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FAQs about Precious Metal Jewelry

by Staff Writer

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A pile of priceless precious metal jewelry and other lovely treasures

Precious metals can probably be found in your jewelry collection, whether you have a pile of white gold bracelets or a simple platinum bridal set. Precious metals adorn a variety of fine jewelry pieces from necklaces to earrings. Precious metal jewelry deserves some extra attention. Caring for your precious metal jewelry properly will prolong its life and protect your fine jewelry investment. From storage to cleaning, our tips on precious metals will help you keep your jewelry in pristine condition.

Questions about Precious Metal Jewelry:

  1. Which metals are considered precious?
    Precious metals are defined by their rarity, beauty and durability. Gold, silver and platinum are some of the most popular precious metals because they have a high level of shine, are tough enough to withstand daily wear and aren't abundant. Industrial metals are also sometimes considered precious metals. Titanium, tungsten and stainless steel are a few of the precious industrial metals.

  2. How do I care for precious metal jewelry?
    Store your jewelry safely and clean it carefully. Precious metal jewelry should be stored in individual pouches or in separate compartments of your jewelry box. Protect your precious metal jewelry from harsh chemicals or activities that could dent or scratch it. Frequent wearing of silver jewelry does prevent a lot of tarnish, but not all; silver must be cleaned occasionally. Many commercial polishes or polishing cloths are excellent; they work best when tarnish first appears and the tarnish layer is thinnest. Gold, platinum, stainless steel, tungsten and titanium jewelry can be cleaned with warm soapy water. Do not use any harsh abrasives on stainless steel; they can damage its natural protective oxide coat. If your jewelry is set with a gemstone or other adornments, always keep their fragilities in mind when cleaning the precious-metal setting.

  3. Can all precious metals be engraved?
    Gold, silver, platinum and steel jewelry can be engraved by equipment that every good jeweler has on hand. Platinum is easier to scratch than gold, which makes it excellent for engraved jewelry. Many brides and grooms choose platinum wedding bands for this reason. Titanium and tungsten can also be engraved, but this requires diamond-tipped engraving tools or a laser engraver.

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