Often referred to as a hard metal, this can be misleading. Pure platinum is in fact softer than pure gold, it is the other constituents of the alloy that make it hard wearing. The most common 95% pure (950) alloy is the hardest of the precious metals used in jewellery.
Platinum is very durable and takes a fine polish that is more resistant to wear than gold. It is naturally a greyish white and is often rhodium plated to make it even whiter. It requires a high level of craftsmanship, is rarer and more dense than gold, hence why it comes at extra expense. Platinum and white gold are not the same.
Many believe, including some jewellers, that the higher the carat of gold the softer the metal (gold is a soft metal). Thus 9 carat gold, being alloyed with other metals tends to be more resistant to scratching than say 22-carat gold. This is not necessarily the case. Many manufacturers producing 18 carat gold jewellery ensure that, as the jewellery is higher quality, the alloy is harder wearing. This way when you have bought a piece of fine jewellery it will last a long time.
22-carat gold = 91.6% pure (916)
18-carat gold = 75% pure (750)
14-carat gold = 58.5% pure (585)
9-cart gold = 37.5% pure (375)
Gold also comes in various colours such as white gold, rose gold, green gold and of course yellow gold.
Palladium is increasing in popularity as wedding bands for men. It is a platinum group metal, naturally white, and unlike white gold, it keeps its grey/silver colour. Like platinum it is a pure metal (coming in both 950 and 500 pure) and very hard wearing. The price point however is significantly less than platinum. Please feel free to call or visit the store and ask about this interesting metal.
All of the Kellerwood precious metals are full hallmarked providing platinum, gold and palladium.