Jewellery Metals Guide
There couldn't be fine jewellery without metals—and the variety of metals available allows jewellery to be affordable for just about anyone. The right metal for you depends on your budget, lifestyle, and the overall look you’re going for with a particular piece of jewellery. Peoples Jewellers offers jewellery made with various traditional metals, like gold, silver and platinum, and modern metals like tungsten, stainless steel and titanium. Explore our jewellery metals guide to learn more about your options.
The soft white hue of platinum makes it a popular choice for diamond engagement rings, but it also pairs well with a wide range of coloured gemstones. Platinum is classified as a precious metal, even rarer than gold, making it more expensive. Platinum can be easily engraved, and while it won’t tarnish, it can develop a beautiful patina over time, giving it a vintage look.
Few metals capture the heart like gold. A traditional choice for all types of jewellery, gold is the most easily worked of all metals because it is naturally very soft and malleable. To strengthen the metal enough to be used in jewellery, pure 24K gold is mixed with alloys such as nickel, copper, and sterling silver. While 24K gold is considered the most valuable, 14K and 18K are common for jewellery like engagement rings, wedding bands, necklaces, and bracelets. Available in yellow, white, and rose hues, gold is versatile and highly sought after for all jewellery styles.
Silver has been valued for centuries and, at one time, was considered even more valuable than gold. Today, it's the most affordable of all the precious metals. Widely used in all types of jewellery, from necklaces to bracelets to earrings and rings, sterling silver is popular because it goes with just about everything, and it never goes out of style. Although it can tarnish over time and isn’t the most durable metal available, sterling silver is easy to clean and care for. It’s also considered hypoallergenic because it rarely contains metal that can cause allergic reactions.
In addition to the big three – platinum, gold, and silver – there is a plethora of lightweight, modern‐looking and durable metals that have become popular for jewellery and wedding bands. Titanium is very strong and lightweight, making it ideal for everyday wear. Cobalt is harder than all other precious metals and very durable. Stainless steel is an affordable option that is both strong and tarnish-resistant. Tungsten is another highly durable option with hypoallergenic properties. Alternative metals are growing in popularity for men’s jewellery, in particular, because of the durability they provide.
Since jewellery rubs against your bare skin and, in the case of earrings, is inside your body, it’s important to notice if a particular metal is causing an allergic reaction. Copper and nickel are often used as alloys in gold jewellery, which can cause a rash or reaction for anyone with sensitive skin. While many metals have hypoallergenic properties, it’s hard to always guarantee alloys are nickel- and copper-free. To avoid allergic reactions, lean towards jewellery made out of 14K gold or higher, platinum or titanium.