Gold Jewelry


Silver Jewelry



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Precious Metal Buying Guide

We offer the following metals choices. Yellow, White, Rose Gold, Platinum and Silver.

Gold is dense, soft, shiny and the most malleable and ductile of the known metals; a single gram can be beaten into a sheet of one square meter, or an ounce into 300 square feet. Gold is impervious to heat, air and moisture, it is also resistant to tarnish.

100% pure gold is defined as 24 carat gold. Purity is indicated by caratage. Alloys with lower caratage, typically 22k, 18k, 14k or 10k, contain higher percentages of copper, silver or other base metals in the alloy.

About half of the world’s gold comes from South Africa. Other major producers are United States, Australia, China, Russia and Peru.

Because it is so soft, pure gold is rarely used in jewelry; other metals are added to increase the hardness or to create exotic color. Depending on the metal alloy, gold can take on its characteristics.
Yellow Gold:   This is the gold's natural color and is the most common gold used for jewelry. It is usually alloyed with copper and silver. The color depends on the content of gold and other metals. A more pure gold has a brighter yellow color.
White Gold:   Usually alloyed with palladium or nickel, zinc and copper. High-carat white gold alloys are far more resistant to corrosion than pure silver or sterling silver. 

While some higher-quality white gold alloys retain their shine and luster, most will be coated with a very thin layer of rhodium, an even whiter metal, to enhance its appearance and reduce scratching. Rhodium plating can dramatically increase the long-term durability, brightness and luster of the finish. But it will wear off over time. Frequently worn jewelry like a wedding ring can require rhodium plating every other year. 

White gold is more durable than yellow gold and generally suffers fewer scratches if cared for properly.
Rose Gold:   Rose gold is made by alloying gold with copper, which gives it a distinct copper cast. 

Other color are blue gold (made by alloying with iron), purple gold (alloying with aluminium), and green gold (alloying with silver).

Rhodium Plating
Rhodium is very rare; it’s nearly 4 times as expensive as platinum, and 9 times as expensive as gold. Many contemporary jewelry items, especially those made of white gold, are electroplated in rhodium to decrease wear and prevent scratching.

In addition to its physical properties, rhodium has a beautiful bright white look. But rhodium plating does not last forever. The plating on jewelry that has heavy use, like a wedding ring, can wear away in as little as two years. You can tell when the plating is wearing away; the area without the plating will show the yellowish color of the original white gold. At Ethan Lord, we can quickly replate your jewelry.

Replating will not fill in dents, dings and scratches, but will make them less noticeable. We always make sure your jewelry is cleaned and repolished before it is replated. The smoother the piece is to start with, the better the effect you will get from the replating process.

Sometimes, platinum or silver jewelry is rhodium-plated. In the case of platinum, it is because rhodium is a bit brighter than platinum, so it is used to enhance the shine. For silver, however, it may actually decrease its shine. Even so, silver is sometimes plated to help prevent scratching.
A karat is simply a measure of how pure a sample of Gold is. The weight itself does not influence the final determined price. Pure Gold is too soft to make jewelry, and so it is usually mixed with one of several alloys, which could include Silver, Copper, or Zinc. These alloys, of course, add their own weight to the piece, and because of this, the weight is not used to measure the price.

The price of Gold also fluctuates daily depending on the market, and is based on the purity, design, and construction of the Gold. A piece that contains a higher purity of Gold will emit a brighter yellow color. This will, in turn, raise the value of the jewelry.

Gold comes in several values including 10k Gold, 14k Gold, 18k Gold, and 24k Gold. 24 karat Gold is the most pure and therefore the most expensive. In most instances, Gold is stamped to reflect its purity. Measurements such as 12 karat Gold are not acceptable to use in the manufacturing of jewelry. 18kt Gold, however, is one of the most widely accepted measurements for jewelry. It is perhaps the best to use for jewelry and Ring settings as the color is rich and this percentage of Gold is very strong and durable.
The following chart will demonstrate the differences between the different karats and how they are combined with other alloys. This will show you how the karat Gold price is determined:
Karats Purity Other Added Metals

24kt Gold 100.00% 0.000%
22kt Gold 91.60% 0.084%
18kt Gold 75.00% 0.125%
14kt Gold 58.5% 41.500%
10kt Gold 41.7% 58.300%
Silver is one of the first metals to be used by humans. It is also the most reflective of all the metals and can be polished to a higher sheen than Platinum. In fact, the chemical symbol for Silver, Ag, is derived from the Latin word argentum, meaning white and shining.It is extremely malleable and resists oxidation from exposure to the atmosphere.

Silver also has the highest thermal and electric conductivity of any substance. Silver is widely distributed in nature, but the total amount is quite small when compared with other metals. Unlike Gold, Silver is present in many naturally occurring mineralsSilver ornaments and decorations have been found in royal tombs dating back as far as 4000 BC, and silver has been used, along with Gold, as money for centuries.

Today, over 90% of the Silver mined is not used for jewelry, but in industrial applications. Compounds of Silver are used to make mirrors, electrical contacts, dental fillings, coins and electroplating. Over 40% of all Silver mined in the United States is used as Silver nitrate and Silver halide in photographic developing.

Silver can be polished, matte, brushed, satin, sandblasted, oxidized (blackened using chemicals) or antiqued. Silver is often said to have a patina, or worn appearance that is achieved through frequent use and handling. In its pure form silver is almost as soft as Gold, and is therefore usually alloyed with copper.