What is a precious metal?
The precious metals, as well as those most commonly used within jewellery pieces, are gold, silver, platinum, palladium and titanium, some of which we use to create our pieces at Boo Jewellery. Each of the precious metals are rare, and hold desirable qualities, as well as displaying their own unique, valuable properties that make for beautiful jewellery. Here at Boo Jewellery, we believe that one of the most important things to consider when purchasing jewellery is the piece’s sustainability, and that it displays everlasting beauty, which is why we carefully select each of the precious metals used within our pieces.
All of the precious metals have a high surface lustre, and will not rust or corrode if taken care of properly, making them extremely durable. The metal choice also plays an important role in the appearance and cost of a piece of jewellery, especially when it comes to diamond engagement rings. This is because you have to take the ring's setting, style and stone into consideration, as well as your own personal lifestyle factors, which will be touched upon during the article. As well as beauty and sustainability, these precious metals have always had a high economic value, and have even been used as a form of currency in the past, proving their worth.
From gold to platinum, silver to titanium finishes, there is a precious metal that is right for everyone and their budget! We hope that this guide to the precious metals will help you to gain a better understanding of what your precious metal preference may be, as well as what their finishes are, and how they form our beautiful, textured jewellery at Boo. We understand that your metal choice is an important decision, especially if you are going to be wearing a piece of jewellery everyday. So if you feel that you would benefit from some more personalised guidance, then please feel free to get in touch with us. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have!
What is metal carat?
A common term that you may hear when it comes to precious metals is ‘metal carat’. The metal carat refers to the quantity of pure gold contained in a metal, and this purity level is stamped on the piece of jewellery, which is called a hallmark. The most cost effective metal carat is 9ct, which is hallmarked 375, meaning that it is 37.5% pure gold, the rest consisting of other metals. Next is 14ct, which contains 585 (5.85%) pure gold. The highest content of pure gold that you will find at high street jewellers is 18ct. 18ct gold provides a rich yellow or rose hue due to its high content. Therefore, it is durable and considered ideal for engagement rings and wedding bands which are worn daily. The purest form of gold available is 22ct, which contains 916 (91.6%) parts.
The choice of metal carat is typically based on budget, lifestyle, jewellery type, and what precious metals are available at the time. To learn more about metal carat, as well as which would be best for what you are looking for, then get in touch with Boo Jewellery today. We understand that all of the considerations when purchasing an engagement ring can be overwhelming, and it is our priority to ensure that you are confident whilst purchasing such an important piece of jewellery. Please, do not hesitate to contact us with any of your queries! Alternatively, we invite you to visit us in our Olney store.
What are the precious metals?
As a precious metal, gold is unique for its durability, non-corrosive nature, and lasting beauty, which is why we love to incorporate it into our jewellery. Whether you are more drawn to yellow gold, white gold or rose gold, this precious metal brings unmatched beauty, and a timeless and classic look to any piece of jewellery. Take a look at our solid, organic gold necklace that is part of our Dotty Collection here.
The most popular shade of precious metal is yellow gold. It has an incredible ability to stay tarnish free, to not lose its colour over time, and to continually be a cost effective choice, which is very desirable for engagement and wedding ring buyers.
It is understandable, though, that in gold pieces such as wedding rings and engagement rings that are worn every day, that this metal can become susceptible to small scratches. However, this isn’t something to worry about, as in the unlikely case that your gold piece does become damaged, it can be easily cleaned, polished and repaired.
Once considered to be more valuable than gold, silver is one of the longest standing precious metals used within jewellery design, which is one of the reasons many of our pieces at BOO Jewellery are made from silver. For example, our Dotty sterling silver ring. Of all of the precious metals that are available, silver is one of the most cost effective options, whilst still maintaining beauty, versatility, lustre and rarity. It is clear that silver’s value extends well beyond its price!
Silver is great for those with active lifestyles. This is because silver jewellery typically contains 92.5% pure silver, mixed with other metals, such as copper, to prevent scratching. Therefore, many people with on-the-go jobs view silver as the most durable and practical option, as there is less concern about their ring getting damaged.
Keeping silver looking its best all of the time, though, does require some maintenance. This is because silver can react with the air in a process called oxidation, which can cause it to become dull looking. However, this is not a major advantage against silver, as oxidation only impacts the top layer of the metal, and doesn’t extend beyond this. Therefore, the discolouration that results from this can be easily removed at home with a cleaning cloth, or by being cleaned or polished by a specialist, a service that is recommended for silver jewellery every 6-12 months. Although we unfortunately do not offer these services, if you get in touch with us, then we will be happy to point you in the right direction!
