Platinum Gold over Silver Tennis
Platinum is an elegant, rare and versatile metal that has exploded in popularity for jewelry in recent years. Its signature brilliant white luster is a result of its incredible purity and is the ultimate backdrop for reflecting a diamond's radiance. Generally, platinum is 95% pure—compared with 18K gold, which is 75% pure. This purity makes platinum hypoallergenic, meaning it won't irritate sensitive skin.
Platinum is also prized for its eternal quality, resisting fading and tarnishing (although it does develop a lovely patina that may be polished out if you prefer) to look stunning for a lifetime of daily wear. This durability is the result of platinum's density and weight. Platinum alloy is virtually anticorrosive, having a melting point of 3,215 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rather than wearing away with a scratch, platinum does not lose volume but is merely displaced. Thus, impressions and scratches may appear on platinum, but it remains intact as an eternal symbol.
Also revered for its great pliability, platinum is so pliable that one gram of it can be drawn out to a fine wire more than one mile long! This pliability creates incredible flexibility in jewelry design, which other precious metals do not have.
Platinum is the most rare of the precious metals, found only in a few places on Earth. Thirty-five times more rare than gold, it has been said platinum is so scarce that if all of it in the world were poured into one Olympic-sized swimming pool, it would be barely deep enough to cover your ankles. The amount of gold in the world would fill more than three pools that size.
The supply of and demand for platinum is tight and getting tighter all the time. If platinum mining were to stop today, already-mined reserves would be gone within a year. Gold reserves on the other hand would last nearly 25 years.
About 90% of all platinum comes from South Africa and Russia, and much of it is used in other fields besides jewelry, including industry and medicine. In fact, platinum plays an important role in the production of about 20% of all consumer goods.
Over the past few decades, platinum's popularity in wedding bands, bridal jewelry and other jewelry has grown exponentially. Today, platinum is a favorite precious metal among women and men alike.
Japanese consumers buy approximately 48% of all platinum jewelry—a much larger number in the past 20 years. Chinese and North American consumer demand has made for double-digit growth rates in recent years, adding up to more than 40% of the world's platinum jewelry.
Platinum is also recognized as an investment, as are other precious metals. In addition to being a stable and secure investment, platinum offers the potential for profit as its demand increases.
As early as 1200 B.C. Egyptians imported gold with traces of platinum, which they made into jewelry. In 100 B.C., Incas used platinum to create ceremonial jewelry. Then, platinum jewelry all but disappeared until European explorers landed in the New World. Spanish conquistadors found reserves of platinum in 1590; they called it “platina,” meaning “little silver.” Again, platinum all but disappeared from history, resurfacing again in the 1700s when it arrived in Europe. In 1751, platinum was classified as a precious metal. In the 1780s, France's King Louis XVI declared that platinum was the only metal fit for kings.
In the 1800s, several major reserves of platinum were discovered, causing the metal to grow in popularity. In the early 1900s, Louis Cartier was the first person in modern times to create platinum jewelry, which King Edward VII of England declared “the jewelry of kings and the king of jewelers.” Furthermore, platinum became a popular choice for
“mourning jewelry,” which was trendy after the Titanic sank.
German geologist Hans Merensky discovered the world's largest platinum reserve in 1924 near Johannesburg, South Africa, inspiring the platinum industry as it exists today. In the 1930s, platinum became a Hollywood favorite when actresses Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich wore platinum jewelry. Queen Elizabeth was crowned with a platinum crown and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor exchanged platinum Cartier wedding bands. In 1967, Elvis and Priscilla Presley exchanged platinum wedding bands. Today, platinum is a premiere choice for wedding bands for men and women alike.
Pronounced "vermay," vermeil is an electroplating process in which 14K gold or higher is coated over sterling silver. Officially designated by the jewelry industry, items may only be sold as vermeil if they have a minimum thickness of 100 millionths of an inch (2.5 microns) of gold over the silver. Regular gold plating is less than 2.5 microns.
The "vermeil" technique of plating sterling silver with gold originated in France in the 1750s. It differs from "gold filled" or "gold plated" in terms of the thickness or thinness of the microns over sterling silver. "Gold filled" pieces have a much thicker layer, between 15 and 45 microns, which is mechanically bonded to the base metal with heat and pressure. Vermeil is a more expensive version of "gold plated". It does not wear off as quickly as gold plating does. However, over time, vermeil wears off and therefore will require re-plating.
Gold/Platinum Embraced Silver or Bronze:
Our platinum and gold embraced collections feature layers of platinum or 18K gold over sterling silver or bronze for a lustrous, radiant finish everywhere you look and touch.
To care for your plated jewelry items:
Remove jewelry before bathing, swimming, washing hands, putting on make-up, lotions, perfumes, and/or working with household chemicals, cleaners, or acidic liquids.
Do not clean plated jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner or in silver cleaning solutions, as it could completely remove the plating finish from your item.
Ensure your jewelry item is thoroughly dry before storing. Moisture in an enclosed space can increase tarnishing.
Store your plated jewelry in a jewelry box lined with felt or anti-tarnish material. Items should not be stacked as this may cause damage to the plating surface.
Do not use excessive pressure when cleaning with a polishing cloth or soft brush, as this may cause damage to the plating.
Over time your plated items will need to be re-plated. Contact your local jeweler for information on plating services.
Necklace & Bracelet Clasp Types
A clasp is more than a practical device used to fasten your jewelry. It is part of the overall design and can be a very important focal point. Be sure to consider if it will suit your needs of durability, fashion, comfort and peace of mind.
Lobster Claw Clasp: As a traditional clasp style found in bracelets and necklaces, the lobster claw is generally reserved for heavier styles that may need added strength. The closure's shape is more oblong, similar to a teardrop shape, and is controlled by a tip that opens and closes the spring in the clasp. This type is also considered a more expensive finding that can add to the overall value of the jewelry piece.
Magnetic Clasp: The popularity of the magnetic clasp has greatly increased in recent years. It is a quick and easy way to secure jewelry while not having to fuss with a tiny clasp, which can be difficult if you have long fingernails, arthritic hands or other mobility challenges. A magnetic clasp relies on a strong internal magnet that works to pull both ends of the clasp together. In most cases, a magnetic clasp is used for light to medium weight jewelry pieces that do not put excessive stress on the magnet.
Slide Insert Clasp: This type of clasp is exactly as it sounds. With a box-like shape that is hollow on the inside, the wearer will slide the nearly-flat tab into the box until it clicks, indicating a secure closure. On some jewelry, a slide insert clasp will be accompanied by a side safety catch, which adds strength and security to the clasp. Although this type of clasp is found on both bracelets and necklaces, it is particularly popular on bracelet styles. These types of clasps are often reserved for more expensive jewelry.
Spring Ring Clasp: One of the most common closure types, the spring ring clasp is typically used for light to medium weight bracelets or necklaces. It is round in its design and features a small tip which controls the opening and closing of the spring. The circle then closes around another smaller loop or link at the other end of the strand.
Toggle Clasp: A toggle clasp is a narrow piece of metal, usually designed in the shape of a bar, which is then pushed through a circular ring to act as a fastener. Unlike the lobster claw or spring ring clasps, a toggle clasp is not controlled by a spring. The pretty design is less secure than other closure types, but is usually meant to be a big part of the design and is meant to "show". The clasp is an attractive way to secure a chunkier link bracelet or necklace.