Pure nugget gold is not used for jewelry, and for good reason. Such items would cost too much, which is impractical given their low hardness and low resistance to wear. Who needs a ring or earrings that lose their shape at the slightest pressure? The 1000th quality metal, which is 100% gold, is used for making investment coins and bank bullion. It is also used for chemical experiments, and surprisingly, in cooking, in the form of gold flakes sprinkled on expensive dishes.
Alloy metals help to level out the softness of pure gold and improve its performance. Regardless of the type and value of the alloy, the resulting alloy is precious. By changing the alloy’s composition, you can make it more malleable or harder, give it the desired color, increase or decrease its melting point. Different metals are used for creating vancouver engagement rings and other jewelry.
What metals do jewelers use as a ligature?
- Copper. Copper is responsible for increasing the strength characteristics of the metal while maintaining malleability and ductility. The material acquires a distinctive reddish hue. Well known to us rose gold contains about 20-25% copper.
- Silver. Silver makes the jewelry alloy more malleable and easier to work. It is easier to melt, and when cast into a mold, it precisely follows its contours. The more silver is added, the more easily it is melted, and the more easily it is sculpted, the more precise its contours will be. The more silver that is added to the alloy, the lighter the color, which varies from light yellow to white.
- Platinum. Just 8.4% platinum added to yellow gold, and voila! – You see a white metal without the slightest trace of the yellowing that characterizes the gold-nickel alloy. The more platinum, the higher the metal’s elasticity and melting point.
- Nickel. Inexpensive nickel “bleaches” gold, leaving a clearly visible yellowish hue. It can be removed only through rhodium plating. The incorporation of nickel into gold increases the hardness of the metal and its resistance to corrosion. Gold alloys with nickel are used less and less frequently in jewellery due to the high risk of allergies to this metal.
- Zinc. Zinc also lowers the melting point of the metal and improves its fluidity. The presence of zinc gives gold a slight greenish hue, and the finished product becomes more brittle.
- Palladium. Palladium requires slightly more than platinum, at 10% to produce a white gold alloy. At the same time, the metal is almost as easy to work with as pure gold.