Choosing the best metal for jewelry at Kay

Types of Gold

Yellow Gold: Pure gold mixed with a little silver and copper for a warm look.

White Gold: Pure gold is combined with palladium and silver or with nickel, copper and zinc. Rhodium plating improves whiteness and durability.

Pink and Rose Gold: Increasingly popular, these reddish gold options are pure gold plus copper. The more copper, the redder the metal.

Purity: Gold purity is measured in karats (not to be confused with carats, a measure of gem weight). Karats are divided into 24 parts, so 24 parts of gold - known as 24K gold - is pure. However, 24K gold is soft and easily damaged, so it's mixed - or alloyed - with other metals to make it more durable. For example, 14K gold is 14 parts gold, 10 parts other metal. Jewelry must be at least 10K to be sold as gold in the United States.

Sterling Silver

Can range from bright white to grayish white, and can have a matte or shiny finish.

Purity: Like gold, pure silver is too soft to be used in jewelry. It's combined with other metals such as copper to boost its strength. Sterling silver must contain at least 92.5% pure silver, which is why it's stamped as .925.

Stainless Steel

Shiny and strong appearance that can be polished to take on different looks - the more matte look of pewter or the reflective look of chrome. Either way, some people appreciate the sturdy, modern look of the metal.

Purity: Stainless Steel is mixed with at least 10.5% chromium to resist oxidation


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