Know Your Metals

Every beautiful piece of jewelry begins with a heart of beautiful metal, and different pieces call for different metals. But every type of metal has its own characteristics. To find out what type of metal is right for you and your lifestyle, speak with one of the experts at Chipper’s Jewelry.

Gold

The karat quality marking of gold tells you what proportion of gold is mixed with other alloy metals. “Pure Gold” – gold not mixed with other metals to increase its hardness- is called 24 karat (24K) gold. 14K gold, on the other hand, contains 14 parts of gold mixed with 10 parts of an alloy metal. To make white gold, yellow gold is alloyed with nickel and plated with rhodium, a naturally occuring white metal. Therefore, if not re-plated, white gold can lose its white or silver color.

Platinum

A popular choice for engagement and bridal rings, platinum is naturally white, more durable, and heavier than gold. Like gold, platinum is mixed with other metals, but it remains much more pure than gold, using only 5 to 10% alloy metals. THe quality markings for platinum are based on parts per thousand. For example, the marking “900 Platinum” means that 900 parts out of 1000 are pure platinum.

Palladium

Palladium is another naturally white precious metal. Though it is less widely known than gold or platinum, designers have been using it to make jewelry since 1939. Palladium is from the same family of precious metals as platinum and shares its strength, but it is lighter in weight. Those allergic to some other metals appreciate palladium’s purity. It does not have to be mixed with nickel (which can cause allergic reactions) to appear white.

Silver

“Silver” or “Sterling silver” describes a product that contains 92.5% silver – marked accordingly with the numbers “925.” WHen an item is referred to as “silver plated,” it means a layer of silver is bonded to a base metal. The designation of “coin silver” is used for compounds that contain 90% silver because in the United States silver coins made for circulation in 1964 and prior were 90% pure silver.

Tungsten

Tungsten is the only exotic metal that can be permanently polished. The polish and finish can last as long as your commitment to each other – forever! Tungsten rings are the most wear-resistant rings available. Tungsten is nearly 10 times harder than 18K gold and 4 times harder than titanium. To achieve the incredible polish, diamond abrasives and poly crystalline diamond tools are used on each ring. Tungsten may shatter if struck with a hard blow.

Black Zirconium

Black Zirconium is typically used in medical applications and nuclear reactors. It is perfect for jewelry because it creates a lustrous black layer when it is heat treated. This layer makes the ring very scratch resistant and allows us to create amazing two-toned styles. Black Zirconium offers the highest design versatility of any performance metal.

Camo

Camouflage liscensed by Mossy Oak can be placed in any of our metals, in virtually any style and finish.

Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is renowned for its strength-to-weight ratio, and is used for anything from bicycles to sailboats to the aerospace industry! This strong and light-weight metal can be used in a variety of ways to make your piece of jewelry special.

Ceramic/Tungsten

Combining ceramic and tungsten gives you a great two-toned look with the ultimate resistance to scratching.

Cobalt Chrome

Cobalt Chrome is a lustrous hypoallergenic metal. This bright white metal has a nice heft and will stand up to wear and tear. Cobalt chrome is beautiful and versatile which allows us to create stunning classic or contemporary styles.

Damascus Steel

Damascus Steel is a unique blend of up to 120 layers of two different types of stainless steel. These layers are forged together to make a beautiful, durable band. This ancient metalworking skill makes a one-of-a-kind ring you’ll love. Damascus Steel has extra artistic value, as no two rings are alike.

Hardwood

Hardwood rings are virtually water resistant and available in many colors. The infusion process used to produce our wood product gives it the density of brass and it can simply be buffed and polished. No stain, lacquer or other sealant is needed. Hardwood rings can be made in any of our metals.

Meteorite

Gibeon Meteorite from Namibia, Africa, lds a special classification as a fine octahedrite, due to the distinctive crystalline structure visible on the surface of the metal called Widmanstatten lines. This pattern varies slightly in appearance from piece to piece and may contain natural characteristics or “inclusions” which makes every ring unique.

Mokume Gane

Like Damascus Steel, Mokume Gane is an ancient metalworking process that creates unique, swirled patterns. Where Damascus Steel utilizes two stainless steels, Mokume Gane uses precious metals. The name “Mokume Gane” is Japanese for “wood grain,” as the precious metal tends to mimic patterns in nature.

Precious Metal

Virtually every style we offer in performance metals can be made in precious metals: 14K, 18K, white, yellow, or rose gold, palladium or platinum in every price imaginable.

Titanium

Titanium is a white metal, but unlike gold, it is used in jewelry in almost its pure form (approximately 99% pure). Titanium is extremely long wearing and has a natural gray color, which can be tinted to many different colors. Titanium is very lightweight and because it is used in almost its pure form, it’s 100% hypoallergenic, (which makes it an affordable option for people who are sensitive to metals containing a nickel alloy). Unlike other metals, titanium is extremely hard and can be difficult to work with, which limits its use in jewelry.

We use aerospace grade Ti6Al-4V Titanium to make all our Titanium bands. This grade is more than twice as strong and twice as hard as typical commercial Titanium rings. We offer more than 50,000 styles in Titanium alone. Titanium is the perfect choice for light weight and heavy strength.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel jewelry has become increasingly popular in recent years due to changing tastes and style trends. Invented by Harry Brearley of the Brown & Firth Research Laboratories in 1913, Stainless Steel was developed to be impervious to staining or corrosion and was adopted by heavy industry. Today, stainless steel has found its way to fashion where it’s used in everything from necklaces to earrings and is a favorite of both women and men who want an industrial, street look.

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