Of the 91 pure metals on the periodic table, nine are regarded as precious metals. This is largely due to the rarity of these naturally occurring chemical elements. And the rarity of these precious metals is what drives the high value we see today.
If we look back in history, the precious metals that were regarded as ‘currency’ metals – gold, silver, platinum and palladium (ISO 4217 currency code) – are the four best known of the nine precious metals and, for the most part, the rarest of them too. These metals are today used almost exclusively in the creation of art, jewelry and coins, rather than for any practical purpose.
Through this usage in rare and beautiful creative works, these precious metals have increased their attractiveness, as investments that retain and store value. As the demand increases, the market value increases. And the preciousness become ever more compelling.
The level of purity of these precious metals varies, but 99.9% is the standard, with efforts being made to increasingly purify the metals. South Africa’s Krugerrand was the first example of a coin measured in “pure gold”, which is what has contributed to making it such a good investment. Gold and platinum in particular are used by investors as ‘hedges’ against economic fluctuations.
What sets a Shimansky jewelry creation apart from others – and really elevates them to masterpieces – is the combination of the highest quality stones, with the purest precious metals. And each unique design, can be executed in a variety of precious metals, allowing you to find the pairing that really speaks to your individual personality and style. To help you choose, here is a bit more about each metal, all sourced from the mines in South Africa to ensure the highest standards and purity.
The finest of metals, Platinum is the second rarest precious metal in the world - and over 80% of the global platinum resources that exist are possessed by South Africa. This remarkable and valuable metal is naturally white in colour, durable and hypoallergenic, making it suitable to be worn every day. At Shimansky 95% of our jewelry made from this metal contains pure virgin platinum, and 5% is ruthenium, which is the best quality alloy in the jewelry-making industry. The great thing about Platinum for jewelry is that it will never lose its wonderful color or luster – and it is incredibly hardwearing. If you are a busy, modern, balancing-work-and-family-kind of person, then a platinum ring is for you. Also, if you appreciate the finer things in life, you really have no other choice.
Did you know that yellow gold – the traditional colour and choice for jewelry – consists of 75% fine gold, and 25% alloys to make it more durable and resistant for everyday wear? This precious metal has the ability to bring out the exceptional beauty of a quality diamond, whilst complementing almost all skin tones. This classic precious metal is loved for its golden hue and glowing shine. And who doesn’t love a classic? If you love Chanel No.5 fragrance and lust after a Hermes Birkin bag, yellow gold is your first choice. Also, most of the modern royals have yellow gold rings, so you know that it is a great style choice too.
To create the one-of-a-kind shades of rose gold, a higher percentage of copper is added to the mix of pure yellow gold. Over time, the delicate color may intensify, creating a slightly ‘tarnished’ and gently-worn effect in the rose gold. Like a fine wine or beautiful leather, rose gold ages over time, as you wear it and live with it in your life. At Shimansky, our rose gold collection is created using only the finest precious gold, with a 25% copper addition. This modern ‘pink’ shade is ideally suited to millennials and people who are passionate about contemporary style. We also think that this is the metal of romance, so it is perfect for an engagement ring too.
The remarkable 18K white gold metal is one of the most popular choices when it comes to diamond jewelry as diamonds and white gold go together like a queen and her crown – perfectly matched. Shimansky white gold creations contain 75% pure gold, and 25% consists of palladium and silver. For a whiter finish, only the finest alloys are used. Many people are sensitive or allergic to nickel, so Shimansky deliberately does not include it in the make-up of the white gold pieces. We do, however, recommend an annual refresh of your white gold jewelry by way of a rhodium plating, just to keep its beautiful white color. White gold is the ideal choice when giving gifts, due it to its universal popularity.
Like its better-known precious metal friends, palladium is one of the world’s rarest and most valuable metals. The super-power of palladium is that it is incredibly strong and durable, whilst also being as light as a feather. This makes it the ideal choice for someone who doesn’t want to feel like they are wearing a ring, when getting on with their day. Incredibly popular as a choice for a men’s wedding band, palladium has all the benefits of platinum – beautiful white color and shine, hypoallergenic - but with a much more accessible attitude. This precious metal is the dark horse of the metals world – and worth your attention.
Every metal, like the gemstones that they go with, has a distinct character, and this overview hopefully gives you the ability to identify which one works best with your personality and style. Book an appointment at the Shimansky Showroom to learn more.