The Everyday Value of Precious Metal Alloys

by | Sep 29, 2015 | Business

Precious metal alloys are mixtures of precious metals, other metals, and other elements. The jewelry you wear regularly is likely to be composed of these alloys. The coins you keep in your pockets and the frames for your artworks are additional examples. Nearly everyone has made good use of alloys and precious metals at some point in life.

The Value of Precious Metals

Precious metals are rare metals that are highly valued in society. The gold and silver products you use regularly are common examples, along with the less frequently used platinum and palladium.

Aluminum used to be a precious metal, but modern technology has made it is one of the most abundant metals in the world. In the past, the difficult extraction of aluminum from the earth made it more expensive than gold. In the 1800s, the prices dropped significantly, and now aluminum is much less valuable than gold.

Common Precious Metal Alloys

Alloys are the mixtures that you get when you mix precious metals with other elements. When manufacturers use alloys, they usually do so to increase the strength and versatility of their products. Also, alloys are important because purity is a common issue: it is hard to create products that are 100% pure.

In jewelry making, there are different combinations of alloys being created. Gold alloys include other metallic or non-metallic elements. Pure gold is softer, so it is easy to create different shapes with it. Gold has a natural luster and an aesthetic look that can be manipulated using the alloying method.

The most common gold alloys used are yellow gold (with zinc, silver, copper and cobalt), white gold (with zinc, copper, and nickel) and palladium white gold. There are also lesser known alloys, such as rose gold that involves the inclusion of copper.

Platinum alloy jewelry is resistant to water and rusting. This metal is frequently combined with iridium, ruthenium or cobalt. Silver alloys are light-colored metals that are similar to gold in price and value. You can find silver in many products such as coins, silverware, picture frames and jewelry. This metal is malleable and stronger than gold, so these items are easier to manufacture.

When alloyed with a small amount of copper, sterling silver is created. This type of silver is used to manufacture many types of jewelry. Other types of alloys include vermeil and Mexican silver, which comprises different percentages of copper.

Whether you want to diversify your financial portfolio or the wardrobe in your closet, you may want to choose precious metal alloys. These alloys include precious metals, such as the gold and silver you see every day, and other less commonly used metals, such as copper, zinc and palladium.

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