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Metal Choices

 

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MOKUME GANE:The fusing of metals used for Samurai 17th Century Japanese Swords.  All different metals, including platinum, golds, palladium, silver allowing techniques to include many colors combinations.  Ancient metal process creating swirls.  Means wood grain in Japanese language.

STAINLESS STEEL:
 This is an increasingly popular metal styling more towards the industrial look for men.  Invented in 1913, developed to be impervious to staining or corrosion.  Has good wearability, and affordability but limed in designs and not resizable.

TITANIUM:
 This is a rugged and masculine metal choice.  It is tarnish-free, light weight, durable, hypoallergenic, great longevity and wearability. It has a high resistance to corrosion but not as malleable as other metals, therefore stones are only bezel set or tension set. It is not resizable nor scratch resistant.  It is very affordable and Lashbrook uses aero space grade, which is two times stronger and harder.  Its hardness is 6.

DAMASCUS STEEL:
120 layers of two different steel, forged together into beautiful patterns.  Always “One of a Kind” and not resizable, but Hypoallergenic.

COBALT CHROME:
This is perfect for the Platinum white metal look and great price point.  It is Hypoallergenic and light weight but limited in designing and not resizable.  Hardness is 7.5-8, shatter proof, hard to scratch, and great for bezeling set stones. It is not as brittle and is whiter than Tungston.

CAMO INLAY:
Patterns are oxidized aluminum used as inlay in different metals, especially in titanium.

BLACK ZIRCONIUM:
Zirconium is typically used in dental implants and nuclear reactors.  A black oxidized coating is created when zirconium is heated. This coating makes the ring scratch resistance and allows us to create amazing two toned styles.

CERAMIC:
Hardened in the most advanced kilns, these bands are extremely scratch resistance.  Ceramic bands come in white pink and black.  The bands are lightweight and  the color is throughout the entire ring and will not wear over time.  Comes in polish, satin and sandblast.

METEORITE INLAY:
Top quality hardwoods from all over the world are used to add flair to an otherwise simple band.  Woods include: cocobolo, Applejack, Rosewood Burgundy and more.  Water resistant and beautiful accent to men’s rings as inlay. Do not let Meteorite sit in wetness, it will rust.


HARDWOOD INLAY:
Top quality hardwoods from all over the world are used to add flair to an otherwise simple band.  Woods include: cocobolo, Applejack, Rosewood Burgundy and more.  Water resistant and beautiful accent to men’s rings as inlay.

TUNGSTON INLAY:
Among the hardest natural elements on the planet, tungsten is also quite brittle.  Available only as an inlay, it is a close to scratch-proof as you can get.  

PLATINUM:
.900 Platinum / .10 Iridium
Considered a noble metal, Platinum was initially valued higher than gold for bridal Jewelry. It possesses properties to bring out a natural bright white and requires no rhodium plating.
Features include:

  • Easy to fabricate
  • Does not lose metal content like gold
  • Highest value in density than any other metal
  • Must use separate tools and work space to prevent contamination
  • No rhodium plating required

.950 Platinum / .05 Ruthenium
This mix is for all jewelry production, and is the most popular mix for platinum jewelry. This mix is used from bridal jewelry to findings to mill products.
Features include:

  • Excellent mirror surface finish
  • Hard to scratch
  • As part of the noble metals, retains white color forever
  • Most durable choice for everyday wear
  • No rhodium plating required




GOLD:
Pure gold (fine gold) is softer than pure silver but harder than tin. Its beauty and luster are unmatched by any alloyed golds. The extreme malleability, ductility, and softness of pure gold make it practically useless for jewelry applications.

Alloying elements (other metals) are added to gold to increase the toughness and hardness of the gold alloy. While almost any metal can be alloyed (melted) with gold, only certain metals will not dramatically change the color or make the metal brittle. The addition of indium, for instance, turns gold purple and gives gold alloy the workability of glass.

Over time, certain percentages of gold have become legally recognized "karats." The karat indicates the amount of gold as a percentage of the total, i.e. 24 karat is 100 percent gold. Thus 14 karat is 14/24's gold or 58-1/3 percent gold. Gold standards vary around the world. In the United States, 24, 22, 18, 14, and 10 karat gold are the only karats allowed to be sold as karated gold.

In karated gold, there is a known proportion of metals in the non-gold percentage. These metals provide the various colors and hardness of karated golds. Typical alloying elements and their color effect are:

  • Copper Reddening
  • Silver Greening
  • Zinc Bleaching
  • Nickel Whitening
  • Palladium Whitening


Examples of the compositions of different colors are:

  • Yellow: Gold, copper, silver, zinc
  • White: Gold, copper, nickel (or palladium), zinc
  • Red: Gold, copper
  • Green: Gold, silver


Adjusting the proportions of base metals (non-precious metals) provides the array of colors on the market. They also enhance properties such as castability, grain size, hardness, corrosion resistance, workability, ultimate strength, and ductility. These additions can dramatically change the properties of the karated gold for better or worse.

Knowing how the additions will affect the karated gold greatly enhances the possibility of a superior final product. In deep drawing of metals, it is important to have a metal which will elongate or stretch a great deal before fracturing, thus high ductility. The requirement for an earring post would be a high tensile strength (a great deal of force needed to get the material to permanently deform, bend). It is imperative to select the proper karated composition for the desired application.

GOLD FILLED VS PLATED OR VERMEIL:

What is the definition for white gold filled, yellow gold filled, nickel plate, and yellow plate?

The term gold filled refers to the manufacturing process in which a sheet of base metal, usually brass, is mechanically bonded with thinner sheets of gold. A "sandwich" is formed by mechanically bonding a layer of gold on both sides of brass. This "sandwich" is then cold worked by rolling until a much thinner gauge metal is achieved. Products are then formed or die-struck from this layered material.

When a layer of gold is affixed on all surfaces by any mechanical means, and the weight of the gold is a minimum of 1/20th of the total weight of the metal in the article, it may be marked “Gold Filled (GF)”.  The quality of the gold used is typically 10, 12 or 14 karat gold with 10 karat being minimum.  Hallmarking would look like “10kt GF” or “14kt GF”. Yellow gold filled or white gold filled simply indicates the color of the karat gold used in the making of the gold filled product.

The terms “Rolled Gold Plate” and “Gold Overlay” refer to the same bonding process; however, the weight of karat gold is less than 1/20th but not less than 1/40th of total weight of metal.  Hall marking would look, for example, like, “1/30th 12kt R.G.P”, “1/40th 10kt Gold Overlay”.

When a product is referred to as gold, rhodium, or nickel-plated, this indicates that it has been electroplated with a thin layer of that particular metal. An article of jewelry is “Gold Plated” when gold is electroplated or mechanically sheathed with a mini­mum thickness of 1/2 micron (20 millionths of an inch) of fine gold. The quality of the gold used is typically 10, 12, 14 karat. The karat quality of the gold plate must be disclosed and it can be described as “12kt Gold Plate” or “2μ 12kt G.P.” for an item plated with 2 microns of 12 karat gold.

The table below lists all the different plating terms and their associated thicknesses.

Gold Plating Thickness
Heavy Gold Plate> 100 Micro-inch (> 2.5 micron)
Gold Plate> 20 Micro-inch (> 0.5 micron)
Gold Electro Plate> 7 Micro-inch (> 0.175 Micron)
Gold Wash/Flashed< 7 Micro-inch (< 0.175 Micron)

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