Recently, platinum has risen as a popular choice of metal in men’s wedding bands, diamond engagement rings, and other pieces of fine jewellery. It is a hard-wearing metal, meaning that it is extremely durable, even when subjected to daily wear and tear, so is good for those with active lifestyles. Platinum is equally as beautiful as it is strong, and makes for beautiful pieces.
Although similar in appearance, unlike silver, platinum is unreactive, so will not tarnish or become dull looking. However, these desirable characteristics are reflected within the price of platinum jewellery pieces, and its excellent quality as a precious metal does mean that it can be considerably more expensive than gold or silver.
Gold plated jewellery offers a cheaper alternative to gold jewellery, whilst still maintaining the classic style, beauty and finish of a gold piece, and is ideal for jewellery that you don’t plan to wear on a daily basis. Although gold plating is real gold, it doesn’t hold the same value, because of how little is used, which is why it is a more cost effective option.
Gold plating is the process of bonding a thin layer of gold onto a base metal. The base metals typically used are copper, brass, titanium and sometimes even sterling silver. Once a piece is expertly plated, it is almost impossible to tell gold jewellery from gold plated jewellery.
As with all of the precious metals, there are a few considerations to take into account when opting for gold plated jewellery. As only a thin layer of gold is applied to the base metal in gold plating, tarnishing, fading, and therefore the need for re-plating are all things that you will eventually encounter. Gold and rhodium plating are the two most popular types of re-plating, will help to restore your piece to its former shine!
Here at BOO Jewellery, we have a variety of gold plated jewellery pieces. Some of our favourites are our gold plated gazelle earrings and pendant, the softy gold plated textured sterling silver stud earrings and the softy collection gold large angular textured statement necklace, amongst many others in our Softy and Gazelle collections.
One of the main benefits of titanium jewellery is its unmatched durability and strength. These two particular qualities really make it stand out from the crowd, as titanium is known for being up to three times stronger than steel, and can withstand the knocks, bangs, and wear that all jewellery experiences. More so than gold jewellery, titanium is also resistant to scratches and corrosion, which is why it is becoming an increasingly popular choice for engagement rings amongst women who have an outdoor occupation or have to take care of children. The same goes for men’s wedding bands (link), as those with active lifestyles such as fitness instructors, construction workers, and outdoor labourers opt for titanium as their precious metal choice.
As titanium is hypoallergenic and kind to the skin, it is great for those who are sensitive towards the other precious metals such as gold and silver, as they will still be able to have a truly beautiful piece of jewellery without the worry of an allergic reaction. Titanium is also known for its versatility, meaning that it can be crafted into unique, detailed and intricate designs and finishes, unlike some of the other precious metals which will have limited styling options. There are three different finishes for titanium jewellery, as well as used within other precious metal pieces; hammered, matte, and frosted, all of which we offer in our pieces at Boo Jewellery.
What textured finishes are available in jewellery?
A hammered finish is a decorative technique used on precious metals, where a small hammer or other similar instrument is used to create a number of small details and geometric shapes on a piece. This leaves a piece with an uneven texture that beautifully shines, producing a warm, overall glow. Once the hammering is completed, a matte finish can also be applied to create a clean, polished finish.
Matte finishing leaves a metal with a clean, sleek, organic look. This type of finish requires specialist equipment, and is usually done by using specific polishing wheels, or polishing papers that contain the chemicals needed to create the matte look. Other than beauty, a matte finish offers better durability and tarnish resistance than the other precious metal finishes, leaving a piece of jewellery with a stylish muted finish, and a very slight sheen.
Frosting is a unique type of finish which is used on the outer surface of titanium rings. It creates a contrasting texture on the jewellery, meaning that it will sparkle in the bright sunlight, yet appear subdued in faint light. This finish is extremely durable, and is therefore very popular amongst those that are always on-the-go!
Textured Jewellery at Boo
Here at BOO Jewellery, we have a variety of precious metal and gemstone jewellery in a variety of textured finishes. Take a look at our collections today, and feel free to browse our popular Dotty, Gazelle and Softy ranges! Alternatively, you can visit us in our Olney Boutique to see our pieces in person - we look forward to seeing you!