Don't make the mistake of dismissing silver as gold's “cheapest premium”. Another alternative to buying gold is to invest in metals for electric vehicles such as nickel and cobalt. This alloy is cheap and is generally used to make jewelry. When exposed to air, bacteria and minerals, brass stains over time and frequent use can stain skin green.
This green spot is no cause for concern and will fade quickly. Unless you are allergic to one of the alloying elements, in which case you should stay away. Bronze is an alloy of 12% tin and 88% copper. It may also contain other metals.
This brittle alloy has a warm, slightly brown tone that may resemble gold when polished. Unfortunately, since bronze is so brittle, it cannot be formed from sheets or wires, as is often the case with pure gold. Jewelers should note that bronze expands slightly when it melts, similar to water. This makes casting techniques interesting, since expansion must be taken into account.
Pinchbeck, named after its inventor, Christopher Pinchbeck, is an alloy of 83% copper and 17% zinc, used to imitate gold. It is much cheaper than gold and is famous for its use in scenic jewelry. The inventor, an 18th century watchmaker, distinguished these imitation pieces from real gold with a mark, but later imitators did not. Instead, they flooded the market with pieces made from Pinchbeck, posing them as real gold.
This gave the alloy a terrible name, diminishing its popularity. Pinchbeck is also used to make bathroom accessories such as shower faucets. Rose gold is an alloy of gold (75%), copper (25%) and silver. Here, the inclusion of copper provides the characteristic warm pinkish-red tone.
. While rose gold doesn't tarnish, it needs regular cleaning and polishing to stay in perfect condition. It is also more durable than the purest yellow gold, due to its high copper content. In that case, you won't be able to wear rose gold jewelry, and they're not as available as yellow gold or even white gold.
These coating layers are made of raw gold, are sold as sheets or wire, and are attached to the brass core by applying heat and pressure. Rolled gold, which is often confused with gold-filled pieces, is generally used in watchmaking. A brass core is covered with thin sheets of gold, representing 2.5% of the final object by weight. The gold foil fuses with the brass core through the application of heat and pressure, as is the case with filled gold.
Gold plating is similar to packaged gold and rolled gold, although the gold content in the final object is even lower, at 0.05% by weight. Here, an extremely thin layer of gold is applied to a part made of a base metal, such as brass. While gold-plated items are much cheaper than solid gold alternatives, they are not very durable. Because the outer gold layer is so thin, it is easily scratched and damaged and usually wears out.
So, if you're looking for a piece that will stand the test of time, gold plating probably isn't the right choice. If your budget is tight, titanium is a great option. It is gray in color, durable and lightweight. One of the biggest advantages is that it is less expensive than gold or platinum.
The only drawback is that the size cannot be changed if the user needs to increase the size at any time. Keep in mind that it's also a smart choice for men's or women's wedding rings. If a man is looking for a wide, thick band that requires much more metal, it will be a fraction of the cost of the same type of band made of gold or platinum. Heavier than gold, platinum is also a popular choice for engagement rings.
It's more expensive than gold, but it's an attractive option. It is slightly more durable than gold and can withstand everyday wear and tear. Although it may scratch, those imperfections are easily polished. The tips that hold the diamond are also less likely to break.
Plus, if your future fiancé is allergic to other metals, a platinum engagement ring is less likely to cause irritation. For bargain seekers, sterling silver is a much cheaper alternative to gold or platinum. Another advantage is that sterling silver rings are hypoallergenic. While silver doesn't have the same monetary value, it still has that bright appearance similar to white gold.
Palladium is a less expensive version of platinum. It looks like white gold. It may not be the best choice for someone who works a lot with their hands due to their density. That said, it's great for people with metal sensitivities because it's hypoallergenic.
The finishes can be brushed, hammered or highly polished. Although commonly used in wedding bands, palladium looks beautiful combined with a diamond in an engagement ring. With all the talk of a gold bubble as investors rush to get hold of this asset, it's worth taking a look at other hard assets that are good investment alternatives to gold. There is a big difference in price between silver and gold, making it a little easier to choose silver as the primary alternative to gold.