Choosing Cremation Jewelry? Learn How Different Metals Will Make Your Memorial Diamond (and Its Memories) Shine
Your memorial diamond is a sparkling tribute to a precious loved one. And now, you are ready to set your diamond in a piece of jewelry so you can keep your memories of your loved one close to you forever.
Where do you start? It may surprise you, but one of the first places to start is the type of metal you want your memorial jewelry made from. Why? Because it is the metal that most affects the look of your memorial diamond, as well as the durability and the comfort of the remembrance jewelry.
To help you understand how each metal might affect your memorial diamond and your commemoratory jewelry, we have compiled a guide to the most popular types of precious metal.
Yellow Gold Jewelry
Gold is, perhaps, the most classic and well-known metal. This precious metal has been used in jewelry since 4,000 B.C., but has enjoyed greater popularity during certain periods in history (such as the Georgian and Victorian eras).
When unmixed with alloys, gold is very soft and prone to deforming. As a result, gold is almost always combined with other metals to make it more durable. There are several different types of gold that can be used in jewelry, due primarily to the kind and amount of alloys mixed with it.
Yellow gold is mixed with copper and zinc alloys. The ratio of gold to alloys is described by karats, with pure gold consisting of 24 karats. The most common number of karats for jewelry gold are 14 karats (14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy) and 18 karats (18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy).
Characteristics of Yellow Gold Jewelry
Gold is less expensive than palladium and platinum, but more expensive than sterling silver. The cost of the gold increases as the number of karats increases (i.e. 18 karat yellow gold is more expensive than 14 karat yellow gold).
Yellow gold gives off a golden hue. Your memorial diamond will reflect this hue, giving the diamond a slight yellow tint. As a result, yellow gold is ideal for slightly discolored diamonds, since the golden tones will mask the imperfections in the diamond’s color.
In addition, the golden tones of yellow gold can affect how the jewelry looks on certain skin types. For example, darker or olive skin tones are complemented nicely by yellow gold.
Yellow gold tends to give funeral jewelry a traditional or vintage look.
Because it has more alloys in it, 14 karat gold tends to be stronger than 18 karat gold. However, all yellow gold jewelry is prone to scratches. As a result, this type of jewelry may not be the best choice for a cremation ring for anyone who exerts a lot of wear and tear on their jewelry.
Some people are allergic to the nickel that is often used as an alloy in gold. Yellow gold, however, does not have as much nickel in it as does white gold. As a result, it is more hypoallergenic than white gold. In addition, the purer the gold, the less likely it will be to cause an allergic reaction, and some pieces of gold jewelry can be found without nickel.
White Gold Jewelry
More recently, white gold has become popular as a choice for cremation jewelry rings, cremation jewelry necklaces, cremation jewelry earrings, and other types of jewelry.
White gold is gold that has been alloyed with palladium, silver, nickel, or other white metals and then plated with rhodium to give it a chrome-like finish. As result, the gold itself takes on a silver appearance. As with yellow gold, it can be found in different karats, with 14 karat and 18 karat white gold being the most common.
Characteristics of White Gold Jewelry
When choosing gold for your cremation jewelry, there are a number of characteristics you should take into consideration.
Thanks to the high cost of the rhodium used to plate it, white gold generally costs a little more than yellow gold. As with yellow gold, the cost increases as the number of karats increases.
White gold’s silvery hue complements a number of different gemstones, including diamonds. In addition, white gold complements fairer rather than darker skin tones.
White gold tends to give funeral jewelry a modern look.
As with yellow gold, white gold’s durability increases as its karats decrease. In addition, because of the rhodium plating, white gold tends to be stronger and less prone to scratches than is white gold. However, the rhodium does wear off over time and needs to be replaced regularly.
Some people are allergic to the nickel that is often used as an alloy in gold. Yellow gold, however, does not have as much nickel in it as does white gold. As a result, it is more hypoallergenic than white gold. In addition, the purer the gold, the less likely it will be to cause an allergic reaction, and some pieces of gold jewelry can be found without nickel as an alloy.
Sterling Silver Jewelry
Because silver is also a very soft metal prone to deforming over time, most silver jewelry is actually sterling silver. Sterling silver, also referred to as 925 silver, consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent alloys (such as copper).
Characteristics of Sterling Silver Jewelry
Sterling silver is much less expensive than gold jewelry. This is one of the reasons it is one of the most popular metals for setting off diamonds made from the cremains of the deceased.
Sterling silver’s hue is similar to that of white gold. As a result, it makes a good choice for showcasing the beauty of the gem you have had created in tribute to your deceased loved one.
Sterling silver tends to give funeral jewelry a modern look.
The alloys with which it is mixed make sterling silver stronger and more tarnish resistant than pure silver. However, sterling silver is still not as durable as white gold. It will “age” very quickly, collecting marks and losing its finish relatively quickly. In order to keep it looking new, it must be maintained regularly, and may not be the best choice for anyone who is hard on their jewelry.
Sterling silver can have traces of nickel in it, so it is important to understand exactly what is in the sterling silver jewelry you purchase if you suffer from a nickel allergy.
Platinum is a naturally occurring precious metal known for its durability. When used in jewelry, it is at least 95 percent pure, and has recently become very popular because of its combination of beauty and durability.
Characteristics of Platinum Jewelry
Platinum is a rare metal and, therefore, is more expensive than sterling silver, yellow gold, or white gold. It also tends to be denser than gold, which means that more of it is needed to create your jewelry. This need for more material further drives up the cost of jewelry made from platinum.
Platinum has a white hue that is very beautiful and ideal for setting off your cremation diamond.
Platinum tends to give funeral jewelry a modern look.
Platinum is known for its beauty and its durability and does not have a finish on it that can wear away over time (as with white gold). However, it does require regular polishing to keep it shiny.
Platinum is hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for anyone prone to a nickel allergy.
The key to choosing the right jewelry for your memorial diamond treasure is to start with a metal that meets your needs. Whether you select gold, silver, or platinum, the result should be a stunning tribute to the memory of your loved one and the beauty of the diamond made from their ashes.