Metals
Metals

 

        We use only the highest quality metals in our fine jewelry collection. But, the choice between the various metals can seem confusing. Each metal has its advantages and disadvantages. Read this section to determine which metal is best for you. You will have to consider the characteristics of each metal, the price, and the care required to maintain the metal at its optimum beauty.

 

Platinum

 

        At Nicolle’s, all platinum jewelry is made of fine quality grade platinum. Platinum is regarded as the preeminent metal for fine jewelry. It is 35 times more rare than gold, naturally white, 90-95% pure, and most importantly, eternal. The white luster of platinum is unique. It is also the strongest precious metal used in jewelry, and is almost twice as heavy as 14k gold.

 

Platinum Qualities

Platinum is Rare

 

Platinum is 35 times more rare than gold. Each year, 88 tons of platinum is crafted into jewelry, compared to 2,700 tons of gold. It requires 8 weeks and 10 tons of ore to produce a single ounce of platinum. There is just one platinum mine for every 10 gold mines, which makes platinum one of the most uncommon precious metals on earth.

Platinum is Pure

 

Platinum jewelry is at least 90-95% pure. By comparison, 18 karat gold is 75% pure and 14 karat is 58% pure gold. Platinum is also a naturally white metal that requires no additives or rhodium plating. Platinum’s brilliant white luster makes it an ideal choice for fine jewelry because its white luster brings out the true beauty of diamonds. Also, platinum’s purity level makes it hypoallergenic and ideal for those with sensitive skin.

Platinum is Eternal

 

Platinum jewelry is a perfect choice for everyday wear. Its incredible density and weight make it more durable than other metals and provides assurance in value. Platinum holds precious stones firmly and securely. While it is the strongest of jewelry metals, it can scratch. But, platinum does not wear away and decrease its volume, unlike other metals. Over time, platinum develops a natural patina that many people prefer over the high polished appearance. This look is unique to platinum and can be simply re-polished for those who prefer the high polish.

Platinum Care

Proper care for your platinum jewelry is important to maintain its lifelong beauty and value. Platinum is strong and durable, but is subject to damage. It is wise to remove your jewelry during rugged activities. To keep your platinum jewelry clean, soak it in a mild solution of soap and water and gently scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Always store your jewelry separately in a fabric-lined case or in a box with dividers or separate compartments to avoid scratches or other damage. Be sure to check any diamond settings periodically for possible damage. If you see a loose prong, or if the setting looks out of line, immediately bring it to a professional for inspection.

 

 

Gold

 

        Gold is a very durable and timeless metal that will not rust, corrode, or tarnish. Jewelers throughout the ages have preferred gold to all other metals for its beauty and ease of workmanship. Gold can be melted and shaped to create any design. It can be alloyed with a number of other metals to increase its strength and produce a variety of colors. Most common colors, in addition to yellow, are rose and white. Because 24k gold is considered too soft for jewelry manufacturing, all our jewelry is manufactured in 14k and 18k, both white and yellow gold.

      Gold Characteristics and TermsGold content is measured in karats, which should not be confused with the term carat, used to measure diamond weight. The higher the karat, the greater its gold content and price. The K number specifies how many parts, by weight, of pure gold is contained in 24 parts of the alloy. Therefore, the content of pure gold in the various karats are as follows:  

 

    10k = 10/24 = 41.7%  pure gold,

    14k = 14/24 = 58.3% pure gold,

    18k = 18/24 = 75.0% pure gold,

    24k = 24/24 = 100% pure gold.

      The decision between 14k and 18k is a matter of personal taste and preference. 14k has the advantages of added strength, but lacks higher gold content and beauty of the rich yellow color found in 18k.

     What is White Gold?  White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as nickel, silver, and palladium. White gold can be 14k, 18k, or any karat. Because 14k white gold is 58.3% gold, and 18k white gold is 75% gold, white gold will naturally have a light yellowish tint. To give white gold its brilliant white luster, in the final process of manufacturing white gold is rhodium plated. Rhodium is a shiny, white metal, which is extremely hard and durable. However, over time the rhodium plating may wear away, revealing the slightly yellowish tint of the underlying metal. To keep white gold looking its best, it may require rhodium re-plating every 12 to 18 months, depending on wear.

      Proper care for your gold jewelry is important to maintain its lifelong beauty and value. It is wise to remove your jewelry during rugged activities. To keep your gold jewelry clean, soak it in a mild solution of soap and water and gently scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Always store your jewelry separately in a fabric-lined case or in a box with dividers or separate compartments to avoid scratches or other damage. Be sure to check any diamond settings periodically for possible damage. If you see a loose prong, or if the setting looks out of line, immediately bring it to a professional for inspection.

 

Silver

 

        Pure silver displays a brilliant surface that mellows with time to a warm rich patina. Alloyed with 7.5 percent copper, sterling silver retains its malleability while gaining enough strength to be used in jewelry. All Nicolle’s silver is sterling.

       To reduce tarnishing, store your jewelry in tarnish-proof cloth or a box with tarnish-resistant strips. Silver may be cleaned with soap and water, or with cleaners made specifically for silver. Avoid contact with strong cleaners such as ammonia and chlorine.