Strength and Integrity of Jewellery Explained
There's more to a precious metal than being called Sterling Silver or Solid Gold.
Think about a house. You see everything, including the pictures on the painted wall, the beautifully coloured brick that put the exterior together, the white and black marble that makes the perfect contrast, and much, much more. The esthetics of a house is easy to figure out; it's right in front of you. It's the skeleton, the wood studs, electrical wiring or ventilation that's even more important. Those elements hide so well that we almost forget what it takes to build a home. Trusting the builder or homeowner on the integrity of the house is virtually all you have.
This idea of trust is similar to how the jewellery crafting process takes place. To the untrained eye, a Ring is simply a ring, and a Necklace is a necklace, and so on. It's time for a change of perception.
See, there are a few factors that will change the way you look at jewellery. By learning these tidbits of information, you'll be able to decide better and understand both strengths and weaknesses inside pure Silver and Gold. Like all things, there's an art behind making something, and, like all things, we want to expose the inherent qualities that will put you in charge of making the right decision.
Toughness and Durability
The idea that all jewellery can withstand and tolerate extreme force is wrong. Yes, it's metal but not indestructible. Depending on the level of purity, you may have a jewellery piece far more prone to breaking than others. To better understand your piece's strength, you'll want to understand Karats better; the level of pure precious metal content versus mixed Alloy content.
As mentioned in Four Facets to Gold, finished Solid Gold jewellery contains a base of pure metal and mixed alloys to determine colour and purity. The higher the Karats, the softer, more prone to damage jewellery is. The lower the Karats, the stronger it is.
The chart above shows the breakdown of Solid Gold and Sterling Silver based on Purity, Alloys and overall Strength based on Karats.
For the expert jewellery shopper, this chart is valuable. It addresses practical situations like everyday life or environments that require more handwork. Nonetheless, sometimes choosing 10KT gold is not about price, rather more about durability. A Mechanic, Construction worker and other trades workers will benefit from an inherently stronger ring. On the other hand, if you love the beautiful yellow with 18KT purity, treat the piece nicely as the softness is real.
Whether you're searching for a customized piece or jewels from a showcase - these days, a Virtual Showcase - the piece's toughness cannot solely rely on the mixed Alloys. Analyzing measurements is an integral piece to choosing correctly. You'll want to review the thickness and width of your jewels carefully. Here are some quick facts on popular picks that demand attention.
Wider Shank (Band) creates higher overall structural integrity. A thicker Shank stabilizes and further enhances the strength of your Ring.
Image above provides examples of optional widths using Tungsten Carbide Rings.
CHAINS - NECKLACES - BRACELETS
Wider link styles will hold together with more integrity. Thicker links will create the overall strength to keep it all together.
Image above provides options for link styles and how to measure Width and Thickness of your Chains or Bracelets.
It's important to note how the industry has met the expectations of all shoppers. You've probably come across hollow jewellery in the past. It provides you with the allure of heavy, bold jewellery. The benefit to saving money is the weakness in and of itself. You must wear all your hollow jewels carefully as the damage is almost always permanent. Repairing the damage is either costly and, sometimes, depending on the circumstance, impossible. Play nice, kids!
If anything else needs attention, understanding the combination of metals in alloys. In Four Facets to Gold, there's mention of the combination required for the desired outcome of Gold colour tone and Karats. Specifically, with Sterling Silver, the traditional practice was to mix Alloy using Nickel as the primary metal. Nickel is the leading reason for Allergic Reactions with Silver. Either you or someone you know has seen Sterling Silver turn green when worn. Now, look for the details. Like us at A&A Jewels Co, Jewellers are turning to alternative Silver jewels without the use of Nickel. It has made a tremendous difference to many and has reignited a new version of popularity with Silver jewellery.
Ara L. - Mar 23, 2021
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