Florence Resnikoff Designs

Article on Palladium


Notes On Precious Metals

The eight precious metals are: silver, gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium, of which the last six are members of the platinum family, although each is a separate element on the atomic table.

For the production of jewelry of silver or gold, the pure metals are alloyed (mixed with another metal) to make the metal harder and to change the color. Sometimes, copper is added to gold to make a "rose" colored gold. Zinc ,nickel and silver are used for making other color changes.

Pure silver, called "fine silver" is a soft white ductile metal melting at 1761 degrees. Sterling silver is an alloy of copper : (75 parts) fine silver : (925 parts), which strengthens the metal and brings the melting point of the alloy to 1640 degrees F.

Jewelry has been made of gold and gold alloys for thousands of years. Ancient jewelry was fashioned by hand from native gold, found in river beds, usually containing abut 90% of pure gold.

Marking laws establish the percentage of pure gold which must be used in a manufactured piece of jewelry. 24kt is considered pure gold, 18kt must contain 75% pure gold, 14kt must contain 58 1/3rd% by weight.

The different colors are created by adding different metals as alloying agents, such as silver, nickel, copper, or brass.