wlenkeit

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About wlenkeit

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  1. OK, so this is my first ever post and it's on the thumpette forum of all places. Dignity aside I had to post. I've been a bench jeweler for for 30 plus years, one of the first in the the nation to achieve the pass the JA Master Bench Jeweler certification. I build and repair this stuff all day long every day. Unfortunately there are no one size fits all answers but maybe I can help. All of the metals we're discussing are not in their pure form, alloys are added in varying quantities so that all white golds, for example, are not the same. Bearing that in mind, here are some of the basics. Platinum (usually alloyed at 90% or 95%) is extremely durable, that is, it doesn't wear down very quickly. It is also very malleable so it will bend very easily, and seems to scratch easily although it's really being marred (pushed around) and not scratched (worn off). Refinishing of platinum usually involves a considerable amount of burnishing i.e. smoothing the metal out. Platinum usually alloyed with iridium and/or ruthenium (both expensive metals) White gold is alloyed as 75% for 18k and 58.5% for 14k. The alloy used here is the critical factor. Nickle has the best "bleaching effect" for gold so will make the whitest color. Some people have problems with allergic reactions to nickle. Nickle white gold is much harder than platinum and also much stiffer. It will however wear away faster. Still it is very durable. Some white gold alloys look pretty good without rhodium plating and some look downright dingy. Other alloy alloys used in the mix of white gold are copper, silver, zinc, palladium etc. Palladium is a difficult jewelry metal. It gets forced onto the market every time Platinum and Gold prices go up. No jeweler likes to work with it, it's difficult to cast and difficult to repair. I don't feel it offers a good value to the consumer. The current trend in design now is very thin and minimal. Platinum doesn't work well for those styles as it will bend too easily. No salesperson will tell you that (they usually don't really know). Really the design of the piece is a critical factor to which metal is best. Generally speaking in today's design environment, it's hard to go wrong with a good 18k (nickle) white gold mounting. Platinum really depends on the design. And I'd advise avoiding Palladium. Hope this helps Wayne