Here’s What You Need to Know About Noble Metals

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With the holidays aglitter around us, we turn our attention to noble metals – in the form of stunning timepieces. The noble metals of gold and platinum make incredible watch cases and bracelets.

Gold — long sought after as a status symbol and given as a symbol of love — comes in a host of hues. Mined from the Earth, it has been used in jewelry since the early Egyptian days. Today, nearly 70 percent of all gold mined is used in jewelry and watchmaking. To work the gold, which is purest in its 24-karat state (and softest), alloys must be added to give it strength. Gold that contains 75 percent pure gold, along with an alloy, is called 18-karat gold. By comparison, 14-karat gold contains less pure gold (58.3%) and more alloy.

Often, alloys and other metals added to the pure gold lend color, as well. Hence, the appearance of white, pink and rose gold. White gold is achieved by adding nickel or palladium to the yellow gold, while pink gold is created using copper – the more copper, the deeper the pink, rose hue. Sometimes today you hear of brands creating watchcases in red gold — this is the richest of the pinks, denoted as 5N. Of course, some brands also create their own special hues and finish of gold, but rose and white are the most popular today.

Platinum — one of the earth’s richest and rarest metals — is also sometimes used for special limited-edition and one-of-a-kind watches. Thirty times rarer than gold, platinum is difficult to work and is more expensive because it is generally used in purities of 95% to 99%. It is beloved for its rich luster and timeless elegance.

Later this week, we will present a host of different watches that utilize the noble metals — watches that make great holiday gifts.

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