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The two titans of precious metals: silver and gold. Both beautiful, both classics, but which should you choose? The best place to start is to consider which color you prefer. Silver and white gold share a similar cool lustrous hue, while rose and yellow gold offer warm, rich tones. Think about how that color will look against your skin tone, with diamonds or with your favorite colors of gemstones.What exactly is a karat?The standard measurement of gold is the karat, which is divided into 24 parts. Pure gold is 24 Karats, meaning 24 out of 24 parts are gold. Because pure gold is too soft to be used for jewelry, it is combined with other metal alloys to increase its strength. For instance, 14K gold is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other alloys, while 10K gold is more durable, with 10 parts gold to 14 parts other alloys.Alloys used with yellow gold include copper and silver. Rose gold is created by combining gold with large amounts of copper. When creating white gold, pure gold is combined with copper, zinc and nickel (or palladium).There are distinct advantages to both yellow and white gold. Placing a diamond with yellow color in a yellow gold setting can actually make the diamond appear whiter. White gold is a beautiful complement to exceptionally white and brilliant diamonds. Sometimes, white gold is confused with platinum, though they are entirely different metals. White gold and platinum vary in strength, resistance to scratches and shades of white.Why sterling silver?Since ancient times, people across the globe have considered silver a highly valued metal. Similar to gold, silver in its purest form is soft and delicate. In order to be used for jewelry, it is combined with metal alloys, such as copper, to increase its strength. When pure silver is mixed with less than 7.5% alloy, it is known as "sterling silver." Sterling silver is at least 92.5% pure silver and significantly more durable than regular silver.
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