A popular and affordable source for jewelry, silver has been used by virtually every civilization. Relatively malleable, pure silver is softer than Gold or Platinum. Silver is usually alloyed with secondary metals such as copper for strength. Silver purities are expressed as parts per thousand. Another commonly seen silver purity is 'Britannia' or '958' silver, which is 95.8 pure silver.
Or 925 Sterling Silver is 92.5 percent pure and the standard for high-quality silver jewelry. For every 1,000 parts in sterling silver, 75 of them (7.5 percent) is an alloy.
Felicia Design is specialized in the use, manipulation and production of 925 Sterling Silver.
Gold is a precious metal with intrinsic value. Gold is mined from the crust of the earth and copper ores, and it's leading world producer is South Africa followed by USA, Australia, Canada, China, Russia, Peru and Indonesia. Gold prices are always based on purity and weight. Amazingly strong, gold is also the most malleable of all precious metals. Pure gold never tarnishes or corrodes and even through about 75 percent of the gold produced goes into jewelry, pure gold is too soft for most application. This characteristic has resulted in it being alloyed with other metals to improve its durability. The international measure of gold fineness or purity is 'karat', which is abbreviated 'K'. This should not be confused with 'carat', the unit of weight in gemstones.
The gold content of any object is expressed as a ratio of 24 parts. Pure gold is 24K, the gold purities typically seen in jewelry are:
- 22K: 91.6 percent pure gold (22 parts gold and 2 parts alloy)
- 18K: 75 percent pure gold (18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy)
- 14K: 58.5 percent pure gold (14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy)
- 10K: 41.7 percent pure gold (10 parts gold and 14 parts alloy)
- 9K: 37.5 percent pure gold (9 parts gold and 15 parts alloy)
Gold Colors are produced by varying the alloy metals. The three most popular colors are:
- Yellow Gold: Alloyed with silver and copper. Yellow is gold's most common color.
- White Gold: A popular alternative to yellow gold. White gold is created by bleaching pure yellow gold white. 9K, 10K and 14K white gold is bleached white using silver because of it's higher purity (75 percent). Palladium and Rhodium is also used to provide hard, shiny and unmatched finished which is the industry standard for nickel-free white gold alloys.
- Rose Gold: Also known as pink gold or Russian gold, this color is alloyed with copper. Typically a striking pinkish rose color, the higher the copper content, the stronger the red coloration. Rose gold is increasingly used in men's horology (very expensive watches).