Posts Tagged ‘precious metals’

White Gold Explained

I think it is important that the properties of white gold, its limitations and care needs are fully understood prior to purchasing an item of jewellery. That way you will know what to expect and understand the best ways to care for your jewellery.

The most important thing to note is that gold is a naturally yellow metal; white gold does not occur naturally but is produced. It undergoes a number of procedures to ensure we see the bright white finish that we are used to and that appeals to us so much.

To achieve this colour, gold is mixed with various white metals to produce an alloy; commonly silver and palladium are used. The result of this alloy is a pale greyish yellow colour. I like to think of it like mixing paint, it doesn’t matter how much white paint you add to yellow you can never create a true white. To achieve the brilliant and bright white finish that has made white gold so popular, the piece is rhodium plated. Rhodium is a hard wearing bright white metal however as with any form of plating, the rhodium will wear off over a period of time to reveal the pale greyish yellow metal beneath. The amount at which the plating wears off depends on what the item comes into contact with. For example if it is exposed to chemicals such as perfume, hand cream or cleaning products, it could wear off more quickly. It will therefore be necessary to have white gold rings re plated from time to time; the time frame depends on the wearer. We always recommend that jewellery items are removed when doing any sort of manual labour, lifting, carrying or cleaning. This will prevent the items being knocked out of shape accidentally or getting scratched or damaged.
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A Battle With the Dollar

Though gold and silver are no longer the currency of everyday use, their prices dictate the current state of the economy. With the recent spate of recessions and economies going on a roller coaster ride, gold and silver prices too have been fluctuating heavily. One of the main reasons for this is buyer sentimentality. Considering that these precious metals are rare and retain their original value plus more, they are often considered the safest investment in a volatile economy. That having been said, there has been a recent increase in the price of gold and silver bullion thanks to the consistent level of purchase by stockists as well as investors.

There is also a strong demand for silver from the industrial sector thus driving up its price. This increase is also compounded by the amount of speculative purchases as well. An observation of the markets will show that even in the European markets gold seems to rule supreme. Another increase for the rise in price of such precious metals is that there is no ceiling on the prices that it can reach, simply because there is no ceiling on the amount of currency notes that can be printed. This is based on the Federal Reserve of America’s announcement and basically influences the way prices go in the international market.

This move to take away the ceiling is what has acted as a catalyst. It has been done primarily to ensure that the American economy comes back on track. The idea is to move towards a kind of progress that will ensure an economy that has ample employment opportunities and a level of price stability. One of the reasons for the Federal Bank going this way is to tackle the pressure that is coming in from the opposing political parties in power. With America’s national debt pushing the $16 trillion mark, bringing down the value of the US dollar seems to be the only way to break the impasse in the economy currently.
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