Chemically seen, a precious metal is a naturally occurring metal that hardly reacts with other substances. For example, precious metals do not rust and are highly resistant to some acids – although we strongly advise you not to test this at home with our gold rings, for instance. In pure form, many types of precious metals are also quite soft, almost pliable, and they have a distinctive lustre.
What do you need to know about gold, silver, platinum and some other lesser known precious metals? Which precious metal is perfect for you and your budget? Prices may vary quite a bit per precious metal. Discover everything about 8 precious metals right here. Some are frequently used by jewellery makers, others are not.
- What do I need to know about gold?
- What do I need to know about platinum?
- What do I need to know about silver?
- Which lesser known types of precious metals are also fascinating?
- How are precious metals classified?
Most viewed diamond jewels
1.50 carat diamond gradient bracelet in yellow goldFrom € 2.930 (excl. VAT)
0.55 carat diamond design floral bangle bracelet in yellow goldFrom € 2.275 (excl. VAT)
0.90 carat solitaire diamond ring in platinum with six prongsFrom € 1.270 (excl. VAT)
XO earrings in red gold with small round diamondsFrom € 430 (excl. VAT)
1.00 carat solitaire halo ring in white gold with round diamondsFrom € 2.240 (excl. VAT)
Pure gold is too soft for jewellery. It is therefore combined with other precious metals.
Purple gold: visually stunning, but fragile
However, neither electrum nor purple or blue gold have the classic, luxurious appearance of yellow gold, white gold or red gold. Therefore, you will not find them with jewellers who put quality first.
Where does gold come from?
Gold ore is processed to extract the gold.
The platinum price is currently quite affordable.
Read more about how exactly platinum and white gold differ.
Jewellery in precious metals such as white, yellow and red gold, or platinum? You can find them in all possible designs at BAUNAT. For men too, like in stylish cufflinks.
Silver is very popular in applied art.
The purity of silverware can be checked in the fine print.
Definitely not as rare as gold.
In choosing between white gold vs. silver, some people are faced with a difficult dilemma. However, we would rather recommend white gold. This alloy will be stronger than jewellery of pure silver.
What is ruthenium?
It is a silver-coloured, hard metal that is mainly used in electronics. Ruthenium was discovered in the Russian Urals in 1844. Today, this precious metal is still mined the most there, besides North and South America.
Ruthenium is also used in jewellery. Ruthenium is added especially in platinum and palladium jewellery. This makes them a little more expensive, but also much sturdier.
What is osmium?
This precious metal has a blue grey colour and in powder form, it reacts very strongly with oxygen. As a result, it stinks (the word osmium is also derived from the Greek osmè, which means 'stench') and is also very toxic. So, not the kind of precious metal you want to wear in a ring around your fingers...
What is iridium?
This precious metal has a very high density, so it weighs relatively much. In industry, the metal is highly sought after for its hardness, durability and high melting temperature. It is rare in the earth's crust, but often found in meteorites. Like ruthenium, iridium is often used to make platinum firmer.
What is palladium?
What is rhodium?
Rhodium is a silver white (more white than silver), very hard metal, which is very rare. In nature it usually occurs mixed with gold, platinum or palladium. Filtering pure rhodium is an expensive, complicated process. Once again, most sites are located in the Russian Urals, and less than 25 tonnes are mined annually. By comparison, in 2018, the total global gold production was 3,260 tonnes. The favourable physical properties of this metal combined with its rarity makes this the most expensive precious metal in the world.
Rhodium is applied very thinly to white gold jewellery for the hardness and exceptional colour.
Other metals such as magnesium, copper or titanium are not precious metals.
As you can see, you can choose between a wide range of metals, but some are more suitable for processing in jewellery than others. At BAUNAT, we resolutely go for gold and platinum, but at our tailored service, other metals are also perfectly possible. And which gem will you choose? For inspiration, look at this beautiful jewellery:
Have you found the jewel of your dreams? Order it online right away, or ask the BAUNAT experts for more information.