Various jewelry items in the market are made of different metals with some being natural and other synthetic or as commonly referred to as colored gemstones. Each metal or stone a jewel is made up of influences their prevailing market prices. And, since various metals or stones transfer their unique qualities to the respective jewelry items, it is important for prospective buyers to know what constitutes any given metal. This ensures that they know what to look for in jewelry made from a certain kind of metal from what it is valued on.
Various metals are usually mixed with platinum, a precious metal, in order to come up with an alloy for making jewelry. For instance, 900 PLAT means that 10% of the alloy are other metals whereas the remaining 90% is pure platinum. The fact that the major components of the alloy is platinum means that jewelry made from this alloy is good for people who react to metals as platinum is hypo-allergenic. The manufacturer of the piece of jewelry and its metal composition must be engraved on it so that a buyer can easily have access to such information.
The major component, platinum, must be listed on the sales receipt and since it takes expert craftsmen to work with platinum, one should expect to pay more for the jewelry piece. Silver or sterling silver, is another common metal in the market used to make jewelry. It normally makes up 92.5 % of an alloy and the rest being other metals. Despite the fact that silver can turn dark when it gets in contact with other metals or elements such as gold, it is popular for its shine and luster. The tarnish can easily be eliminated using certain products such as toothpaste.
When buying silver jewelry, it must be labeled 925 and the name ‘sterling silver’ listed on the sales receipt. One must never confuse either German silver or nickel silver with sterling silver as the first two contain no silver. When gold is used to plate or coat sterling silver jewelry, it is then referred to as vermeil which is a unique by-product of gold. Pearls, which can be man-made or natural, are valued based on their size, luster, blemishes, color and even shape among others. The thicker the skin or nacre of the pearl, the more valuable it is and those strands that match in shape, size and color cost more than those that do not match.
Ultimately, one should know how to care and maintain their specific jewelry for durability.