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 of James Avery jewelry pieces have been purposely designed with oxidized areas; other pieces have a polished or matte finish.
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 such as Nevada, which produces more gold than any other state.
White gold has been, since the beginning of the Twentieth Century, a favorite alternative to platinum. Our white gold at James Avery 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.
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; white gold and yellow gold, or yellow gold and sterling silver.
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