A Survivor's Guide to Jewelry Buying - Color and Hardness

There are options everywhere and jewelry is no exception! In our understanding of jewelry, color and hardness of metals needs to be carefully selected. 


There are a plethora of color options in metals. Ask yourself, “Does the color of this metal suit their skin tone?” Certain colors, like rose gold, are beautiful in pictures but can be the same color as some skin types. Pay attention to the colors that best stand out when worn. Another point to consider is your person’s lifestyle. Do they need a metal color that will require extra help in staying beautiful and shiny? Many 14k white gold pieces are rhodium plated. This treatment has to be reapplied every few years while palladium white gold is less upkeep. Depending on the person, a piece that needs upkeep every so often may not be as desirable as one with little to no upkeep. 

Hardness and Wearability

Time to think of durability, hardness, and wearability! When choosing your perfect metal, it’s good to think of resistance to bumps and scrapes.

In order of hardness:

  • 10K white gold, yellow gold, rose gold
  • Platinum
  • 14K white gold, yellow gold, rose gold
  • 18K white gold, yellow gold, rose gold
  •  Silver

Sterling silver and rose gold both have high copper content. They have reactions to the environment and to chemicals that they come into contact with, and sterling silver can tarnish and turn dark because of this. Rose gold can lose the lovely pink color associated with it and fade to a yellowish gold over time.

Platinum is a harder metal and loses very little mass to wear and tear over years of use. This is great news for someone who may want a little less upkeep on their jewelry. Finishes in platinum tend to be more durable because of the metal’s hardness.

If you’re choosing between gold and silver options, both metals need periodic maintenance by a jeweler to check certain prongs are strong and protecting the stones. Finishes in both gold and silver tend to show more wear over the years.

We’d be more than happy to walk through metal options with you in our studio where you can determine the best color for your skin as well as what kind of upkeep you’re wanting. Let us know how we can make jewelry buying a little easier on you.

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