by Staff Writer
When shopping for jewelry, it is important to choose materials that contribute to the style, durability and value of the piece. Rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and watches are available in a range of metal choices. Alternative metals, such as titanium, tungsten, stainless steel and gold overlay, offer many benefits over more traditional metals. Let us help you choose jewelry and watches with our answers to frequently asked questions about alternative metals.
What types of alternative metals are available?
There are many different alternative metals, and new varieties are always being created. Some of the most popular alternative metals are titanium, stainless steel, tungsten, gold overlay, platifina and surgical steel. Titanium, stainless steel, tungsten and surgical steel are industrial metals with good looks and durability. Gold overlay metal can be goldplated or gold-filled and brings yellow and white gold to a variety of jewelry pieces. Platifina is rhodium-plated sterling silver that is resistant to tarnish and scratches. Goldtone and silvertone metals are not actually silver or gold, but they have the look of these beautiful metals.
Why should I choose alternative metal jewelry and watches?
There are many benefits to alternative metal rings, bracelets, watches and other pieces of jewelry. Titanium, tungsten and stainless steel have a history of industrial use and are very durable, making them great choices for wedding bands. Titanium and tungsten are especially popular in men's wedding bands and are also perfect for watches. Gold overlay brings affordability to luxury jewelry, by giving the look and durability of gold to engagement rings, bracelets and necklaces in a range of prices.
Is gold overlay jewelry a quality product?
While gold overlay is not as valuable as gold jewelry, it still offers a good value for the money. Gold overlay products earned a poor reputation several decades ago when gold overlay techniques were still being perfected and gold could easily be rubbed off some of the jewelry. Fortunately, electroplate and other bonding methods have improved, and the gold layer is thick and durable on today's gold overlay engagement rings, earrings, watches and other pieces of jewelry. Today, gold overlay jewelry generally has a gold layer measurement of 1 micron. The gold won't wear down, even if you wear the piece frequently.
What metals, if any, are hypoallergenic?
Several of the industrial metals, including stainless steel, titanium and tungsten, are hypoallergenic. Platinum is also hypoallergenic. The term "hypoallergenic" refers to a substance that is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction due to its composition. For jewelry, this often means a product does not contain nickel or cobalt, common skin irritants.