Gold: 14k vs. 18k
Gold is by far the most popular material used in jewelry in the United States. This is due in great part because gold does not react with other elements, so it does not tarnish and only a small percentage of people may experience an allergic reaction to gold.
Pure gold is 24 karat (24k), however it is far too soft to stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life that most rings and other jewelry must endure. Pure gold is combined with other elements, such as nickel, silver and copper, when manufacturing jewelry to give it the necessary strength and durability. The amount of pure gold used in the finished product determines its’ karat weight: 14k gold is 58.3 percent pure gold, whereas 18k gold contains 75 percent pure gold by weight.
To the naked eye it is very difficult to distinguish between 14k and 18k gold. And while both are extremely durable, 18k gold will have a slightly richer color while 14k gold is stronger, and because of its’ gold content, somewhat more affordable.
Extremely rare and exceptionally durable, platinum has historically been a very popular metal for use in jewelry. The precious metal of choice, platinum is used around the world to set the finest diamonds and gemstones. Some of today’s most recognized gems are set in platinum including the Hope Diamond and the British Crown of Queen Elizabeth.
During World War II the U.S. government declared platinum a “strategic metal”, restricting it to use in military applications only, and the art of sculpting platinum into fine jewelry was lost for many years. Today platinum is once again recognized for its natural white color and ability to showcase diamonds and gems without showing a yellow tint like some gold alloys.
Contrary to popular myth, platinum’s unique physical properties allow it to be polished and restored to its original beauty for years to come. Many estate jewelry pieces crafted of platinum have been handed down for generations and are still considered to be in excellent condition.
Bashinski’s Master Jewelers are certified in the latest platinum techniques, including repairs and restoration, and are uniquely qualified to create your one-of-a-kind treasure or lovingly restore your family heirloom.