Fine Jewellery

Metal Choices in Fine Jewellery


Platinum was recognised by the Egyptians as important, however due to the very complex process required in order to be used for fine jewellery, platinum was not the first choice for jewellery makers. It was only with new refining techniques in the early 20th century that demand for platinum rose.

Advantages to choosing Platinum

  • Natural white colour
  • Blends with diamonds due to comparable colour
  • Durable
  • Strong
  • Stress resistant
  • Scratches and forms ‘patina’ on surface which creates a finish some people prefer

Disadvantages to choosing Platinum

  • Duller than gold as it wears
  • Looks darker and greyer with wear
  • Blends with diamond therefore no contrast
  • Scratches easily

Yellow Gold

Gold is the oldest and most sought after precious metal in the world. The oldest piece of gold jewellery was found in Bulgaria and is estimated to be 6,600 years old.

Advantages to Yellow God

  • Warm hue
  • Has a wonderful shine
  • Dense
  • Malleable
  • Traditional
  • Associated with wealth & prosperity for centuries

Disadvantage to Yellow Gold

Older gold jewellery can contain nickel. Although an EU Directive now restricts the amount of nickel which can be used in precious jewellery.

White Gold

White gold is gold combined with at least one white metal, such as palladium or nickel. Nickel was traditionally used as an alloy in white gold but its use is now restricted by the EU Directive.

Advantage of White Gold

  • Bright white
  • Shine of the metal
  • Dense
  • Malleable – easier to work with than platinum
  • Less expensive than platinum
  • More crisp and modern than traditional yellow gold
  • Great for those who want to keep with the tradition of a gold wedding and engagement ring but prefer white metals

Disadvantage of White Gold

Rhodium re-plating is required if you like the white gold to keep looking bright and crisp. Rhodium plating is not an expensive process and can be carried out in D&K The Jewellers. While some people opt for re-plating, others like the natural colour of white gold as it is a softer white without the plating.


Palladium is part of the platinum group of metals. However, palladium is less dense than platinum. Palladium is a new metal in the jewellery world; only making an entrance in 1939 .

Advantages of Palladium

  • Lighter than platinum
  • Less expensive than platinum
  • Natural & lasting white colour

Disadvantages of Palladium

Palladium is relatively new to the jewellery scene so there is less history associated with it. The industry therefore has less knowledge of how it will sustain the test of time.