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A Guide To Precious Metals

Sorella Jewelry studio offers a wide variety of precious metals so that you can create the jewelry you'll cherish for a lifetime. Our Guide To Precious Metals is a valuable resource for making the best choice of metals to meet your needs.

The proper precious metal is important to jewelry's timeless charm. Each precious metal has desirable qualities, and each is suitable for different settings and styles.

Choose the right color for a stunning piece, learn the best choices for sensitive skin, determine which precious metals are the easiest to care for, and select from finer metals for special occasions or for the most durable metals for everyday wear.

 Read through the entire guide or jump to the particular precious metal of your choice by clicking on a link below:

Sterling Silver
Palladium   > Karats of Gold
Platinum   > Colors of Gold

Sterling Silver

In its purest form, silver is too soft for jewelry manufacturing. Copper and occasionally platinum or palladium are added to pure silver to make the metal durable enough for the wear and tear that fine jewelry endures. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure and is less durable than gold or platinum but still has relative durability.

Sterling silver jewelry is a popular option because of its low price and dependable durability. Silver jewelry is fun, informal and stylish, suitable for casual wear. Carefully crafted silver can also have an elegant, graceful quality and clear shine.

Sterling silver will oxidize when stored for an extended period. Remove tarnish by thoroughly cleaning the piece with a silver polish and wipe away any excess moisture. .

Sterling silver will not generally withstand everyday wear and tear for many years and is best suited for occasional wear. Long-term wear may cause the jewelry piece to warp, stretch or thin to the point of breakage. A professional jeweler can repair sterling silver.


Gold has long been used in jewelry manufacturing because of its malleability, natural beauty, and resistance to oxidation. It is by far the most widely used precious metal in creating jewelry.

Gold is very soft in its natural state. Copper, nickel, silver, and zinc are added to pure gold to make the metal durable enough to be worked and gold comes in different karat weights. The malleability of gold makes it ideal for artisans who create fine jewelry pieces.

Gold is a popular option because of the perceived association with wealth and royalty, its value, and its reasonable price. Gold also has an appealing warm glow that many people enjoy. Gold jewelry is elegant, formal and stylish, suitable for either casual or more formal occasions.

Protect white gold jewelry from contact with cleaning solutions, especially those containing chlorine. These chemicals can damage the smooth texture and shine of white gold jewelry.

Gold jewelry can be cleaned using a soft toothbrush and a mild detergent like liquid hand soap. To remove greasy or oily residue, use rubbing alcohol. Remove excessive buildups of hand lotions, make up and hair spray with an ultrasonic cleaner or professional cleaning by a jeweler.

The malleability of gold means that jewelry that is roughly treated or subjected to heavy wear can distort, stretch or be scratched. A skilled jeweler can repair and reshape damaged fine jewelry pieces.

About 15% of the population has an allergy to nickel. Those with sensitivities to nickel should wear nickel-free white gold. Sorella's white gold passes the EU (European Union) standard for nickel free jewelry. The US currently does not have a nickel-free mandate. Some symptoms of a nickel allergy may be a skin rash, redness, swelling, itching and burning. If an allergic reaction occurs, remove the jewelry to alleviate symptoms.

Choosing a Karat for Gold

100% pure gold is too soft for the wear and tear that most pieces of jewelry endure during everyday use. Metal alloys mixed with pure gold provide jewelry with increased strength and durability, and gold jewelry is available in several combinations. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission regulates and classifies these industry-wide standards of metal combinations.

 Karat refers to the amount of pure gold contained in the metal. The higher the karat, the greater the percentage of pure gold. 24K gold contains 100% pure gold, 18k contains 75% pure gold, 14k contains 58.3% pure gold and 10k contains 41.7% pure gold.

18K gold is generally a high-end metal chosen for quality pieces of jewelry. It is more valuable due to the higher concentration of pure gold and is more easily molded, stretched and scratched than 14k or 10k gold.

