Metal Education

Recycled Precious Metal for

Eco-Friendly Jewelry

     

     

    1. By recycling we can make our world a greener place, helping to safely remove toxic materials from manufacturing gold and other scrap materials.
    2. As part of our commitment to environmental responsibility, Bashford Jewelry uses recycled precious metal from a variety of industrial sources, refined to have exactly the same composition as precious metal mined directly from the earth. 

     

    Gold

    Renowned for its gleaming luster and denseness, gold is known as the softest and most pliable natural metal. In its purest form, gold is bright yellow in color, but is often mixed with other metals, such as silver and copper, to form a more durable alloy that's more resistant to everyday wear and tear. Additionally, these alloys help color gold and produce shades of white, yellow, and rose. 

    Gold ranks high in physical properties that matter in jewelry. It will not tarnish or rust, and it is the most corrosion-proof and oxidation-resistant metal. Although it is very strong, gold is the most malleable of all metals. Pure gold is too soft to withstand the stresses of everyday wear, so it is combined with different alloys to give it strength and durability. These alloys include metals like silver, copper, nickel, and zinc. The karat weight of gold is noted by a number, followed by a “k” or “kt,” that indicates how much of the metal in a piece of jewelry is gold. The minimum legal standard of karatage in the U.S. is 10kt. Even though 24kt is pure gold, it is extremely soft and not recommended for jewelry. 18kt and 14kt are the most popular and most recommended.

    The scale below shows the purity of each type of gold.

    24kt = (24 parts gold, no alloy) 24/24 = 100% pure gold

    18kt = (18 parts gold, 6 parts alloy) 18/24 = 75% purity

    14kt = (14 parts gold, 10 parts alloy) 14/24 = 58.3% purity

    10kt = (10 parts gold, 14 parts alloy) 10/24 = 41.7% purity

    The various combinations of these alloys and gold create different shades of gold.

     

    Yellow Gold

    Natural gold and color-saturated alloys are what give yellow golf jewelry its rich shine. The alloys most commonly used, are copper with a red hue, and silver featuring a green hue. An expert mixture of copper, silver and pure gold gives this precious metal its signature warmth.

     

    White Gold

    A silvery white character is what makes white gold jewelry so appealing. In order to make the gold white, it is combined with metal alloys that are white in nature and plated with an extremely hard element called rhodium. Although strong, rhodium may wear away over time. Replating is a simple process that can be done to restore whiteness to your jewelry.

     

    Rose Gold

    A rose gold color is achieved by raising the copper ratio when combining the gold with other alloys. For example, 18kt rose gold is 75% fine gold, but the other 25% of alloys has a greater copper content than a yellow or white gold piece. This color of gold has become popular because it flatters pale skin and certain colors of gemstones, especially the newly popular pink diamonds. The higher copper content makes the alloy more durable than its yellow or white alternatives.

    Black Gold

    Gold finished with Black Rhodium. Black rhodium is plated to white gold creating a rich black appearance that is extremely hard and strong.

     

     

    Platinum

    Platinum is durable. Its density makes it the most secure setting for your diamond or precious gemstone. Platinum’s naturally white sheen will never fade or change color, and accentuates the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond. Platinum will last forever.

    To many people, platinum is the top metal for fine jewelry. Even though it is more costly than gold, its distinctive non-tarnishing, grayish-white color makes it a preferred setting for diamonds. It is ideal for stone-set jewelry due to its unsurpassed holding power and durability. Like all precious metals, platinum does scratch. This holds especially true when it has a high-polish finish, because of the high contrast between the polish and the scratch. Platinum, however, does not lose metal when it scratches like other precious metals do. Instead, its surface actually separates and makes room for the scratch. This prevents the need to rhodium plate a platinum piece. Even though platinum is softer than gold, it is much denser (heavier) and more pure. In its pure form it is approximately 95% platinum and 5% other metals. A stamp of “950pt” inside the jewelry piece will signify this. Because platinum pieces are very likely to get scratched more frequently then gold, we recommend polishing them regularly to keep their original shimmer. A person definitely gets their money’s worth with platinum. It wears longer, needs less maintenance over the years, and it shows a diamond like no other precious metal can.

     

    Silver

    Sterling silver is the standard for beautiful high-quality silver jewelry. It's over 90% pure silver, mixed with alloys to add strength and durability. And it won't wear down, as silver plating can. 

    Pure silver is relatively soft, very malleable, and easily damaged, so it is commonly combined with other metals to produce a more durable product. The most popular of these alloys is sterling silver, which consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, zinc, and sometimes silicon. Copper has been shown to be its best companion because it improves the metal’s hardness and durability without affecting its beautiful color. However, even with the addition of alloys, silver is not especially strong. It scratches easily, can be misshapen, and after bending too many times it can become brittle and break. The mark “.925” or “sterling” are stamped on a piece of silver jewelry to meet the U.S. government standard for solid silver.

     

    Titanium

    Titanium is the only element that offers the unique combination of beauty, strength, and bio-compatibility. It is stronger than steel, but as light as aluminum. It is also 99% pure. But unlike 24kt gold, titanium is very hard and strong it’s pure form. These rings provide the stylish rich gray tones of platinum at a much more attractive price. Titanium rings possess a one-of-a-kind mystique that will last a lifetime.

     

    Tungsten Carbide

    is one of the strongest metals. Tungsten carbide jewelry is created from an alloy of 80% elemental Tungsten and 20% Carbon alloyed with other metals.

    Tungsten Carbide is created by firing tungsten with carbon powder in an oxygen-free oven at 6,200oF. This process is called sintering, and it creates the hardest metal used in making jewelry. Like titanium, tungsten carbide is tough and rugged, perfect for a man’s active lifestyle. Being ten times harder than 18kt gold and scratch resistant, tungsten carbide rings posses qualities that no other gentlemen’s jewelry can. Even though they are tough, these rings need to be treated as a precious piece of jewelry, and should not be abused.