Platinum, while lacking color, excels in every other respect. It is strong, resistant to wearing away, and hard enough to hold its shape. It takes a polish well and keeps that polish. When white diamonds are set in platinum, the metal can seem to blend away, appearing as though the piece is made up entirely of diamonds.
When it comes to color, there is no jewelry metal that can compare to gold. This is because there are only two metals on our planet that have color at all. Those two are gold and copper. Copper, by itself, is not desirable for jewelry, as it turns people’s skin green when it oxidizes. Copper, when alloyed with other metals to make brass or bronze, though it can look pretty, still has that nasty tendency to discolor a person’s skin. Only when alloyed with gold does copper come into its own, resulting in metals that have color, are relatively strong, and lack the propensity to change the hue of one’s skin.
It is by adding combinations of copper and silver to gold that varying colors are obtained such as: yellow gold, containing approximately equal parts of gold and silver; pink or rose gold, containing more copper and less silver; and green gold, containing more silver and less copper. The alloying (mixing) of gold with other metals can get a lot more complicated than this simplistic explanation, and there are other colors that are achievable, but this writing is only intended as a basic explanation. Perhaps one day I will go into greater detail for those who would find the information useful rather than boring.
Before I leave the topic of gold for now, I would like to address the question that may be on your mind; why add copper or silver at all? Why not just use pure gold? The answer has to do with strength, durability, and softness. While gold in its pure state is very beautiful, it is so soft that it would get bent out of its intended shape very easily; it lacks sufficient strength to securely hold gemstones set in it, and it wears away too fast to hold a polish in the short run, or to keep from being worn away in the long run.
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