05.07.2018

Your Guide to Rare Metals

Gold

A timeless symbol of wealth, success and prestige, Gold has been historically sought after due to its beauty and malleability. It is, without a doubt, one of the first metals used ornamentally by man, known to be present in many primitive civilizations. Egyptians viewed it as the flesh of the sun God, Ra, believing that it brought eternal life. Today, it is often gifted as a statement of achievement, commitment, and growth. Very few elements have held as much value over time with so much consistency. This is surprising, considering that its extraction process is quite tedious, requiring many complex steps involving very specialized machinery and chemistry. Regardless of the effort necessary to acquire this rare metal, it has proven to be worth it. The status attributed to gold is unparalleled, so much so that we even use it in conversation when referencing absolute value and purity. It is now widely regarded as treasure.

Despite its dominant presence, most people are unaware of the properties of this rare metal. It is the most malleable of all the precious metals, making it very easy to work with in its purest form. Unlike other metals, it is possible to flatten it into extremely thin sheets. This “Gold Leaf” is sometimes used as a decorative element for a painting or sculpture in the fine arts, and this flattened sheet of gold can be up to 400 times thinner than a human hair (!). Even though it is so delicate and moldable, it is actually one of the most resistant metals when it comes to wear. It is well-preserved, and will not tarnish via exposure to air, making it extremely resistant to rust and corrosion. Therefore, although this metal preserves very well over time, pure gold is prone to flaking because it is so soft and delicate. For this reason, in order to create jewellery that remains extraordinarily beautiful but also durable, pure gold is mixed with small amount of other metals referred to as alloys. The ratio of gold to other metals is what defines its caratage.

24 carat gold is pure, 100 % Gold. We work with a variety of compositions, offering options that suit everybody’s budget and needs. For daily wear, we carry three versions of gold. Our base tier, 10K,  is 41.7% gold and 58.3% alloys. Our middle tier, 14K, is 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloys, and our highest grade, the 18K, is composed of 75% gold and only 25% alloy metals. Donj uses only top of the line Italian alloys to create the perfect balance of colour for our yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold pieces. In every case, the fine mixtures of earth metals that we incorporate in our pieces allows us to maximize the equilibrium between beauty and durability.

Silver

Silver is known as the element of brilliance, as it was given Hebrew and Greek names describing its unique paleness and shine in its early use. Like gold, silver is married to other alloys in order to strengthen its physical properties and maximize its durability, shine and texture. Like gold, pure silver is very soft, but it is actually too soft to even work with in its purest form and can only be used in jewellery once blended. The standard for silver pieces is .925 sterling silver, which is the perfect blend of shine, strength, and durability. Since the 1300’s, this has been the standard for quality silver, named after the British Sterling coin that was manufactured and valued as currency once they learned that it was dependable to use over long periods of time. This concentration is extremely durable and resistant to corrosion, and actually enhances the reflective and luminescent properties of pure silver. The number .925 represents a percentage of silver versus other alloys, much like we describe gold, only instead of caratage we use the percentage of silver directly. Therefore, .925 out of 1 gram of sterling silver is pure silver, in other words, 92.5% silver and 7.5% alloys! When purchasing sterling silver pieces from a trusted jewellery designer such as Donj, you are guaranteed to receive a metal that will not corrode, or irritate sensitive skin. The way that the metal is handled is very important, and we take the time to finish it smoothly, with an even thickness all around and a classy polish that keeps it looking brilliant for years after its purchase.  Our metals are certified, authentic and are always imported from top-tier reliable sources.

Be careful not to buy from untrustworthy craftsmen who pass off lower purities as .925! Take care when selecting your jeweller, choosing the materials for your custom pieces, and caring for your new accessories. Use a cleaner tailored to your specific metal blend when necessary. Wiping the precious metal with a soft white cloth and storing it with care will keep it looking brand new.

 

On a side note, check out this gold cuban link ring for men. What do you think?

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