau of Standards. These weights are constant over time because this metal doesn’t oxidise.
In reality, “platinum” refers to a collection of metals. This group also consists of iridium, osmium, palladium, rhodium, and ruthenium. All of these metals, with the exception of osmium, have jewellery uses, with platinum being the most common.
Platinum Jewellery Use
Although platinum has been used in numerous artefacts since 700 BCE, its application in jewellery is more recent. Its extraordinarily high melting point and strong corrosion resistance made the metal difficult to refine for many years. Platinum was first used as an inlay in ancient Egypt, according to records. (The Egyptians, however, believed that this metal was a type of electrum.) For ages, Native Americans employed platinum in little decorative items. Europeans were unaware of platinum until the Spanish discovered it in the New World. It was known as platina, which is Spanish for “small silver.” They considered this to be “unripe gold” and therefore useless in accordance with the notions of the period regarding the creation of metals.
Researchers first recognised platinum as a novel metal in the 18th century. A Swedish chemist named Henrik Scheffer found how to melt platinum using arsenic. As soon as refining was possible, platinum was employed by artisans to embellish porcelain and by scientists to create laboratory equipment. However, using arsenic to refine platinum turned out to be very risky. As a result, platinum didn’t become particularly well-known until the development of the oxyhydrogen torch in the mid-1800s.
In the 19th century, new platinum ore discoveries attracted the attention of jewellers, who began using the metal. It turned into a status and wealth marker for early 20th-century celebrities. Greta Garbo and other movie stars commonly wore platinum jewellery and accessories. The platinum setting of the 530-carat “Star of Africa” diamond on the British royal sceptre.