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White Gold vs. Platinum

Confused when deciding between white gold and platinum for your precious stones or diamonds? You aren’t alone. We’ve created a “cheat sheet” for helping you make the perfect decision for your jewels.

White Gold…

-is NOT a white metal – started its life as a yellowy, orangey, sometimes greenish gold and was coaxed into whiteness by alloying it with whiter metals.

-will require rhodium plating, then re-plating once a year on average. (Some alloys show more yellow than others.) The final step in finishing white gold jewelry is to “rhodium plate,” it, creating the white color. Ironically, rhodium is in the platinum family.

-can sometimes cause a skin reaction with its alloys, most commonly, due to nickel. A different alloy can be chosen, such as palladium or cobalt.

-will stay shiny for a long time before re-polishing.

-is able to scratch if wearer is hard on it, but overall maintains shine a lot longer than platinum.

Note: 24k gold (100% gold) is too soft to be used for jewelry. 14k/18K are the strongest choices for everyday wear.

Platinum…

-is 30 times more rare and 60% heavier than gold, giving it a luxurious feel to some.

-is strong, but can absolutely scratch when banged.

-will develop a dulled finish after time, due to small dents it takes.

-is hypoallergenic (unlike gold) because it is normally not alloyed with more than 10% other metals.

-will need more frequent polishing than white gold.

-is ideal for hand engraved detailing.

-will cost more than gold due to:

  1. High density – causes the extra weight and less thinning over time than gold
  2. Rarity – not as readily available as gold
  3. Purity – 90-95% pure platinum vs. 58% in 14k gold
  4. Tools – platinum demands separate tools, can be harder to work with and needs a higher temperature gas for soldering work
  5. Experience level the jeweler needs to have

What’s great about both?

-They are valuable and weighty metals – silver is not.

-Neither metal corrodes, rusts or tarnishes, and both are great for making jewelry.

-They are tried and true: 99.99% of all wedding rings are made from gold and platinum.

-Many alternative metals can’t be altered by more than 1-2 sizes and that work needs to be done in a machine shop vs. by a normal jeweler, because soldering can’t be done. Some metals aren’t able to be sized at all. Gold and platinum metals can be sized and worked on as many times as needed, as your fingers will likely change in size over the years.

-Both can withstand everyday wear, however intricate platinum jewelry has proven to endure the test of time much better than gold.

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What about prongs, settings & wedding bands?

-Both are often used, and both have considerations you should be aware of when selecting prongs.

-Because it is a malleable metal (due to its purity), platinum tends to be more bendable than white gold. Small platinum prongs may become flatter when hit, but are less likely to break or wear down.

-With a white gold prong, the stronger, stiffer metal alloys will remain firm if directly hit. But if the hit is severe, the metal cracks as opposed to bending. If the hit is hard enough, it completely breaks off. Or a base crack could cause problems down the road.A-BRIGGS-ENG-RS1-CROP12-03_reimaged with logo

How do I choose one over the other?

-The amount of detail in your design should be a factor.

-Work with an experienced jeweler who is knowledgeable in the slight differences between white gold and platinum.

-Is a long lasting, high shine important to you, or is your taste suited to accepting a more matte finish?

-Make sure to disclose your hobbies, recreational activities, lifestyle, etc. to your jeweler.

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Gemstone of the Month: Emeralds

The long-standing fascination with emeralds may simply lie in their intense, radiant green color. Although rare in the gemology word, imperfections and inclusions are often tolerated in this beautiful stone, happily overlooked by many in exchange for the visual pleasure that this May birthstone brings. The bigger issue affecting the significant price and marketability of emeralds is the presence of a rich, dark green color.

Emeralds have a good hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale and belong to the large gemstone family of the beryls. Pure beryl is colorless. The colors do not occur until traces of another element are added. In the case of the emerald, it is mainly chromium and vanadium, concentrated (unusually) in different parts of the Earth’s crust. The tension created during this process produces some minor flaws in the stone – and some major ones. Only seldom is a large emerald with good color and transparency found, which is the primary reason emeralds are so valuable.

Rubies, sapphires and emeralds form the “big three” of colored stones, generating more economic activity than all other colored stones combined. In the last several years, the value of emeralds imported into the U.S. exceeded the value of rubies and sapphires combined.

Today, many emeralds are enhanced with colorless oils or resins. Although a common industry practice, it is done so with the caution of consequence, as these green treasures react very sensitively. While the hardness of emeralds protect it from scratches, its many fissures can make cutting, setting and cleaning rather difficult. When cutting takes place, the substances used or applied seals the fine pores in the surface of the gem. Removing them gives the stone a “matte” appearance. Emerald rings should also always be taken off before the wearer puts his or her hands in water containing cleansing agent and they cannot be cleaned in an ultrasonic bath.

