Platinum is one of the earth’s rarest elements—it is truly precious. Because of platinum’s characteristics, only the most skilled artisans can handmake platinum jewelry, and it takes weeks of work to finish just one gorgeous ring.Platinum is hypoallergenic, and is an excellent white metal for those who have an allergy to nickel or a reaction to copper. It is also fairly heavy. The durability and rarity of platinum make it the most expensive metal choice for a ring, but many will find it worth paying for.
Silver- There are several different types of silver used in jewelry making. We use .925 silver, which is 92.5% pure silver alloyed with other metals, mostly copper. The other metals provide strength and durability to the sterling piece. We feel that .925 silver is the best known and most durable metal for our silver pieces. When exposed to atmospheric pollution, sterling silver tarnishes. If you live in a particularly polluted area with a lot of industry or the burning of fossil fuels, your silver will tarnish faster. In addition, the copper in sterling silver reacts with oxygen to cause tarnish. Your skin oils and your food intake can cause tarnishing, too. Most people will find that their sterling pieces are less likely to tarnish when worn every day because the friction of the jewelry against your skin essentially polishes it.Sometimes people’s fingers turn green when they wear silver jewelry. Contrary to myth, this happens with .925 sterling silver as well as “fake” silver. The copper in sterling silver can cause a reaction depending on your particular skin make-up, the foods you eat, and air quality where you live. This happens with 2-3% of the population, and the instances of it happening are rising due to the chemical composition of the foods available to us. If your finger turns green while wearing a sterling silver ring, there are several things you can do to keep it from happening again.
First, polish your piece with a soft cloth. If you clean the piece daily, the reaction may stop happening after a week or so.
Soak your ring in a 50/50 mixture of ammonia and water for a day or two.
Make sure your skin is dry when wearing your jewelry. Take your ring off before you wash your hands and dry your finger thoroughly before putting it back on.
If your finger still turns green, there are a few jeweler’s tricks we can employ to help keep it from happening. Please contact us.
We have been asked why we don’t use PMC (precious metal clay). PMC is a clay that, when fired, becomes 99.9% silver, and is referred to as Fine Silver. This silver is far too soft to be used for rings, in our opinion. We strive for accurate representation of the fingerprint, and PMC shrinks quite a bit when the impurities in the clay are fired out of the piece. As well, we can keep a set of fingerprint molds if our customers ask us to, and make more jewelry from the same molds if a piece of jewelry is lost or there is a new member in the family. This is not possible with PMC.
White gold-White gold is made by alloying yellow gold with white-colored metals. Nickel is generally used as an alloy because it adds a great deal of strength and tempers the strong yellow color of gold. At brent&jess, we make rings using 10k, 14k, and 18k white gold. The rings we make retain their natural slightly yellow gray color because we don’t rhodium plate our rings unless the customer requests it. This color is deeper in the rings that have more yellow gold in them, so the whitest color is in 10k white, then 14k white, and then 18k white, which is quite yellow. However, none of the shades of yellow are very apparent unless the ring is placed next to another ring in a brighter white metal.
Palladium is not white gold but it is a precious white metal in the same family as platinum. A beautiful, white, and durable choice for a wedding ring.