14K gold is the most popular choice in gold jewelry selections in the U.S., offering a pleasing balance of durability, strength and beauty at a reasonable price. 14K gold combines high quality with greater value than 10k gold.

10K gold is the metal of choice for the budget-conscious consumer. It offers greater durability to sustain the wear and tear of everyday use but is intrinsically worth less than jewelry made with higher concentrations of gold.

Choosing a Color of Gold: Yellow, White or Rose

Metallurgists use various combinations of elements to create different visually appealing colors of gold. By altering the percentage of metals used in the combination, intensities of colors like yellow, white and rose are achieved. Sorella offers their jewelry in the three colors that are the most popular forms of gold used today in jewelry manufacturing.

Yellow Gold
Yellow gold is the natural state of gold. Master alloys are carefully combined to the correct percentage of pure gold to preserve the classic yellow coloring of 18K, 14K, and 10K gold, while adding strength. Yellow gold is the most common color of gold found in jewelry. Fashion-conscious consumers report that yellow gold adds class and interest, standing out with gleaming, eye-catching warmth.

White Gold
The distinctive silver-white coloring associated with classic white gold is created when metals such as silver, palladium, and nickel are added to gold. The intensity of the whiteness desired determines the choice and percentage of metals added. The addition of nickel can create a color ranging from yellowish-white all the way to briliant white depending on the amount added. Palladium creates a grayish-white color. Silver will slightly bleach the color resulting in a yellowish white color. Sorella uses a proprietary high nickel alloy that passes the EU (European Union) for nickel free jewelry and delivers a brilliant white color.

White gold jewelry will highlight diamonds rather than drawing attention to a contrasting yellow gold setting. White gold lacks the warmth of yellow and rose gold, providing a cool, sleek, contemporary feel.

Rhodium, a member of the platinum group of metals, coats most white gold jewelry to increase the whiteness of the piece. Platinum alloys are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Rose Gold
Rose gold appears as a pink to red-tinted metal created by adding copper to pure gold. This combined mixture lends strength, durability and an unusual, subtle warm glow to traditional yellow gold.

The distinctive pink shading of rose gold is often used in combination with other colors of gold to create stunning pieces of jewelry. When used alone, the subtle warmth of rose gold provides a balance between the intense warmth of yellow gold and the coolness of white gold.


Palladium is a dazzling, naturally white precious metal in the platinum group. The difficulty of casting this metal limited it's past use in jewelry, but recent advances have produced a new alloy of palladium that is perfect for jewelry manufacturing, offering consumers an ideal substitution for platinum at reasonable cost. The most common combination of the metal is 95% palladium and 5% ruthenium, known as 950 Palladium. All Sorella Palladium jewelry is made with 950 Palladium.

As palladium is relatively unknown among the public, we've devoted more space to describing this metal and its very attractive characteristics.  Learn more about Palladium Jewelry -  95% pure, beautifully white, wonderfully light, extremely durable, hypoallergenic, and surprisingly affordable.  


Platinum is the true symbol of enduring strength and classic elegance in jewelry. It is the metal of choice for the consumer who prefers the contemporary look of white metal without sacrificing value. The hardness and bright white color make platinum a favorite among jewelry designers.

Platinum is more dense than gold and has a heavier feel than other metals. It is also considered the purest metal, making platinum an upscale choice that projects a strong, fashionable, yet modern image when used in classic jewelry pieces. The hardness and brilliant white of platinum also make it the ideal complimentary showcase for diamonds.

Platinum is rarer than gold and therefore, more expensive. Those making a wise financial investment in jewelry choose platinum. The natural strength of the metal resists marring and keeps its shape even with frequent, long-term wear, and the brilliant white coloring never fades. It is ideal for any customer who desires a top-of-the-line jewelry selection that will last a lifetime and beyond.

Clean platinum occasionally with jewelry cleaner and rubbing with a soft cloth, or soak in gentle dish soap and warm water. Thorough cleaning should be carried out each six months by a professional jeweler.

Allergic reactions to platinum are very rare, making it a perfect choice for those with sensitivities to nickel.