A hard, but not tough stone, perhaps the lure of the emerald can be summed up by Roman Philosopher Pliny the Elder’s writing that “green gladdened the eye without tiring it.” True enough, the love affair with emeralds continues to evoke emotions in jewelry lovers everywhere.

 

10 Most Popular Cuts of Diamonds

Adopted from the Greek work “adamas,” meaning invincible, diamonds come in a wide range of colors such as black, blue, green, pink, red, purple, orange and yellow.

If you have a hard time remembering what different cuts of diamonds look like or are called, here’s your perfect cheat sheet for the Top 10 Cuts for the birthstones of our April babies:

 

ROUND: The most popular shape — owning nearly 75% of all diamonds sold — round cuts are considered superior to ornate shapes. At the proper reflection of light, their maximum potential brightness outshines the competition.

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Diamond Eternity Engagement Ring

PRINCESS: The princess cut diamond is the most popular ornate diamond shape, especially for engagement rings. Like rounds, princess cuts are practical choices because of their flexibility in working in almost any style of ring.

PR-HALO

Cushion Halo Princess Cut Center Diamond           Engagement Ring

 

OVAL: The oval diamond has an elongated shape often creating the illusion of being a larger diamond.

ovalfinal-new

Three Stone Oval Diamond Ring with Trillion Sapphires

MARQUISE: This cut is football-shaped. Because the marquise diamond is long and narrow, it can also create the illusion of greater size. Carat for carat, the marquise diamond has one of the largest surface areas of any diamond shape.

FINAL

Marquise Halo Diamond Ring

PEAR-SHAPED: The pear-shaped diamond is a combination of a round and a marquise shape, with a tapered point on one end. In a perfect world, this type of diamond should have very good symmetry, with the point lining up with the apex of the rounded end, and the shoulders and wings (the upper and lower curves on the right and left side of the diamond) should be uniform.

Bezel Three Stone Diamond Halo Engagement Ring with Pear Side Stones

Bezel Three Stone Diamond Halo Engagement Ring with  Pear Side Stones

CUSHION: The cushion cut diamond combines a square cut with rounded corners, much like a pillow (its namesake!). This classic cut has been around for almost 200 years. Refinements have led to a resurgence in popularity for this lovely cut.

Three Stone Cushion Woven Diamond Engagement Ring & Wedding Band Set

Three Stone Cushion Woven Diamond                     Engagement Ring & Wedding Band Set

EMERALD CUT: The emerald cut is quite unique. Although not designed to sparkle, by interchanging light and dark planes during refinement, a “hall-of-mirrors” effect is achieved — a beautiful illusion that creates extraordinary broad flashes of white light to contrast the dark planes. This “step cut” process varies from the more traditional “brilliant cut” method, which provides more sparkle. Emerald cut diamonds will make inclusions or body color easier to see.

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Emerald Diamond Dome Ring

ASSCHER CUT: First produced in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland, an asscher cut diamond is similar to the emerald cut, but in a square shape with larger step facets, a higher crown, and a smaller table (the uppermost, flat surface of a diamond). This combination often produces more brilliance (sparkle!) than the emerald cut.

Asscher-PD2

Asscher Diamond Pave Pendant

RADIANT CUT: The radiant cut creates a vibrant and lively diamond with a modified square shape, a nice bridge between a cushion and a princess cut, making it look stunning when set with both rounded or square cornered diamonds.

Radiant Art Deco Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Radiant Art Deco Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

HEART SHAPED: There’s no mistaking a heart-shaped diamond. Popular in solitaire pendants as well as rings, heart-shaped cuts are best utilized with diamonds more .50 carats in size, since the heart shape is more difficult to recognize in smaller stones, once set in prongs.

Wavey Heart Diamond Wide Band

Wavey Heart Diamond Wide Band

Versatility

Fine jewelry can serve as an elegant compliment to your wardrobe…the “completion” factor of an outfit. And let’s face it, jewelry is an investment, so maximizing the wearability of your pieces is key.

Take your style from casual to chic and errands to evening with versatile creations that can be changed up in different ways.

By choosing pieces that will allow you to create multiple looks, you’ll ensure unworn jewels will be a thing of the past.

Opt for you a long necklace that can be wrapped shorter with a pendant to give a layered, tiered look. Studs worn to the office can be transformed into breathtaking showstoppers by affixing a diamond or pearl drop or earring “jacket” surrounding the stud. Or imagine a stunning three-hoop necklace that can be changed into a set of stackable rings.

Three ring versa (metals)

Versa 3-Ring-Necklace (Silver)

Three Ring Versa Set Ring & Versa Necklace: Three rings become a single ring, convert into a necklace & can be worn several different ways.

 

 

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