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Precious Metals Information

The precious metal alloys used in the making of James Avery jewelry consist of sterling silver, 10K, 14K, and 18K yellow gold, white gold, stainless steel, copper, bronze, and titanium. Not all designs are available in these metals, so be sure to ask a sales associate or a customer service representative about a particular piece of jewelry.

Alternative Jewelry Materials

James Avery offers designs with copper or bronze in combination with sterling silver. The beautiful contrast between a cool silver surface and the warmth of copper or bronze creates a rich contrast that is enhanced by many designs.

Clean Precious Metals

In 1987 James Avery made a corporate commitment to our customers, employees, and the communities and companies we work with, pledging “social responsibility, including a genuine concern for nature and its conservation.”

We strive to exceed industry standards for environmental conservation, including the purchasing and refining of the precious metals we use in our jewelry: gold, sterling silver, and palladium.

As a jewelry manufacturer and retailer, we fully support the 12 Golden Rules of the “No Dirty Gold” campaign:

  • Respect for basic human rights outlined in international conventions and law
  • Free, prior, and informed consent of affected communities
  • Safe working conditions
  • Respect for workers’ rights and labor standards
  • Ensure that operations are not located in areas of armed or militarized conflict
  • Ensure that projects do not force communities off their lands
  • No dumping of mine wastes into oceans, rivers, lakes or streams
  • Ensure that projects are not located in protected areas, fragile ecosystems or other areas of high conservation or ecological value
  • Ensure that projects do not generate sulfuric acid in perpetuity
  • Cover all costs of closing down and cleaning up mine sites
  • Fully disclose information about social and environmental effects of projects
  • Allow independent verification of the above



Precious Metals

Sterling Silver

Sterling Silver is the “whitest” precious metal and is extremely malleable. (Some other “white” precious metals are palladium and white gold). Pure silver is entirely too soft to use in jewelry; therefore, it is mixed or alloyed with other metals to make it stronger. Sterling silver contains at least 92.5% silver and so the international marking for sterling silver is 925.

When people refer to metals turning black or tarnishing, they are actually talking about metal that has oxidized, or reacted with various different sulfur compounds from the environment.

Sterling silver and pure silver are two of the most sensitive metals to oxidation. Sometimes the oxidation is deliberate, as in the intentional coloring to highlight certain details in a design. It is a technique that has been used by jewelry designers for over 1,000 years.

While some James Avery jewelry pieces are purposely designed with oxidized areas, other pieces may have a polished or matte finish.

Gold

Gold is a yellow metal in its pure form. The yellow color reminds us of the sun’s warm, life-giving strength and has attracted mankind since the beginning of time.

The United States is one of the largest gold-producing nations along with Australia, South Africa, and Russia. Most of the U.S. gold is produced in western states like Nevada, which produces more gold than any other state.

White Gold

White gold has been, since the beginning of the twentieth century, a favorite alternative to platinum. At James Avery, our white gold is comprised of gold and palladium. It is nickel-free.

Palladium, a close relative to platinum, is ideal for making white gold alloys. It is very expensive but non-allergenic.

Gold purity is measured in karats, with 24 karat being pure gold. The international marking for gold alloys is 585 for 14 karat or 750 for 18 karat gold.

Combination Metals

Combining the cool elegance of white gold or sterling silver with the warmth and glow of yellow gold provides versatility to your jewelry wardrobe. At James Avery, we offer a wide selection of designs made in a combination of metals including white gold and yellow gold, yellow gold and sterling silver, copper and sterling silver, bronze and sterling silver, and titanium and sterling silver.

Alternative Metals

Bronze

Bronze is a warm, golden metal that has been the choice of sculptors, metal smiths, and jewelry designers through the ages. Bronze is a versatile metal that is much harder than pure copper and has twice its tensile strength. True bronze alloys contain copper and from 5 to 15% tin. Commercial bronze may contain tin, nickel, or aluminum. In color, it ranges from a warm red–yellow to a gold or dark brown.

Copper

Copper is one of the few elements that occurs naturally as a metal and has been used by mankind for thousands of years to create adornments. Copper is the only “red” metal and is prized for its rosy or peachy color that darkens overtime to a brown or green patina. To increase its strength and durability and to modify its color, copper is sometimes alloyed with zinc (to make brass) or tin (to make bronze). It is often valued in its purest form for both practical applications and artistic expressions.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel is a tarnish and corrosion resistant metal that is much stronger than any precious metal. The resilience of this metal makes it the perfect choice for a few of our link bracelet styles that are worn continuously by some of our customers.

The surgical quality stainless steel we use in making our designs is a mixture of iron with chromium, nickel, manganese and molybdenum. The combination of these elements results in a metal with a lustrous, smooth surface that is hypo-allergenic, resists scratches, tarnish and corrosion, and requires very little care while still providing a sense of beauty and fine craftsmanship.

Titanium

Titanium was discovered over 200 years ago and is one of the most versatile metals in the world. It is a lustrous, dark silver/grey-colored metal which is attractive by itself or when used as a subtle contrast to sterling silver or gold. Titanium is much stronger than gold or silver, yet is lightweight and comfortable to wear.

The pairing of Sterling Silver’s timeless beauty with Titanium’s durability, lightweight and resistance to denting and corrosion makes it an ideal combination for everyday wear, especially when impact and abrasions are more likely to occur.