Jewelry is most commonly made with metals such as gold, platinum, titanium, silver and stainless steel. Gold, silver and platinum are classified as precious metals, making them more valuable and desirable because they are less reactive, possess a higher luster and are easier to work with than most metals.
Gold is classified by karats. Karats denote the purity and value of the gold. The purest gold is 24 karat at 99.9 percent pure. Pure gold is commonly mixed with alloy metals such as copper and zinc because it's too soft to use in jewelry. These metals are used to make gold jewelry more durable, and they can also be used to change the color of the gold to white gold or rose gold.
Much like gold, silver is often mixed with other metals because it's soft and easily damaged. It's not classified by karat, but there are several types of silver based on purity, such as fine silver (.999 percent pure), sterling silver (92.5 percent pure) and silver plate (a layer of fine silver placed over a base metal).
Platinum jewelry is more expensive and considered more precious than gold. Platinum is commonly mixed with other metals in jewelry as well, but platinum jewelry must be 95 percent pure or it's classified as a platinum alloy.Learn More
Gold-plated jewelry is marked several different ways, but some of the most common markings are "GP," "GEP," "RGP," "HGE" and "HGP." Markings help determine if jewelry is really silver with gold plate or real gold.Full Answer >
Polymer clay jewelry is made of polymer clay, which actually does not contain clay but is made of polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC. When liquid is added to PVC, it develops a gel-like consistency and can be molded and hardened like clay.Full Answer >
True gold jewelry does not have a 925 stamp on it, since a 925 stamp indicates that a piece of jewelry is made of genuine sterling silver. Gold is stamped with a K to indicate how many karats, or parts of gold, it contains.Full Answer >
To make homemade jewelry cleaner, use a mixture of tea tree oil, baking soda and white vinegar. Soak the jewelry in the solution overnight, and scrub with an old toothbrush to achieve the desired sparkle.Full Answer >